Ms. Aniseh Assaf (1908-2002)
transformed her loving dedication to the orphans into a lifelong career. After volunteering to help launch the Druze Orphanage with the late Aref Nakadi and other Druze notables in 1941 and in Swaida in 1948, she went on to work tirelessly and selflessly to make a difference in the lives of the children at Beit al-Yateem, many of whom called her “mother.” Her services included picking up orphaned children from their villages, buying daily necessities, teaching, and fundraising. She continued to do this, lovingly, for over fifty years, until her name became synonymous with Beit al-Yateem. After retiring and emigrating to the California, USA, she continued to advocate for the orphanage She was recognized and awarded many times. However, she was happiest when someone approached her with an unsolicited donation for the orphans. Her very presence seemed to bring out the charity in everyone’s hearts, and they gave generously. As she advanced in age and could no longer travel, she continued to think about her beloved Beit al-Yateem, and how to keep it going strong. With the assistance of her sister Mrs. Afifi Masri, and her late cousin Dr. Fuad Muakkaasa, she founded the Druze Orphans and Charitable organization (DOCO) in the United States in 1999, to ensure the continued financial support of the orphanage. She watched, with joy and enthusiasm as DOCO’s mission was realized and became a success. The “Aniseh Assaf” Library was established in her memory.
Mrs. Afifi Assaf Masri Masri (1916-2017)
shared her sister Aniseh’s life-long commitment to the service of the Druze orphans. After spending many years as an educator & school principal, she moved to Liberia, Africa, where she helped her husband run a successful business. There, she continued to fundraise for the orphanage on a regular basis. In the early seventies, she and her husband retired to California to be close to their family. Her dedication to Beit al-Yateem was unwavering, and in 1985, she founded “Babies of the Druze Community in America.” She encouraged parents of newborn Druze babies to make donations to Beit al-Yateem commemorating the births of their children. Parents loved the idea and to this day, continue to send donations to the orphanage on their children’s birthdays. She remained an active fund-raiser, for the rest of her life. The Druze Orphanage at Beit al-Yateem named the Entertainment Room after Mrs. Afifi Masri in recognition of her devotion and contributions.
Dr. Fuad K. Muakkassa (1914 – 2000)
was always an avid supporter of Beit al-Yateem. Having experienced the pain of the loss of his father at the tender age of one, he grew up determined to help other orphans. He credits his mother with instilling in him the love of giving and the duty of helping the orphaned. He faithfully supported Beit al-Yateem as soon as he started practicing medicine. In 1943, Dr. Muakkassa gave his first salary in its entirety to his cousin Ms. Aniseh Assaf as a donation to the orphanage, which was still in its infancy. When Mr. Aref Al-Nakadi, the founder of Beit al-Yateem, asked Ms. Assaf to return the money, because Dr. Fuad had a mother to support, Dr. Fuad in turn sent it back with blessings. Since then and throughout his professional life and retirement he continued to make regular monthly donations, prompting the late Mr. Nakadi to name a building after him in recognition of his extensive support. However, the story does not end there. Dr. Muakkassa’s six children have followed his lead, by donating their first salaries to the orphanage and continuing to make donations regularly. Dr. Muakkassa’s resolve to help this institution was strengthened by the founding of the Druze Orphans and Charitable Organization (DOCO) in the United States. Dr. Muakkassa passed away in 2000. Donations in his memory helped to fund the infirmary at Beit al-Yateem, which now carries his name. Dr. Muakkassa’s children have undertaken the task to fund and expand the infirmary in line with Dr. Muakkassa’s legacy of healing the sick especially the orphans among them.
Dr. Kamel Muakkassa (1949-2012)
followed in his Father’s footsteps, he became a generous and regular benefactor to Beit al-Yateem. Dr. Kamel served as president of DOCO for more than a decade. Together with other generous American Druze Community members he raised funds to provide medication and medical equipment for the benefit of the Druze Orphanages in Lebanon and Syria. This, in addition to donating to many other not for profit Druze organizations. His family, friends and colleagues donated over $44,000 in his memory to benefit the orphanage. This rallying around Kamel’s beliefs is a testament to his love, devotion, and commitment. The Druze Orphanage at Beit al-Yateem named a Dormitory Room after Dr. Kamel Muakkassa in recognition of his devotion and contributions.