Omar Al-Qattan started his professional life as a filmmaker and is now a businessman and philanthropist. Born in Beirut of Palestinian parents, he moved to the UK in 1975 and now chairs the A M Qattan Foundation, which was set up by his late parents, Abdel Mohsin and Leila Al Qattan.
The foundation works principally in Palestine in the areas of culture and education in pursuit of ‘a just, free, enlightened, and tolerant society with an active global presence, one that embraces dialogue and produces knowledge, art and literature’.
Omar Al-Qattan chaired the task force responsible for setting up the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit. Though he is interested in promoting civil rights and cultural freedoms for all Palestinians, he is less interested in religious brands of nationalism or philanthropy. He tells Alliance editor, Charles Keidan, why and talks about what he believes diaspora philanthropy can and cannot do in Palestine.
What is your family background and how did you come to London?