ASAI has a rich history, as an educational Foundations worthy of expression, especially this year (2021) ASAI is celebrating its 45th anniversary. ASAI was established in 1976 advocating the concept of financially assisting needy and outstanding Arab students which was eminent due to prevailing instability of economic and social circumstances as in the case of Palestinians and other Arab students. This sector was deprived of university education due to lack of academic institutions and inability to finance education abroad.
Four brothers took the initiative of establishing a non-for-profit foundation, (Late) Dr. Joseph Qutub, Prof. Musa Qutub, (Late) Mr. Dawood Qutub, and Prof. Ishaq Al-Qutub. The first step was to conduct a feasibility study which reflected a real need expressed by parents, businessmen, and the education sector. The result suggested to establish an organization to care for the needy and outstanding students to complete their university and post graduate studies.
The first Board of Directors was established, in the State of Kuwait consisting of remarkable Kuwaiti and Arab Businessmen, who believed in the establishment of the first Arab Student Aid International. Such names included:
(Late) Dr. Dawood Musaed Al Saleh, Prof. Moudi Al Hmoud, Mr. Khalid Abu Saud, (Late) Mohammad Hadi Al-Awadi, (Late) Abdul Aziz Shakshier, (Late) Anwar Al Nouri, Mr. Said Khouri, Omar Al Qouqa, Mrs. Luluah Al Mullah, and others.
The main objective is to provide the opportunity for outstanding Arab students to pursue university education abroad by extending INTEREST FREE LOANS to underprivileged students
ASAI was registered in USA as a not for profit, not political, independent, tax exempt educational foundation
Two years later, another group of Trustees was organized in Palestine, with membership of (Late) H.E. Mesbah Al-Kazimi, Dr. Mahdi Abdul Hadi, Dr. Arafat Al Hidmi, (Late) Salim Qutub, (Late) Medhat Kannan, and others
Five years later, another group of Trustees, was formed in Jordan, with membership of: (Late) Abdul Hamid Shouman, (Late) Ziad Ennab, Mr. Ali Hamdi Mango, Mr. Munir Attallah, H.E. Suliman Arar, and others.
(Late) HRH Prince Turki Ben Abdul Aziz Al-Saud Chairman of ASAI
A landmark was when (Late) HRH Prince Turki Ben Abdel Aziz Al Saud became the Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1982. A group of Trustees was established in Saudi Arabia, with membership of HE Skiekh Abdul Aziz Al-Suliman, Harb Al Zuhair, Mr. Omar Al Aqqad. Mr. Mohammad Qaddoura and others.
Ten years later, fourth group of Trustees was formed in UK, consisting of: Lord Eyan Gilmour, Mr. David Blakely, Dr. Derek Hopwood, Mr. Simon Burham, Dr. Jamal Nasser, and others.
Eight years later two other Trustee groups were established: one in Lebanon, with the membersip of H.E. Salim Ul Huss, and Others, two, in the United Arab Emirates, with membership of: HH Skiek Khalifa Al-Naboutha, Mr. Riadh Sadeq, Mr. Khalaf Al Habtour and others.
In 2008 Princess Alia Al-Tabaa’ became Chairperson of the Board of Trustees in Jordan. It was needed to open branches for ASAI in different regions due to the benefits for the students, and services that ASAI can achieve in the development of human resources and capacity building.
A branch in Jordan was established in the year 2009 Another branch was opened in United Kingdom in 1998. A third branch was registered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2017. The reasons for this trend were several: such as opportunities for fund raising, acquisition of scholarships from respected universities, the increasing demand for the services provided to students and educational institutions.
In spite of the epidemic Coronavirus, in 2020, ASAI is continuing its programs and projects in providing financial aid to needy and outstanding students and programs in capacity development for NGOs and civil society institutions.