Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Abdel Mohsin Al-Qattan

Личная информация

  • Страна местожительства: Palestine
  • Пол: Male
  • Born in: 1929
  • key_age: 93
  • Резюме :


Abdul Mohsin Hassan Al-Qattan (1929-2017) is a Palestinian who lived in Britain, and is considered one of the most prominent Palestinian economists. He also had a fundamental and essential role in contributing to the formation of the Palestinian cultural scene, through his founding of the Abdul Mohsin Qattan Foundation, and other important cultural achievements. His political role was represented in the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization as president of the National Council and other roles he assumed during his career, in addition to his development and economic achievements, which were represented in contributing to the establishment and development of a number of Palestinian national institutions.


its upbringing

Abdul Mohsin Al-Qattan was born in Jaffa on November 5, 1929, where his father, Hassan, worked in the thriving orange trade. His mother is Asmaa Khader, originally from the city of Lydda, but from Egyptian parents who settled in Palestine after fleeing the colonial labor camps established to build the Suez Canal at the end of the nineteenth century.


Abdul Mohsin's father was illiterate, but he and his wife Asmaa (who was partly literate) nevertheless recognized the importance of formal education for their children during the difficult years between the two world wars as the relatively isolated traditional Palestinian society faced the harsh demands of the twentieth century with the start of British Mandate rule and increased Zionist immigration to the country.


his study

Abdel Mohsen first joined the Ayyubid school in Jaffa, and when he was fifteen, he entered the Arab College in Jerusalem, which was run by one of the great Palestinian educators at the time, Khalil Sakakini. The young man thrived in that secular and nationalist environment, showing a great interest in Arabic and Islamic poetry and history. Abdel Mohsen continued to admire his school principal even after Sakakini's death in 1955.


At the end of World War II, and during his stay in Jerusalem, Abdel Mohsen was summoned to Jaffa to bid farewell to his father, who was on his deathbed, as a result of a stroke. In 1947, he joined the American University of Beirut, where he began to study political science and economics, but he did not realize, as he bid farewell to his bereaved family, that his visit to Jaffa would not be repeated before the lapse of fifty-one years.


leaving Jaffa

When the Zionist attack on Jaffa intensified in March 1948, Asmaa left the city with her family to the nearby city of Lydda, where her brothers lived. A little later, Abdul Mohsen, who was unaware of the fate of his family, returned to Palestine and was able to reach Lydda, but in the meantime the family had left again, this time to Jordan.


There, the family was finally reunited in early 1949, but their situation was poor, and the young student faced a challenge to support his mother and brothers, so he returned to Beirut, where he stopped studying politics and economics, preferring to study business administration.


Beginning of career

Upon graduating in 1951, Abdul Mohsen returned to Jordan, where he worked as a teacher at the Islamic College in Amman (city), but his involvement in Ba'athist politics made him a target for Jordanian intelligence, and his modest salary barely covered the expenses of the large family. Then his mother suggested that he look for work in newly affluent Kuwait, where the demand for Palestinian professors was high. He accepted that, hesitantly, and headed towards the desert emirate in late 1953.


Thanks to his personality, Abdel Mohsen brought the attention of the head of the Education Department at the time, Darwish Miqdadi, another distinguished Palestinian educator, and married his daughter Laila, who also worked as a teacher, in 1954.


The young couple struggled to teach in order to support their family and the Abdul Mohsin family in Amman in particular. They had their first daughter Najwa in 1956, followed by Hani in 1958, Lina in 1960 and Omar in 1964.


But soon, Abdul Mohsen’s ambition and independence made him lose interest in the field of teaching, and he was hired by Sheikh Jaber Ali Al Sabah as Director General of the Ministry of Water and Electricity, where his administrative abilities and his tremendous memory were put to the test, but even this high-paid position bored him, so he established in In 1963, Al-Hani Construction and Trade Company paid ten thousand dinars, which he saved, and a bank guarantee from his Kuwaiti friend, Haj Khaled Al-Mutawa, who became his main partner. Thanks to the great demand in the growing Kuwaiti oil market, the business flourished at a tremendous speed, until the company became one of the largest contracting companies in Kuwait.


political work

Despite his career, Abdel Mohsen remained active in Palestinian and Arab politics. He represented his people on several international visits, accompanying Ahmed Al-Shugairi (a Palestinian politician) to China in 1964, and supporting the emerging Palestine Liberation Organization in its first launch in Kuwait. In 1964, Abdul Mohsen was granted Kuwaiti citizenship, but schools in Kuwait did not provide the quality of education he and Laila wanted for their children, so the family preferred to move to Beirut, where they stayed until the outbreak of the civil war in 1975. During this period, Abdul Mohsen decided to continue working. In both countries, he intensified his involvement in Palestinian politics. When the Palestinian National Council convened in Cairo in 1969, he was elected to the post of president, a position he gave up after a few days after the organization’s wings failed to agree on a unified management of its military and financial resources. This was the end of his direct participation in politics, although he remained a member of the Palestinian National Council until He resigned in 1990 along with his friends Edward Said and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, in protest of the PLO's support for Saddam Hussein in the Gulf crisis.



In the early 1990s, after undergoing heart surgery, and after contracting work in Kuwait declined, Abdul Mohsen turned his attention to charitable work. Since the beginning of the eighties, he has been involved in charitable and social work on several levels, as one of the founders of the Welfare Association in Geneva, and as the Governor of Palestine at the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.


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