Vision & Mission

Our mission is to improve the lives of Palestinian children and other children in crisis through development and emergency relief.

Board of Directors

All board members can be contacted through the offices of KinderUSA.

Dr. Laila Al-Marayati

KinderUSA Chairperson

Dr. Laila Al-Marayati has been an activist in the American Muslim community for many years, and she cofounded the Muslim Women’s League (MWL), an organization dedicated to strengthening the role of Muslim women in society. Al-Marayati also spearheaded the MWL’s efforts on behalf of rape survivors from the war in Bosnia, and was a member of the official U.S. Delegation to the 1995 U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing. She has also served as a Presidential Appointee to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Al-Marayati’s activism centers around women’s rights in Islam, reproductive health and sexuality, and violence against women. As the chairperson of KinderUSA, Dr. Al-Marayati helps provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian children in the West Bank, Gaza, and Lebanon. Currently, she is the Medical Director of Women’s Health at a Los Angeles community clinic and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Basil Abdelkarim

KinderUSA co-founder

Dr. Basil Abdelkarim is a Board-certified physician in internal medicine. He has been on the KinderUSA board for 15 years, and has been practicing medicine in Southern California since 1996. Dr. Abdelkarim has been active in the rights of children through his writing for numerous publications and speaking engagements across the United States. Born in the U.S. to Palestinian immigrants, Dr. Abdelkarim has continually sought relief for Palestinians through charitable work. In 2002, he helped found KinderUSA, along with two others.

Dr. Jess Ghannam

KinderUSA Board Treasurer

Dr. Jess Ghannam is a clinical professor and the Chief of Medical Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is currently Board Treasurer, and has been on the board for a total of nine years. Ghannam earned his Masters and Doctorate in Psychology at University of California-Berkeley in 1981 and 1984, (respectively), and a Masters in Medical Sciences at UC-Berkeley in 1983. He also practices at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Ghannam applies his knowledge not only in the scholastic arena, but also in the humanitarian realm, publishing about—and taking speaking engagements that focus on—children suffering from PTSD.

Dr. Bassil Kublaoui

Dr. Kublaoui is currently an attending physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Formerly, he held an Assistant Professorship of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Kublaoui did his post-doctoral training and residency in the Harvard Internal Medicine/Pediatrics program. His specialty is Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. He has been a KinderUSA board member since 2008.

Mrs. Margaret S. King

Margaret S. King has held various educational positions in her lifetime. She has a B.A. in sociology from American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and a M.A. in Anthropology from New York University. In 1978, King and her husband were transferred to Saudi Arabia, where they lived for nine years in both Jeddah and Dhahran. King has been a community activist in charities and a public speaker on subjects that include politics, religion, and social studies. In 2000, she retired to concentrate on her independent scholarly research and writing. King has used her training as an anthropologist to study Middle Eastern cultures from ancient history to the modern era, incorporating all the latest discoveries in archaeology, anthropology, linguistic studies, and biblical scholarship. She is also a collector of antiquities.