- Published on Monday, 28 May 2012 11:33
Washington Post by Matt Schudel
Fahim I. Qubain, 88, an authority on the Middle East who was a founder of the Hope Fund, a charitable group that provides college scholarships to Palestinian students, died April 16 at his home in Lexington, Va. He had an infection after a hip fracture, said his wife, Nancy Qubain.
Dr. Qubain came to Washington in 1956 and was research director for the Middle East Institute. He wrote four books about Middle Eastern and Arab affairs and was a consultant to various agencies of the U.S. government.
He moved to Lexington in 1974 and owned a series of motels. He maintained a home in Rockville and continued to write about Middle Eastern matters for newspapers and other journals.
After reading an article about a Palestinian youth in The Washington Post Magazine by journalist Geraldine Brooks in 1999, Dr. Qubain and Brooks founded the Hope Fund to provide scholarships to U.S. colleges for needy Palestinian students. During the past school year, more than 30 students were in enrolled in colleges, including Georgetown University, through the Hope Fund.
Fahim Issa Qubain was born in Ajloun, Jordan, into a Christian Arab family. He became a Quaker while attending a school in Palestine. He came to the United States in 1946 and briefly worked as a clerk with the Palestinian delegation at the United Nations.
He graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., in 1948 and received a doctorate in political science and international relations from the University of Wisconsin in 1957.
In 2011, Dr. Qubain and his wife received the Alex Odeh Memorial Award from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee for their work in education.
His marriage to Elaine Christeson ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Nancy Frees Qubain of Lexington and Rockville; a son from his first marriage, Philip Qubain of Taos, N.M.; two children from his second marriage, Edward Qubain of Lexington and Helen Qubain of Lexington and Rockville; and two granddaughters.