Birzeit University mourns its friend, supporter A.M Qattan

Birzeit University is deeply saddened by the passing of the Palestinian intellectual and businessperson Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan, the founder of A.M. Qattan Foundation, and an honorary member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Al Qattan passed away on December 4, 2017, in London, in the UK.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Hana Nasir, said that the loss of Al Qattan is a significant loss for Birzeit University and Palestine in general. Al Qattan was a great friend and supporter to the university and its students. He donated the money for the building of Kamal Nasir Hall in 1985, and offered a number of scholarships to the university’s students.

Nasir added, “The University organized a special ceremony in 1999 to offer Al Qattan an honorary doctorate for his contributions to the Palestinian community. This honor was awarded during his first visit to Palestine since 1948.”

Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan was born in Jaffa in 1929, and began his studies at the Ayyubid School there. He then joined Anahda College in Jerusalem, headed by Palestine’s leading educator, Khalil Sakakini. In 1951, he graduated from the American University in Beirut with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

In the early 1980s, Al-Qattan began his active involvement in politics, representing Palestine at a number of official events. For example, he supported the newly-inaugurated Palestinian Liberation Organization in Al Kuwait in 1969, and was elected a speaker for the Palestine National Council held in Cairo.

Al Qattan also participated in social, charitable, and developmental work. He was one of the founders of the Welfare Association; Palestine’s governor at the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development; and member of the Board of Trustees of the American University in Beirut. Al Qattan supported many Palestinian and Arab students in their university studies, and provided support to many organizations such as the Centre for Arab Unity Studies; the Ahmad Bahaa Edin Foundation; the Institute for Palestine Studies; Birzeit University; and many other institutions.

In 1993, he launched the A.M. Qattan Foundation in London, which by 1998 became fully active in Palestine through a range of projects and programmes in the cultural and educational sectors. 

In March 2011, Al Qattan announced that he would bequeath a quarter of his wealth to the A.M. Qattan Foundation to ensure its independence and sustainability. He also announced that he would support the establishment of a strategic studies institute, focused on Palestinian issues.