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.