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It takes a school : the extraordinary story of an American school in the world's #1 failed state

Author: Jonathan Starr
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, [2016] ©2016
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Jonathan Starr, once a successful hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009 when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. "Why," they wondered, "would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world's number one failed state?" To achieve his mission, Starr  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Jonathan Starr
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan Starr
ISBN: 9781250113467 1250113466
OCLC Number: 948336137
Description: xvi, 250 pages : map ; 24 cm
Contents: Part one: Burning my ships. My Somali uncle ; Somaliland roots ; From hedge fund manager to headmaster ; Modern-day nomad ; Results day ; The exam ; The blank sheet of paper --
Part two: Building a school. First trip to Somaliland ; Clans ; Teachers ; The Abaarso condition --
Part three: School culture. Mohamed: a day in the life ; Straight talk and motivation ; Fahima's rocks ; Critical thinking ; Fundamentals ; Integrity ; Suzanne's orphanage ; Selection day --
Part Four: The great miscalculation. The white man speaks Somali ; A complex world ; The village ; Like water through a sieve ; Doing something right ; Money disguised as religion ; Trouble with the boys ; Khadar's rage ; Nothing is easy ; Harry's mad dash ; The Higher Education Commission --
Part Five: Tenacity. Selling success ; No good deed goes unpunished ; A Somali among the elite ; Twenty-seven schools in twenty-five days ; SAT trip ; Deportation ; The full arsenal --
Part Six: Winning the society. Miss Marple ; Religious council ; Vindication ; The cherry on top --
Part Seven: When arms are open. Show me the money ; Our best ambassadors ; The future ; In Harvard Yard.
Responsibility: Jonathan Starr.

Abstract:

Jonathan Starr, once a successful hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009 when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. "Why," they wondered, "would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world's number one failed state?" To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff. [This book] is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it's the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso. Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT, and sends Somaliland a clear message: its children can compete with anyone in the world. Now the initial question Starr was asked demands another: "If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, why can't it happen everywhere?"--Jacket.

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