It was with deep regret that the A.M. Qattan Foundation and The Mosaic Rooms mourned the passing, on Tuesday 27 January 2015, of one of the most prominent women in philanthropy and social enterprise in Palestine and the Arab World, Leila Darwish Al-Miqdadi Al-Qattan.
Leila, member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, was born in Mosul, Iraq, to the notable Palestinian educator Darwish Al-Miqdadi, and was forced to move repeatedly, like many Palestinians, first to Jerusalem, then Damascus and Beirut. She eventually settled in Kuwait, where she worked in education and met her future husband, Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan.
In 1963, the family moved to Beirut, where she worked with a group of Lebanese and Palestinian women to revive Palestinian embroidery in the refugee camps. She also participated in the establishment of The Association for the Development of Palestinian Camps (still operational today) as well as the A.M. Qattan Foundation. She supported many cultural and charitable projects in Palestine, notably the Palestinian Museum.
Leila was passionate about the arts, particularly music, and was a generous supporter of all forms of artistic expression. She also played a critical role in shaping the Foundation’s cultural programme. Her work will remain a major milestone in humanitarian and community work in Palestine.