AnisehMs. Aniseh Assaf (1908-2002) transformed her loving dedication to orphans into a lifelong career. She first volunteered her services to help launch the orphanage in Abey, Lebanon in 1941, and another in Swaida, Syria in 1948 with the Late Aref Nakadi. Since then she has worked 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 orphans from various villages, accounting, buying daily necessities, teaching, and fundraising.  She continued to lovingly do all of this for over fifty years, until her name became synonymous with Beit al-Yateem.

In the mid eighties she immigrated to the United States to be closer to her family. She soon became an active member and great supporter of the Druze Society in California, and a strong advocate of the local Cultural Center. She attended conventions all over the United States, and was always surprised to be honored and awarded by her people. 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, as a way to facilitate and maintain the continued support of the orphanage. She was delighted with the success of DOCO’s mission and closely followed its progress with joy and enthusiasm until the end of her life.

The “Aniseh Assaf” Library was established in her memory in Beit al-Yateem and was funded by donations exceeding $25,000 raised through DOCO in the U.S. from family and friends of Ms. Aniseh Assaf. By helping to found DOCO she insured the continuation of Beit al-Yateem and its mission to not only provide shelter, but a loving nurturing environment for the children to thrive in. Ms. Assaf remains a role model for generations to come.

 


CCI09032013_0000Mrs. Afifi Assaf Masri
, 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 a donation 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 remains an active fund-raiser, and has been serving the cause for over 50 years. During that time, she has raised more than $500,000 for Beit al-Yateem. Her dream to insure the continued support for the orphans was realized by helping to establish the Druze Orphans & Charitable Organization (DOCO) with the blessings of Beit al-Yateem in Lebanon.

 

 

Fuad Kamel Muakkasa

Dr. Fuad K. Muakkassa was a life-long supporter of Beit al-Yateem. Having experienced the pain of being orphaned at the tender age of one, when his father passed away, 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 since 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 still infant orphanage. 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 again with his blessings. Since then, throughout his professional life, and through 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 example, 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.

 

kamel with childrenDr. Kamel Muakkassa (1949-2012) followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Fuad Muakkassa, and was a generous and regular benefactor to the orphanage at Beit al-Yateem. Dr. Kamel served as president of DOCO for more than a decade, joining hands with our generous American Druze Community in raising funds and providing medication and medical equipment for the benefit of the Druze Orphanages in Lebanon and Syria, as well as many other not for profit Druze organizations.

He was especially supportive of Beit al-Yateem in Abey, Lebanon. His family, friends and colleagues donated over $44,000 in his memory to benefit the orphans. This rallying around Kamel’s beliefs is a testament to his love, devotion, and commitment. The Druze Orphanage at Beit al-Yateem named the music room after Dr. Kamel Muakkassa in recognition of his devotion and contributions.

Druze Orphans And Charitable Organization Inc