Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Omar Alqattan

Omar Alqattan

Sector : Media, Directors

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: United Kingdom
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1964
  • Age: 58
  • Curriculum vitae :


Omar al-Qattan (born May 4, 1964) is a Palestinian Kuwaiti British film director and film producer and a cultural development expert.

Al-Qattan was born in Beirut, Lebanon to Palestinian parents. His father, Abdel Mohsin al-Qattan, came from Jaffa, which his family fled with thousands of other Arabs as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, becoming refugees. His mother, Leila Miqdadi, originally from Tulkarem, also fled Palestine with her family in 1948. Omar's parents met and married in Kuwait, where they started their careers as schoolteachers, before Abdel Mohsin first joined the Kuwaiti government as a senior manager and then started his own construction company. The family were naturalised in 1964 before moving to Beirut in 1975, where Omar lived until he was eleven years old. In 1975, the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War, drove the family to scatter and Omar was sent to England where he attended boarding school. Upon graduation from high school in 1982, he spent seven months in Cairo studying Arabic & Islamic literature and history, following which he gained a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford. After graduating, he enrolled in INSAS film school in Brussels.

l-Qattan began his filming career by directing 15 to 20-minute documentaries and dramas while at film school, including his first documentary Je suis...tu es? (1987) and his first drama La Danse (1988), followed by the award winning tragicomedy Tale of the Blind Man and the Paralytic in 1989, shown on Canal+.
Al-Qattan also continued his close association with the eminent Palestinian director Michel Khleifi, who was initially his teacher at INSAS and with whom he went on to co-produce a number of films.
His first full-length film, Dreams & Silence, was a documentary released in 1991. The film portrayed a Palestinian woman refugee in Jordan and her struggles with the religious and social constraints around her at a time of great tension and anguish during and after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The documentary received the highly prestigious Joris Ivens Award and was broadcast in five European countries and Australia. In that same year, Al-Qattan settled in London where he founded, in partnership with Khleifi, Sourat UK in 1992, which later become Sindibad Films Ltd in 1993.

Al-Qattan is also a published writer and commentator and, since 2012 chair of the Palestinian Museum steering committee of the Welfare Association and of Shubbak 2013, the festival of contemporary Arab culture in London. Since 2005, he has also been deputy chair of Al-Hani Construction and Trading in Kuwait, the family firm established by his father in 1964 .


Achievements and Awards

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