Model Role Details

Jameel Hashweh

Jameel Hashweh

Sector : Academic Figures , Instructors

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Palestine
  • Gender : Male
  • Born in : 1903
  • Age : 113
  • Curriculum vitae :


Jamil Issa Hashweh 27/11/ 1903 – 07 /1982 Jamil Issa Hashweh was born in Gaza on November 27, 1903. He was the second child born to Issa Hanna Hashweh and Shafiqua Masaad. Jamil Hashweh grew up in a big household amongst 10 siblings- 5 brothers and 5 sisters. During the first decade of the 1900s, Beer-Sheeba, in southern Palestine was experiencing a major revival and many Gazan families were heading east to the city. Amongst them were two merchant brothers, Daoud and Issa Hashweh and their families. Jamil was barely five years old at the time. In addition to their trading activities, his father and uncle were granted influential positions in the city council. While Daoud was elected Mukhtar (head of the Christian Community), Issa was a member of the city council. During Jamil's childhood, a blinding eye disease pandemic hit the area and unfortunately Jamil was infected. Due to poor and limited medical services, he lost his eyesight. His father, Issa, decided to register him in a German boarding school (Schneller) in Jerusalem where he graduated with honors and mastered Arabic, German, and English languages. After graduation in the 1920s Jamil Hashweh was appointed as a teacher at the American School in Beer-Sheeba. This school was reputable and Jamil helped produce many successful graduates. It also belonged to the Christian and Missionary Alliance and Jamil became the First Elder of the church. He also volunteered his time as an interpreter for the American preacher and the Arab attendees. Jamil was a strong Christian believer and extremely spiritual and equally worldly and open minded. At the end of 1920s, Jamil moved to Jerusalem and set up a translation office. In 1932, Jamil established the Arab Organization for the Welfare of the Blind with his friend Sobhi Al Dajani. A AUB Graduate himself, Al Dajani and Jamil devoted themselves and their services to the blind cause. The organization was located on Jaffa Gate on the border between East and West Jerusalem on Jaffa Road. The aim of the organization was to enhance and improve the lives of the blind by providing manufacturing jobs to them. The workers made wooden brushes and brooms as well as cane wood stools in the factories. Most of the equipment was designed by Jamil Hashweh himself. Due to the 1948 war, they were forced to flee and leave all their assets behind. They restarted from the ground up again in 1950 as the Arab Blind Organization, on Via Dolorosa Street in Jerusalem, where Jamil was the Managing Director and Executive Board Secretary until 1964. During this period, Jamil expanded and established two more branches of the Arab Blind Organization. One was located in Hebron in the West Bank and the other in Amman, Jordan. Something worth mentioning is Jamil Hashweh took out personal loans, without collateral, to improve the Arab Organization for the Welfare of the Blind before 1948, and paid every cent back after 1950- this was unheard of in times of war.


Achievements and Awards

In 1936, Jamil met Rose Massad in Jerusalem through mutual friends. At the time, he was looking for somebody to help him at the translation office and Rose impressively spoke Arabic, English, and German. Jamil and Rose married and God blessed them with three children: Shafiqua, Wahib and Nael. Shafiqua helped her father in the transcribing office at Helen Keller House. Then after for 23 years she headed the Finnish Kindergarten in East Jeruslem. Wahib held senior financial positions in International World Organizations in Jerusalem and hotels and real estate companies in the Gulf. Nael was one of the first hotel school graduates in Jordan and Palestine. He participated in the creation of the leading hotel management company in the Middle East, Rotana Hotels, and held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. This is besides being a member of the board of directors of the group. Jamil was extremely cultured and well-read on literature, poetry and politics. In fact, he wrote hymns for the church and other Arabic poems. In 1950, Jamil founded and edited the first Braille Arabic magazine for the blind. The magazine, “Call of Conscience”, was distributed to different Arab countries and published by Alaiye Blind School in Al Bira which was founded and managed by Sobhi Al Dajani. Jamil was a member of a team from Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine/ Jordan assigned to apply Braille into Arabic. Sobhi Al Dajani was responsible for transcribing Quran into Braille and requested Jamil to participate in proofreading the text due to his higher knowledge of Arabic language. Jamil had also headed and supervised transcribing the New Testament in Braille. In 1964, Helen Keller House requested Jamil to establish and manage its new transcribing division whose target was to transcribe Arabic education textbooks into Braille. At that time, he was assisted by his daughter, Shafiqua and continued work with Helen Keller Association until 1972. Jamil Hashweh's work and dedication were not only limited to the needs of the blind , but he was also a social worker and was for several years member of the executive committee of the Union of Social Welfare organizations in the West Bank. Jamil had a love for classical music and played the violin, piano, accordion and the flute. He was also on the board of the National Library for the Blind which provided educational university books. In appreciation for his efforts, King Hussein of Jordan decorated Jamil with Al Istiqlal (Independence) Medal. By the end of 1979, Jamil had a stroke and died in his home in Jerusalem in July 1982 at the age of 80.

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