Who is Leila Miqdadi?
(The main entrance of the library at the new Cultural Centre/Ramallah-Palestine, 2019)
One of the pioneering women in charitable and social work in Palestine and the Arab World, Leila Miqdadi Al-Qattan was a member of the Board of Trustees of the A.M. Qattan Foundation.
She was born in Mosul-Iraq. Her father was the long-established educator, Darwish Al-Miqdadi. Like many Palestinians, she was forced to move from one place to another several times during her life, first to Jerusalem, then to Damascus and Beirut and finally to Kuwait where worked in education and met her future spouse, Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan.
Then, in 1963, the family moved to Beirut where Leila worked with a group of Lebanese and Palestinian women to revive Palestinian embroidery in refugee camps. She also contributed to the establishment of the Association for the Development of Palestinian Camps, which is still running as well as the establishment of the A.M. Qattan Foundation. During her lifetime, she supported many projects and cultural and charitable initiatives in Palestine, most notably, the Palestinian Museum.
Leila was passionate about the arts, especially music, and was a generous supporter of all artistic forms of expression. She also played a pivotal role in designing the cultural programmes of the A.M. Qattan Foundation.
She died on January 27, 2015, in London.
The impact of her work will remain an important milestone in the humanitarian and community development sector in Palestine. The library was named after her, her life, and her interest in culture, the arts, and education.