Our Story


Dr. Sue Dahdah and husband Farid Dahdah, founded the Abdul Hamid Sharaf School (AHSS) in 1980.  Their motivation was a perceived need for a “different” kind of school in Jordan that was child centered and fostered independent thinking.  It was among the first of many modern, private, non-parochial schools to open in Amman in the early eighties.  Sue started teaching in the USA in 1957 and continued teaching at the American Community School (ACS) in Amman from 1961 until 1979.  She was also the principal of ACS from 1971 – 1979.

Abdul Hamid Sharaf School was named to honor the memory and legacy of the Jordanian prime minister Sharif Abd Al Hamid Sharaf (1939-1980), a popular, progressive Arab nationalist and champion of education.  The prime minister had tragically died of a heart attack three months prior to the school’s opening.

Early Years

The school enjoyed the early patronage and support of the royal family, as well as the continuing special interest, support, and patronage of Her Excellency Mrs. Leila Sharaf.  Her Majesty Queen Noor and Her Excellency Mrs. Leila Sharaf have been very helpful and encouraging over the years.  Besides attending graduations and special occasions, Her Majesty sponsored a Montessori training program and provided the equipment and materials for a Montessori kindergarten in 1982, the first in the kingdom.  Her Excellency Mrs. Leila Sharaf presented the school with a grant to establish its library.

The school opened for the 1980/1981 school year with 18 students (KG to 4th grade) in a rented villa, growing by one grade each year until it graduated its first senior class in 1988/1989.  The school quickly expanded to occupy three adjacent villas and another nearby villa for the KG in Swefieh.  By 1990 the school had outgrown the location and moved to its current premises in the summer of 1991. 

Abdul Hamid Sharaf School in the Present

AHSS is a private, coeducational, K-12 day school serving the needs of a diverse group of students, international and local.  Language of instruction for the core subjects is English and the students are bilingual or trilingual.  The school is licensed by the Jordanian Ministry of Education; and it is American system accredited and British system certified.  AHSS provides an internationally recognized high school diploma to its graduates.  In the high school, students may choose between the American or British streams, since AHSS teaches an accredited American curriculum or prepares students for the British system General Certificate of Education (GCE) and International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) external exams.  Successful completion of the programs of study in English allows the student’s diploma to be equated with the Jordanian Tawjihi high school diploma which is necessary for continuing education in Jordanian colleges and universities.

The school currently has a capacity for 800 students in kindergarten through twelfth grades with a typical total enrollment of 600 to 625.  The school does not like to exceed 25 students per section.  The overall student-teacher ratio is 11 to 1.