Diala Fil Rayess
Diala Fil Rayess ‘03 is a founding member and president of Tamanna, a non-profit organization that grants the wishes of the children with critical illnesses. In 2005, after the death of her 5 years-old son Karim in an accident, Diala decided to create an association that would give children suffering from critical illnesses joy, strength and hope.
The association is the first wish granting association in Lebanon. In just three years, it became one of the best-known associations in Lebanon. Its work has been covered by the local and international media.
The question Tamanna asks the child is: If you could have just one wish, what would it be? Wishes vary from having a particular toy, to meeting a celebrity, traveling or becoming someone the child hopes to be as an adult. Tamanna tries to be limited only by a child’s imagination.
Tamanna currently grants an average of three wishes a week. To date, the association has granted the wishes of more than 300 children.
What alumni & friends say about Diala:
Through Tamanna, Diala has made it possible for children with critical illnesses throughout Lebanon to escape a difficult reality, allowing them to live a magical experience and to share unforgettable moments with their family. Doctors and families tell moving stories of the impact of the wishes on the physical and emotional state of the children.
In addition, Diala has worked to involve the society in helping fulfill children’s wishes. Different sectors of the society have brought their knowledge, expertise and efforts to help realize the wishes of children with critical illnesses. One such example is a successful project realized by LAU seniors for their Marketing class. Using the drawings of the children, LAU seniors organized a fundraising “Art Exhibition” which took place at the Coral Beach Hotel. The event made it possible for Tamanna to realize the wishes of around 45 children.
Above all, Diala’s achievement has been to set a courageous example for parents who have lost a child. Through Tamanna, Diala has shown other people that grief can be transformed into a positive action for the whole society. For more information, check out Tamanna’s website.