The era of Shakib Al-Nakadi (1975 – 1991)
This was the era of consolidation and continuation in which the late Shakib Al-Nakadi wanted to relieve the worries that the Druze community had as a result of the death of Aref al-Nakadi.
Despite the drastic events that Lebanon witnessed and that influenced the Druze orphanage, Shakib al-Nakadi led a period in which he exhibited a magnificent consolidation during the two-year war 1975-1976, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (1982), the displacement and the destruction that followed in the events of Al Shahhar (1983), and not to forget the events of 1989.
The two-year-old war period (1975-1976)
Although most of the educational institutions and charity establishments in Beirut and Mount Lebanon suspended their activities, Beit al-Yateem continued to welcome orphans and children from broken families, and continued to apply its humanitarian role at its best. In addition, Shakib al-Nakadi recommended opening the doors for a larger number of people affected by the war and welcomed them to stay in Aabey. Housing was insured for them and assistance was offered to those who did not have good financial standing.
The period of the Israeli invasion and Al-Shahhar events (1982-1983)
This period was one of the most difficult phases that the institution had been through it because it was displaced and its equipment was destroyed or looted. This motivated Shakib al-Nakadi in 1983 to ask for assistance from the Islamic orphanage to house temporarily some of Beit al-Yateem’s children, and through this arrangement Beit Al-Yateem continued to secure shelter and education for its orphans.
The period of 1989 events
Beit al-Yateem welcomed some displaced families in the mid-70s, providing them with safe shelter, the same happened in 1989, proving that the orphanage is not just a centre of care for needy children, but also a shelter for citizens in need.
The accomplishments of the era of Shakib al-Nakadi include:
• The regaining of confidence in the Druze Orphanage and its consolidation.
• The completion of the nearby building which was bought by the late Aref al-Nakadi, and equipping it.
• The completion of the vocational school.
• Restoration of the Main building after it had been damaged in 1982-1983
• The completion of almost all of the works in Shakib al-Nakadi Typical School (named after his death).
• Focalisation on the intellectual legacy of the late Aref al-Nakadi.
With the death of Shakib al-Nakadi on February 15, 1991, a fruitful period came to an end and the period of the Board of Trustees began.
Achievements related to this era include:
• Completion of the Shakib Al-Nakadi Typical School
• Construction of a theatre hall for the orphanage recreational activities
• Completion of a building including apartments for rent in order to generate more income for the orphanage
• Construction of the building adjacent to the main building embodying student dormitories
• Construction of a public library and equipping it with books
• Establishment of a winter stadium
• Equipping a dental clinic and the renewal of the infirmary
• Renovating and equipping a special suite for the kindergarten
• The development of education by finishing the labs of science, electricity and electronics
Today, the Board of Trustees includes – Sami Nakadi (President), Kamal Harmouch (Vice-President) and Hayat Nakadi (Executive Director).
The school provides teaching and training in general electricity, electronics, accounting, computer science, marketing, cooling and heating and nursery education. Its main languages are Arabic and English, with French as an additional language taught to the students of Business Administration. The school provides assistance to its graduates to find employment.
The Druze Orphanage and Aref al-Nakadi vocational school rely entirely on donors’ contributions, and some assistance from the Ministry of Social Affairs (covering 28% of the running expenses), and some philanthropic organisations.
In the interests of transparency, all contributions (whether in cash or by another other means) are listed monthly, in Beit al-Yateem’s magazine – Al-Mithak.