Dr. George Wahab
In 1948, when he was but eleven years old, George Wahab's family, Palestinian Christians, was forced from their homeland as it was partitioned. To avoid ending up in a refugee camp, they fled to Egypt. But George remembers that they were not welcome and the family struggled. He shared the still vivid memory of how his father's entry visa was stamped "MAY NOT WORK, EITHER FOR PAY OR FOR NO PAY" for a period of three years. All they had to live on during that time was the money they carried with them from Palestine.
Though he was young, George has never forgotten that it was Church World Service who paid the fees enabling him and his siblings to attend primary school and provided the only clothes he had as a schoolboy.
After graduating from secondary school in 1955, George tried to come to the United States, but was told there was a 20-year wait. He persevered and put himself through medical school in Egypt. But in 1963, he was allowed to immigrate to Canada and, again, it was Church World Service that provided timely support by giving him a loan to pay the airfare for his flight from Egypt.
Once in Canada, Dr. Wahab completed his residency as an OB anesthesiologist and met and married his French Canadian wife, Kathleen, who was a registered nurse. Later a hospital in San Diego County recruited Dr. Wahab to join their staff so they relocated to San Diego, CA where he practiced medicine and they raised their four children.
Now retired, Dr. Wahab turned 70 ½ in 2007, and that enabled him to make gifts directly from his IRA. With appreciation for his near lifetime association with Church World Service, Dr. Wahab and his wife provided a significant and much-appreciated gift. He was very clear in telling us why they made the gift: "I admire your work. Your aid is not denied to anyone. You provide it with no expectations or proselytizing - and I am a beneficiary." We thank Dr. Wahab for this gift and for sharing his story with us.
Dr. Wahab is one of many Church World Service donors who collectively gave IRA gifts totalling just over $300,000 in 2007. He is also one of the many former refugees who faithfully support the work of Church World Service.
What is your story? How has Church World Service touched your life over the years?
-- Ronald Blaum, Director of Gift and Estate Planning