by Theophilus Waldemeier
Theophilus Waldmeier (1832-1915) was a Swiss Quaker who first attracted international attention when he was imprisoned by King Theodore of Ethiopia and rescued by British forces at the battle of Magdala in 1859. He went to Beirut and founded the Brumana School, his lasting achievement, and which became one of the most famous schools in the Middle East. Brumana has provided the education of presidents, prime ministers, and royal princes. It is still a Quaker school, a center for Quaker activity in the region, and welcoming students of all manner of backgrounds. He also helped establish the Lebanon Hospital for Mental and Nervous Disorders, the major psychiatric training facility in the Middle East for many years but which closed in 1982 in consequence of the Lebanese civil wars.