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Jamil Hashweh

Visionary Advocate for the Blind

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Date of Birth:



Gaza, Ottoman Empire

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Founding the Arab Organization for the Welfare of the Blind and pioneering Braille in Arabic.

Brief bio

Jamil Hashweh was a notable Palestinian figure who dedicated his life to enhancing the welfare of the visually impaired. Overcoming personal adversity, he lost his sight in childhood but went on to achieve remarkable feats in education and social work.

Major Milestones


  • Overcame blindness: Contracted a severe eye disease in childhood, resulting in blindness.

  • Educational achievements: Graduated with honors from a German boarding school mastering multiple languages.

  • Founded organizations: Established the Arab Organization for the Welfare of the Blind in 1932.

  • Literary contributions: Founded and edited the first Arabic Braille magazine in 1950.

  • Award recognition: Received the Al Istiqlal (Independence) Medal from King Hussein of Jordan for his services.

  • Development of Arabic Braille: Played a crucial role in adapting Braille to the Arabic language.

  • Educational support: Managed the Helen Keller House’s new transcribing division for Arabic educational materials.

  • Social work: Served on the executive committee of the Union of Social Welfare organizations in the West Bank.

  • Cultural contributions: Authored hymns and poems, enriching Palestinian cultural heritage.

  • Expansion of services: Established additional branches of the Arab Blind Organization in Hebron and Amman.

Date of Last Update: 
July 8, 2024

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