The “Sinno Family Association” was established as a direct result of an incident in the winter of 1920.
On a cold winter day of 1920, Abdul Ghani Bin Mohammad Bin Hamza was walking along the streets of Basta in Beirut in the vicinity of the late Dr. Malih Sinno's Hospital, when his shoulder hit another pedestrian's, causing an argument and almost fight to start. Fortunately, Mohammad Ali Bin Mohammad Ali (Father of the late Mohammad and Abdul Karim) was passing by; he interfered to calm everyone down and asked about the two passengers' names. To everyone's surpise, they were both Sinno family members but did not know each other.
Immediately after, Mohammad Ali visited Mohammad Radhi Bin Abdul Hameed Sinno who was a family senior and appointed his son Subhi (Abu Radhi) to go with Hadj Mohammad Ali to the house of Hadj Hassan Sinno (Father of Dr. Malih) to inform him about the incident. Many family members attended that meeting, which was shortly followed by an extensive meeting in the residence of Hadj Hassan to establish the “Sinno Family Association”. The first Administrative Board was established as a result; it was presided by Mohammad Radhi Bin Abdul Hameed Sinno, with Ahmad Abdul Qader Sinno as Vice President, Muneer Saleem Sinno as Secretary, and Mohammad Subhi Rahdi as second Secretary. It was noted that all four members derived from Abdul Qader branch of the family.
In 1921, the first Charter was issued with the slogan “Fraternity, Aid, Education”. The first statistics for the family were issued also that year in a booklet prepared by Muneer Saleem Sinno, however, those statistics covered only the male members and excluded all females.
The First Administrative Board remained in charge until 1937, and its activities were limited to charity, aid and family connections.
On December 1, 1937, the second Charter prepared by Lawyer Tawfiq Sinno was issued, and an Adminstrative Board of 23 members was elected as follows:
Dr. Malih Sinno, President
Tawfic Ali Sinno, Vice President
Muneer Saleem Sinno, Secretary
Mohammad Abdul Qader Sinno, Treasurer
Members: Saeed Sinno, Fuad Abdul Fattah Sinno, Aref Hamzeh Sinno, Jameel Othman Sinno, Ahmad Abdul Qader Sinno, Arslan Khalil Sinno, Mohammad Abdul Hafeez Sinno, Mohammad Ali Sinno, Rasheed Ameen Sinno, Mahmood Hassan Sinno, Subhi Radhi Sinno, Yahya Hamza Sinno, Abdul Badih Saleem Sinno, Mohammad Jameel Sinno, Abdul Kareem Sinno, Shafeeq Jameel Sinno, Mohammad Hassan Sinno, Muhieddeen Hamza Sinno, Mustapha Hamza Sinno.
The former president, Mr. Mohammad Radhi Sinno was appointed Honorary President.
In 1940, according to the verbal testimony of a number of family members, a new Administrative Board presided by Fouad Abdul Fatah Sinno was elected, however, no information besides this was provided about it. The late Bahauddeen Rashed Sinno mentions in his book entitled: “The Sinno Family, Hisotry and Statistics”, that a conflict arose among the members of the Board. This conflict limited the Board's public activities to minor formal visits such as the one paid to the President of the Republic Sheikh Bshara Al Khoury and Prime Minister Riyad Al Solh to ask for their intervention to free Rasheed Ameen Sinno (a Family Board Member in 1937), Media Manager in Sanaa, who was arrested and accused of belonging to the Free Front in the Kingdom of Yemen. This was the group that executed an armed coup which lead to the assassination of the President, Imam Yehya Bin Hameeduddeen in 1947. The efforts of the Lebanese officials were successful and Rasheed was released as a result.
Except for minor activities, the Association went on passively until 1964, when a number of young family members gathered in the residence of Dr. Wafeeq Musbah Sinno in Khaldeh and decided to revive the association and its activities after it was inhibited for a long time. On the Day of Eid Al Fitr of the same year, another meeting was held in the residence of Baheej Hassan Sinno. Many family members attended that meeting, and they all unanimously hoped and requested for action to activate the association. The attendees learned about the illness of one family member, and his need for help, and they all offered donations to assist him and his family. On March 1st of the same year, a third meeting took place in the residence of the late Arslan Sinno; the meeting was called for by his son Mohammad Arslan Sinno, and it resulted with a broad invitation to the General Meeting of the Family in the “Children Paradise” School in Khaldeh on 24/5/1964, which lead to the election of a Founding Committee on 14/6/1964.
The first Administrative Board for this new stage included 12 members, namely:
Dr. Wafic Musbah Sinno, President
Mr. Rasheede Ameen Sinno, Vice President
Mr. Ameen Mustapha Sinno, Secretary
Mr. Baheej Hassan Sinno, Representative to the Government
Mr. Mohammad Ahmad Saleem Sinno, Treasurer
Hassan Abdul Qader Sinno, Rasheed Afeef Sinno, Engineer Assem Abdul Badih Sinno, Rashed Saleem Sinno, Aoun Saleem Sinno, Engineer Hesham Abdul Badih Sinno- Members.
