Students at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) are working to drum up support for the family of laboratory coordinator Hassan Kamal Hussein, who was killed in an accidental lab explosion on campus last month.
Hussein, an Egyptian expat, was the sole casualty of the blast, which occurred at a third-floor Petroleum Engineering (PETE) lab.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation, but several TAMUQ community members said that a vapor–liquid separator inside the lab had burst. A spokeswoman from the university declined to comment on the investigation.
Over the past week, students at TAMUQ have been collecting funds for Hussein’s family with the help of Qatar Charity.
In an email sent out to the TAMUQ and Education City community urging donations, the students quoted a saying of Prophet Muhammad:
“When a person dies, all his good deeds cease except for three: a continuous charity, beneficial knowledge, and a righteous son who supplicates him.”
So far, two stations have been set up to receive donations – one at TAMUQ, and one at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University student center.
The goal was to initially give the collection to Qatar Charity in Hussein’s name, but Wisam Sabek, the vice-president of SBG, said the focus shifted after he met with the deceased’s family. Speaking to Doha News, he said:
“The day after the incident, I visited (his) house and met his wife. She doesn’t work. She didn’t even have a driving license. He has four children, aged 6, 8, 11, and 12, approximately. Without the father, where were they going to get money for their education and daily needs? We decided to start a charity drive immediately.”
However, a small portion of the funds will still be given to QC, Dina Mahmoud, said the president of TAMUQ’s student body government (SBG).
So far, some QR70,000 has been raised for Hussein’s family. According to Sabek, most of the donations have been made in person, but some have been made by proxy, or, in the case of some corporations, directly to the university.
To direct the funds, the SBG, along with TAMUQ administration, are setting up a bank account for Hussein’s wife.
Funds from the boxes are collected at the end of each day and handed to the university to process.
A stream of TAMUQ volunteers has been manning the donation boxes from 10am to 5pm everyday.
However, an inability to fill up all time slots, and the decision to change the nature of the charity drive has prompted the SBG to end the project early.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, June 11) will be the last day that donations will be collected.
“We feel like we’ve collected a substantial amount of funds,” Mahmoud said. “It was getting increasingly difficult to find people to cover the slots – there are over 75 half-hour slots that need to be manned, and people are busy.”
According to the students, faculty is also contributing funds in a separate charity drive headed by Muna Al Kailani, an Immigration Manager at TAMUQ. Al Kailani was not available for comment.
The SBG has also expressed interest in holding an event to honor Hussein, although details haven’t yet been ironed out, Mahmoud said.
Meanwhile, Hussein’s wife is now looking for a job to support her family. Sabek said:
“I spoke to her (Sunday) morning. She got back on Thursday after traveling to Egypt for the funeral. She’s trying to be strong for her children, but she’s scared too – about them, about the future.”
To contribute to the fund, contact Mahmoud at 66913699 or Sabek at 55740484, or visit the donation boxes at Education City.