For Dr. Batoul Abuharb, enrolling her oldest child at Iman Academy was a full-circle moment.

A student there when the school was just getting off its feet, Abuharb said sending her daughter to her former stomping ground — a private Islamic institution — is like coming home.

“I love it,” she said. “It feels like a little family, and it makes it easy to be a (working) parent. I have total peace of mind when she’s here.”

Abuhard recently attended a ceremony for some of the school’s youngest scholars where they showed off their skills reciting Quran, Islam’s holy book. The event proved particularly nostalgic.

Mahpara Khaliq, left, husband Omad Ulla; sons, Sufiyan, left & Rafay

“I remember that from when I was here,” she said.

Iman Academy Southwest, at 6200 Highway 6 South at the western edge of the International Management District, offers childcare as well as K-12 education. When it opened in 1996, the school was located in a strip center with less than 500 square feet and only served about 15 elementary-age children.

Today the facility has expanded to include approximately 100,000 square feet and serves 600 children, who represent 15 nationalities. A second location, in Webster, has another 600 students. It’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Abuhard said the school’s emphasis on teaching Arabic from a young age is important to her when it comes to her daughter’s education.

Noor Mobeen, the school’s director of education and marketing, recognizes that Islamic instruction, which is closely tied to Arabic, is one reason many parents choose Iman Academy for their children.

Mobeen said non-Muslim students can opt out of religion class and participate in another elective such as a fine art or a computer class; however, all students take Arabic language courses, which start in pre-kindergarten.

He said the school’s goal also centers on developing children into balanced, principled and productive members of society.

“We want them to be part of the whole experience of being American and learning how they can contribute to that,” Mobeen said.

Mahpara Khaliq and her husband Omad Ullah, both physicians, also were in attendance at the ceremony. Their two oldest children, 5-year-old Sufiyan and 3-year-old Huzaifa, attend the school.

Like Abuhard, Khaliz said she was drawn to the character of the school, which she called “very friendly.”

“This was the school that could provide the Quranic education that we were looking for, that could provide the character building that we were looking for,” she said.

Khaliq and Abuhard said they also find Iman Academy’s academic standards largely in line with other private schools. For example, Khaliq said she was surprised to discover her kindergartener has homework every day and has even completed projects.

Abuhard said she’s also been impressed with school officials’ willingness to implement new ideas, such as the creation of a parent-teacher organization, something she helped launch about two years ago. She hopes to see Spanish offered to students soon, as well.

Khaliq said school officials’ willingness to listen to parents is encouraging. She had particular concerns about safety after the Hamas-Israel war broke out and lobbied successfully for the school to hire an armed, on-site security guard.

Iman Academy Southwest
6240 Highway 6 South Houston, TX 77083
Phone: 1-281-498-1345
Email: [email protected]

— By Carissa Lamkahouan