Situated in the heart of Beirut, Ahliah found itself at the center of battles during the Lebanese War (1975–1991). Its buildings sustained heavy damage and the school closed during 1975-77 and reopened, to serve the community in its immediate vicinity by the decision of the BoT, and by efforts of one of its teachers, Nicola Zayyat, who became its principal (1978-1998).
English and French sections were opened. This gave many children an opportunity to receive good education and protection during the civil war. Despite the dangers and insecurities faced, the idea of moving the school from its historic location was repeatedly rejected by Al-Ahliah’s Board of Trustees. In so doing, they were asserting the school’s belonging to the heart of Beirut as well as their faith in a better future for the country.
Since that time, Ahliah became co-educational from k-12 while it only accepted boys from k-6 since its founding. The inhabitants moved back to their original homes during the 1990s. The vicinity drastically changed by the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, to become one of the high-end residential areas in Down Town Beirut, under construction, with few inhabitants.