“Those who have children will never die”, is the old Arabic saying Hadeel Khushaim begins the conversation with. “This means that children will carry on their legacy or do good deeds in their deceased parent’s names.”
Hadeel and Nabil, her husband, recently created an emerging fund in her father’s name to accomplish this. An academic who released over 40 books, Dr. Ali F. Khushaim lived a remarkable life and was a prestigious man in the Arabic region. However, it is the other side of her father they wants to honour: “He was a very philanthropic man. It wasn’t highly publicized but he was a major patron for causes and events and institutions that helped children; especially those in need.” The emerging fund will officially be named the Dr. Ali F. Khushaim Fund for Children in Need as soon as it reaches a minimum of $10,000 and can begin disbursing to charities that help children in need.
Continuing Dr. Khushaim’s philanthropic legacy is important to Hadeel, as she sees it as her duty as a daughter.
Charity plays a large role in Muslim culture, with people expected to donate a certain portion of their yearly earnings to charity. This fund allows Hadeel and Nabil to satisfy this need while also honouring her father’s legacy- a perfect combination.
The couple came to Fredericton on Boxing Day 2012, leaving Libya following the revolution. Canada was their dream location to move to, and when Nabil was accepted as a funded graduate student, Fredericton was their new home. Upon arrival here they were astounded by the friendly and welcoming nature of the community: “The people of Fredericton were very friendly and welcoming.” said Hadeel. “No one turns you down and everyone is smiling and happy.” This made the couple decide to settle here, and with a baby on the way there is no chance of them leaving. Even Nabil’s parents are moving here this year!
“I’m not a very lucky person, and I think that it because I’ve exhausted all my luck just being able to come here.” said Nabil, with little prompting. Their love for Fredericton’s community is obvious and they feel their fund with the Foundation is a great place to give back.
But despite their love of Fredericton, their real motivation has always been the example set by Hadeel’s father. She was raised in a household that centred around the idea of always giving and helping others, and this is something that Hadeel still carries with her to this day.
“My father inspired me since I was little to be giving, always be giving and never expect to receive. He always encouraged me to give; not just money but a helping hand. Just give.” Hadeel explains before launching into another story about her father helping out strangers in his community.
Since her father’s passing in 2011 she has learnt more about the many different ways that he helped others and of his philanthropic reputation:
“People would come to his office in need, and people never left his office without having their needs met.” Nabil interjects, as Hadeel nods.
“Once you go to his door, he wouldn’t turn you away.” she muses.
Her father’s focus was primarily on children in poverty, as he had a very difficult upbringing himself. He believed that no child should have to grow up in the conditions he did and therefore put his efforts into changing this. This is the cause that Hadeel and Nabil’s new fund will also benefit:
“He had such a hard and difficult childhood; he was born in 1936 in Libya where, at that point, oil was not discovered. They just didn’t have enough food to go around. He was always hungry and always cold. Now I can see how that affected him. I see now how important the cause of helping children was to him.” This fund is the perfect way to honour Hadeel’s father and continue his philanthropic mission to guarantee that no children live the way he had to.
Hadeel and Nabil are relative new comers to Fredericton and yet felt so accepted by the community that they wanted to contribute to making it even better. They have created a lifelong legacy for Hadeel’s father, continuing his great philanthropic work, and fulfilling their own charitable obligations. Their contribution to our community has benefitted everyone and we’re proud to be able to continue Dr. Khushaim’s legacy and helping less fortunate children out of poverty.
Hadeel, Nabil and the Fredericton Community Foundation would be very appreciative of donations to help this emerging fund grow, so that one day soon, the Dr. Ali F. Khushaim Fund for Children in Need will be able to be officially named and begin disbursing grants to help children in our community.
Donations can be made by cash, cheque or credit card. Cheques should be made out to “Fredericton Community Foundation” with a note in the memo section indicating “Dr. Ali F. Khushaim Fund”. Credit cards are accepted over the phone, in person or through Canada Helps or PayPal by clicking the donate button:
If using CanadaHelps, please select “Emerging Dr. Ali F. Khushaim Fund”from the drop-down menu.
If using PayPal, click, “Add special instructions to the seller” and type, “Emerging Dr. Ali F. Khushaim Fund”.
You do NOT have to have a PayPal account to pay using this service. It will accept your credit card.