About Us
Ruqayah AlQatami's Story
Hayatt Story
Our Work
Board of Directors
Scientific Advisory Board
Our Young Ambassadors
Our Founder's Message
Our President's Message
Our Legal Advisor
Testimonials
Hamani
Dr Nael Al Naqeeb
Dr Youssef Omar

Ruqayah AlQatami's Story

Oum Qais was born in 1925, the third child of nine siblings. As far as one can remember, Oum Qais has always been involved in some kind of charity work and her dedication to helping people is well known in Kuwait. It was certainly engrained in her since childhood, when aiding the less fortunate was a way of life, and supporting the poor was a natural response to the deeply rooted religious beliefs of the society in which she lived, first within her family, and later in her husband's family. Both merchant families were very generous and provided donations to various causes in the Kuwait community, and also various communities in the Arab world.

Oum Qais became a young widow at the age of 30 and was the mother of six daughters and a son. She dedicated her time to her young children inculcating in them sound principles and solid rules. She was always the driving force that kept the family gathered together.

Whatever circumstances Oum Qais had to overcome, one thing remained constant, and that was her contributions to charitable causes. Of course, all her daughters and numerous grandchildren are perpetuating her sacred duty.

Oum Qais followed very closely the education of all her children and at the same time ensured that they learned The Holy Quran and followed religious courses. That was mandatory to all and was non-negotiable.

Ahead of her time, she made sure that all her daughters received a proper education abroad (which was an exception in Kuwait in the late 1940's). Her vision was that a solid educational background would provide them with the best opportunity to ascertain their future.

However, that did not detract her from pursuing her charitable and humanitarian work. When the Kuwait Women's Society was launched in 1961, Oum Qais was fully involved from the beginning and very active, first as a Board Member, and then as the Treasurer for six years until the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Because Oum Qais liked to sew, she created a tailoring section in the Kuwait Women's Society and organized, with the help of a group of members, various fashion shows and bazaars to raise funds for charity. Part of the money raised was allocated to support the society and the other was used to help Palestinian orphanages and schools in Jerusalem. She also adopted an orphan Palestinian child whom she fully-sponsored, however, this was stopped in 1990 during the tragic invasion of Kuwait.

Oum Qais was very well known among her colleagues of the Kuwait Society for her excellent fund-raising talents to raise large sums. Her colleagues still recall how much time and energy she invested during the Egypt-Israeli war when the late President Jamal Abdul Nasser needed financial support. She did wonders, with the help of some of her friends in the Kuwait Society, and harangued everyone to get any possible donation of jewelry, gold, money, etc. The funds collected were so huge that they required several bags and two security men to deliver to Egypt. At the same time, she and her friends prepared for the Egyptian Fighters "The bag of the Warrior" which included pajamas that were sewn at the society and other amenities.

In 1975, Oum Qais collaborated with the president of the Kuwait Women's Society, Mrs. Lulwa Abdulwahab Alqatami (Oum Qais's sister) and Mrs. Ghanema Fahed Al Marzouq, the owner and Editor-in-Chief of the "Osrati" magazine, with the idea of the Kuwait Women's Society building a village in Northern Sudan. Oum Qais was one of the most active fund raisers.

Soon the plans for the "Qaryat Hanan " in Kassala, north eastern Sudan was born, which included an entire village with housings and all amenities, shops, etc. Besides raising the funds for the society, Oum Qais participated personally with her family (son and daughters) in sponsoring and funding sewing workshops (to encourage the Sudanese women to work and earn their own living), a carpentry shop, blacksmith shop, and a farm. The village was gradually completed with phase one available in 1978 and phase two available in 1979. The official inauguration was in 1982.
Oum Qais also participated in the fund-raising to build a village to house orphanages in Lebanon.

In 1978, Oum Qais did not even hesitate to move to the Unites States of America when one of her daughters needed to finish her undergraduate studies. Oum Qais made use of her stay in the United States to improve her skill in embroidery and couture.

Oum Qais resumed her activities immediately after the liberation of Kuwait by quietly working and helping those in need. She started by creating exquisite handmade pieces of "artisanat" that she would sell in charity bazaars that she organized herself. All of the profits from the bazaars were donated to Hussain Makki Jumaa Cancer Center to help needy cancer patients to buy airplane tickets, wheelchairs and expensive medicines or to sponsor expensive medical procedures.

She carried out her many contributions after retirement from the Kuwait Women Society to include supporting needy families and rallying for the prisoners of the Gulf War until she finally found her true calling in Hayatt.

Creating a charity foundation under her auspices was a culmination of the charitable achievements she has accomplished throughout the decades. The idea of launching an association was in the mind of Oum Qais for many years. It was finally triggered when she herself lived this ordeal with her five year old grandchild who was treated in the United States of America and lost his battle to the DISEASE. She could see the efficacy and efficiency of the support groups there.

At the time, Oum Qais asked for the support of all her family, relatives and friends. They were of course all so confident in her ability to handle this humanitarian and charity work. They gave her the support she needed. She decided to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients in her own country.

Oum Qais works in silence and does not aspire for recognition. Her belief in God and his guidance for people to be charitable is her biggest inspiration.

 
  Powered By:    
Educational Articles & Resources By:
Sponsored By: