Assad Abood a native of Aitanit, Lebanon, emigrated to the United States and became a successful entrepreneur. He was not blessed with children. However, he never forgot his native village and its children. With this in mind, he established a school in Aitanit, initially in a small house in the village. Fortunately, he was able to pay for this and support the school himself. Not only did he established and fund the school, he traveled regularly to Aitanit and continued to personally supervise all activities.
To insure the continuation of the school in perpetuity, he established the Assad Abood Foundation, Inc. a membership corporation under the laws of the State of New York, USA on April 19, 1947. The foundation owns and operates the school.
The foundation charter provides for the following purposes:
“To give assistance and support by voluntary donations and contributions to worthy and needy persons and causes, and to organizations, both within and without the United States, and for such purposes to receive voluntary donations, bequests, real and personal property.”
Not only did Mr. Abood fund the initial expenses of the school building and operation, he agreed to create a trust in his Will for the benefit of the school.
It was agreed that the charitable and educational activities of the foundation would be confined principally to the people of Aitanit and its children. In the event of any surplus funds, they could be used for scholarship for students of the entire region of Aitanit.
Mr. Abood arranged with the Antonine Sisters to supervise and manage the school. The Sisters continue to date to be at the school in the same capacity. The school however is non-sectarian and accepts students of all faiths.
During his lifetime, Assad Abood recognized that the original school building was too small for the growing student population and he built at his own expense the new school house to supplement the first building. The new school house is a modern building, with modern facilities and appointments. It also contains a modern apartment for the living quarters of the Sisters.
After the death of Mr. Abood in 1996, the Board of Directors enlarged the new building by adding an additional floor. This permitted the school to separate the grammar classes from the high classes as is required by the Ministry of Education of Lebanon.
Over the years, the student body increased and at present we have an average of 435 students, each year. Actually many other children seek to enter our school. Unfortunately we are unable to accept any more.
Asaad Abood died in New York in 1996. His remains were transferred to Lebanon and his enterment took place in a beautiful mausoleum on the hillside at the portals of Aitanit.
The Foundation School is under the supervision of the Minister of Education of Lebanon and is regularly inspected. Our students are required to take the government exams to graduate. We are proud to say that our students have a very high percentage of success on the examinations.
The Foundation School is a non-sectarian and accepts students from Aitanit and the surrounding villages. Scholarships are granted each year to a limited number of students who graduate the school.