Successive Board elections took place in 1969, 1971, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1997. In 1998, amendments to the Charter were ratified, among which was increasing the number of Board members to 24, and changing the official name of the association to the “Sinno Family League”. A new Board was formed consequently as follows:
Prof. Wafic Sinno, President
Raji Yahya Sinno, Vice President
Lawyer Ameen Mustapha Sinno, Representative to the Government
Awatef Muhieddeen Sinno, Secretary
Mohammad Ahmad Othman Sinno, Treasurer
Issam Abdul Qader Sinno,, Accountant
Engineer Hesham Abdul Badih Sinno, General Coordinator
Najla Sinno Tabbara, Aida Mohammad Sinno, Nada Mahmood Sinno Houri, Heba Shbaro Sinno, Jehad Baheej Sinno, Khaled Ahmad Sinno, Rasheed Afeef Sinno, Ali Wajeeh Sinno, Dr. Faisal Badreddeen Sinno, Malik Wajeeh Sinno, Mohammad Ahmad Sinno, Nabeel Shafeeq Sinno, Dr. Abdul Raoof Muhieddeen Sinno, Mohammad Mahmood Sinno, Mohammad Khaled Muhieddeen Sinno- Members.
In 2001 and again in 2004, new boards were elected, and in 2007, another amendment to the Charter was ratified to introduce the following changes:
· The number of board members became 18
· Six seats were reserved to male and female members under the age of 40
· the establishment of the Board of Advisors, consisting of 10 members whose role is to study and advise on matters referred to it by the Administrative Board.
· The Administrative Board President's term will not exceed two consecutive terms (6 years), and in addition to the League's Charter and Internal Regulations, the Administrative Board elected in 2004 ratified also a new Financial System, which was considered to be a premiere in any family association, and it described budgeting principles and applications in a simplified way, in addition to criteria for financial aid.
New elections took place early in 2008. Detailed information is provided under the appropriate tabs in this website, along with brief biographies about the members.
The first Internal Regulations for the Sinno Family Association were issued in 1921, however, no copies were kept on record. New regulations and amendments were ratified in 1937, 1965, 1998 and 2007. These show the development and progress of social family work within a family that is considered to be one of the oldest families of Beirut, and Lebanon in general, but also the most experienced in family organization.
Below is an overview of those amendments:
A- Membership Criteria:
Item 5 of the Internal Regulations of 1937 stipulated that: All male adults of the Sinno Family (18 years and above) are members of the association by default and they have the right to attend its meetings and participate in its discussions during the general assemblies.
In the system of 1965, item 1 of the membership criteria stipulated that a member of the Association should be:
· a Sinno family member,
· from a Sinno father,
· male or female, even when the female is married to someone from another family.
In the system of 1998, the following was stipulated: A member should be:
· a Sinno family member,
· from a Sinno father,
· male or female, even when the female is married to someone from another family,
· wives of Sinno family members.
The system of 2007 kept those changes.
From the above, it is quite obvious that members in 1937, and probably in 1921 were only male members. However, in 1965, members included both males and females, and in 1998, wives of Sinno family members were also granted membership.
B- Goals of the League:
· The second item of the 1937 Internal Regulation System stipulated the following:
The objective of the establishment of this association is to consider the various ways of bringing benefit to the Sinno Family such as helping the needy in the family, educating smart children, offering care to the sick and elderly people, family bonding and connections, solving problems amicably among family members, as well as with other individuals whenever possible. The Association also aimed at improving the educational level within the family, organizing gatherings with returns to family members, and literature, health and history lectures, in addition to other events of public interest.
· In the system of 1965, the second item stipulated that the objective of the Association is to bring family members together, and create bonding among them. It is also to improve the standing of the family in general and of every individual member of it. It also aims at socially organizing the family and offering help and aid to entitled members.
· The second item of the 1998 system adopted the objectives stated in the 1965 system, with the addition of the last statement: “to encourage the productive and outstanding individuals of the family and to develop their potentials and abilities of each one of them”. The slogan of the association was also amended to become: “Fraternity- Education- Development”.
· The third item of the system of 2007 however, defines the objectives as follows:
· Bringing the family members together and creating strong bonding among them
· Increasing awareness among the family members with a focus on education and counseling
· Socially organizing the family
· Offering help and aid to the members entitled for that.
· Developing the potentials and abilities of the family members and encouraging the achievers among them.
C- Number of the Administrative Board Members
The sixth item of the 1937 system determines the number of the Administrative Board between 12 and 20, whereas the 1965 system determines it at 12, and the 1998 system at 24, until the system of 2007 brought it down to 18 members.
D- Membership Fees
· In its eleventh item, the 1937 system determined the membership fees for the Board members to be 25 Syrian pence, and the eighteenth item stipulated that any member who does not attend a Board's meetings without an acceptable excuse will be deemed to pay the sum of 25 Syrian pence as a donation to the Association's fund.
· In the fifteenth item of the 1965 system, the annual membership fee was set at 12 Lebanese Pounds as a minimum, payable in installments as determined by the Board.
· The sixteenth item of the 1998 system set the minimum annual fee at 60,000 LBP. However, the actual annual fee was double that minimum, ie 120,000 LBP.
· The 2007 system set the annual membership fee at 60,000 LBP for members aged above 30, and decreased it to 30,000 LBP for members aged between 20 and 30.
No committees were ever mentioned before 1965. In fact, the thirteenth item of the system of that year mentions four committees, namely: the Statistics Committee, the Financial Aid Committee, the Schools Committee and the Committee for Support and Cooperation with the Self Employed Family Members.