Introduction from Jessica Fortin, IAB Co-editor:

Sally Abdelmoneim has been connected to Khartoum International Community School (KICS)
as a parent and employee since 2005, the same year that KICS was established. Located in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, KICS has flourished despite the challenging political and economic circumstances in the country. Sadly, since 15 April 2023, conflict between opposing military leaders has devastated the country. While the army and a paramilitary group fight for dominance in the name of the people, the civilian population is trapped in the middle of the conflict. Millions of Sudanese citizens and residents have been displaced, fleeing the capital or the country entirely, including many from the KICS community.

In the midst of this tragic conflict and the personal upheaval of her life, Sally graciously shared her perspective on the challenges faced by an international school in a fragile political environment. She has stayed connected with her admissions counterparts from Sudan as well as across Africa through our WhatsApp networking group. Living in Ethiopia, a neighbor to Sudan which is receiving many displaced Sudanese people and was recently also in the midst of civil conflict, I feel an affinity with her situation and appreciate her willingness to open up regarding her experience.

IAB: Tell us more about KICS and your role in the school.

SL: Khartoum International Community School is an IB World School catering for students from age 3 – 18. We were the first choice for most of the expat families at KICS as well as Sudanese families returning from abroad. The school had a student roll of about 290 at the time of closing. The campus was purpose-built, boasting amazing facilities: pools, tennis courts, an indoor gym, two libraries (secondary and primary), a 500-seat amphitheater, a school clinic, a cafeteria and so much more. KICS had a riding school and watersports campus about a 15 minute ride from the main campus. Students, staff and parents were able to enjoy horse-riding lessons and water sports (kayaking and sculling).

The staff were committed to making KICS the best it could be. We had staff who had been with KICS since it opened its doors in 2005 and were deeply invested in it. We were proud of KICS and what, as a community, we had been able to achieve despite the difficult circumstances in Khartoum, political as well as economic. Sudan had been under US sanctions since the early 1990s and despite that a determined and committed Board was able to ensure we kept in operation and maintained our high standards.

I joined KICS initially as a parent in October 2005. In February 2006 I was hired as a teacher assistant. In April of the same year I was offered the position of Human Resources Manager. I stayed in that role until December 2022, when I transitioned to being the School Registrar. So I was fairly new in the position, although not new to the KICS community. I truly enjoyed meeting new families and being more involved with students in the School Registrar role.

IAB: With your varied perspective and experience at KICS over the years, you have a deep understanding and knowledge of the school. What special and unique qualities of KICS did you highlight to prospective families?

SL: Students loved coming into KICS. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming. With not much to do around town, KICS offered a vibrant school life to our staff and families. This included a variety of after school activities and family events such as the annual Celebrate Sudan Week, the Annual Street Fayre and the Board BBQ held in our campus by the Nile River.

It was a proud moment seeing the impressed look on parents’ faces when they were given a tour of the school. Thanks to a great team of staff, the facilities were kept in tip top shape in terms of maintenance and cleanliness. The facilities were unmatched in Khartoum and truly of international standards. We had good-sized classrooms coupled with low student numbers, staffed by qualified and professional employees.

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