The Family Council
The first phase, called the Family Council, was launched in 1987 to institutionalise the process that would strengthen the Al-Dabbagh family. The Family Council consisted of immediate and extended family members of all ages and all genders, including in-laws. Within the Family Council a number of initiatives and activities were introduced, such as the Family Fund that was created to support any family member in need of help. The Fund consists of monthly contributions from all members, including the youngest, correlated to their economic status; it offers soft loans with relaxed terms to family members, and precludes the need for them to reach out to outside sources.
The annual gathering is another initiative of the Family Council. Every year for the last 25 years, the family, which has as many as 600 members, meets on the third day of Eid Al-Fitr. The annual gathering has the effect of creating solidarity and maintaining a sense of identity.
Another initiative ensures that the young generation excels in education by offering a variety of incentives, including cash awards. Cash awards are given for achieving high marks, for completing stages of education (such as moving onto the next grade) and for graduating with degrees. The award is correlated to the stage, so for instance a PhD would earn the highest award.
There are many smaller initiatives, such as the blood-group directory, which facilitates the process of blood donations for anyone in need. The story goes on, encouraging the creation of a cohesive family identity and the sustainability of the family and its objectives.