My father was illiterate but, with his instinctive intelligence and life experience, he believed in the need for education to empower his children, including his daughters, to face the challenges of the modern world.
After the Nakba, where we lost everything, our people had only one option left: redemption through education and knowledge. The years that followed the Nakba witnessed a series of moral and material defeats for the Arabs, as is the case today, which contributed to our destruction and our relegation to the age of darkness and impotence. It then became apparent to me and my wife Leila - we both started our professional careers as teachers - that the only way to get ahead was to look to the future. If there was no quick solution to our misfortunes, and our current social situation continued to deteriorate, then we could only work for a better future.
They harvested so we ate; we will harvest and they will eat, said the great Palestinian educator and my former teacher Khalil al-Sakakini.
We believed, from the outset, that free man is capable of both doubt and creativity and is not afraid of innovation and adventure; and that we could not face the reality of war, ignorance and tyranny without having the basic ingredients required for this: the enlightened, creative individual who creates an open, dynamic and proactive society.
We also believed that Palestine is an indivisible part of the rich intellectual heritage that we call Arab culture; and that Palestine, in order to be worthy of our martyrs and activists and their sacrifices, must be a living element of the global cultural scene. We also believed that investing in the children of Palestine and the Arab world was the best thing that we could bequeath.
We are proud that over the years since our financial situation permitted us, we have tried to provide as much support and encouragement as possible to the numerous Arab individuals, institutions and projects in the fields of education and culture.
Our commitments grew with time, highlighting the need to establish an independent organization, characterized by a high level of professionalism, with a clear methodology for developing a number of pioneering projects and ensuring their continuity. In addition, this organization must have a physical presence on the land of Palestine. Thus, the A.M. Qattan Foundation began its work in Palestine in 1998.
They harvested so we ate; we will harvest and they will eat..
Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan