The Islamic Arts and Crafts School was established in Tripoli in 1895, its area is about 24,000 square meters, and it received the first batch of students in 1901. It included many crafts and arts, including carpentry, metal engraving, embroidery, paint, leather dyeing, metal engraving, and others.
The school was closed in 1911 due to the Italian invasion of Libya, but it resumed its activities in 1913.
It is located on ‘24th December’ Street, which is one of the main streets of Tripoli, and is about 900 meters long. The school is about 300 meters away from Martyrs Square.
It was established within a group of industrial schools that constituted one of the distinct landmarks in the education system at the end of the second Ottoman rule, whereas citizens and philanthropists contributed to establishing it with the donations they collected.
Tripoli was at that time had a few inhabitants and scarce resources, and extreme poverty striking it.
The project was supported by the governor, Namik Pasha, who imposed a tax on olive oil production for this purpose. On the other hand, the municipality of Al-Hadara donated a large plot of land on Al-Hamidiyah Street (24th December).
Many changes have occurred in the Libyan society that diminished the role of the school, however, the Islamic Arts & Crafts School remains a live example of the compassion, caring and belonging the city and its citizens had shown to their little brothers and sisters in their time of need almost a century ago.
The Islamic World Heritage Committee approved the inclusion of the School of Arts and Crafts in Tripoli on its permanent list of Islamic heritage sites, among the five sites of Islamic heritage in 2019.