Dr Kannout was a Syrian-American doctor who was a key advisor in MALA’s founding

At MALA’s Third Annual Gala on Nov. 6, the MALA community took time to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Fawaz Kannout, who passed away earlier this year after a courageous battle with cancer. MALA leadership presented him with the organization’s “Visionary Leadership Award,” which was accepted by Dr. Kannout’s wife, Amneh, and daughter, Lynn.

In memory of Dr. Kannout’s impact on our communities, MALA is proud to launch the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship Fund.  This fund will ensure the continuation of Dr. Kannout’s legacy by providing opportunities for young leaders to engage with the arts and with cultural initiatives.  MALA will also host a series of Syrian American cultural celebrations in 2019. Together, the MALA community will ensure that Dr. Kannout’s legacy, his energy, and his commitment to building accepting and diverse community live on.

If you would like to contribute to the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship Fund, please visit MALA’s GlobalGiving page, select the amount of your donation, and specify that your donation is in honor of Dr. Kannout.

The following tribute was delivered by MALA cofounder Zainab Khan at the Gala:


Cultivating leadership has always been a core mission of MALA. Through the past three years, the organization has grown and thrived to reach significant milestones, all due to the leadership of our local community members.

This year, MALA is recognizing and awarding our heroes and community builders who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in the communities they have helped developed.

Excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact within a community or the nation are among the criteria used to select this year’s recipients.

MALA is deeply honored this year to award the “Visionary Leadership Award” in memory of Dr. Fawaz Kannout. Dr. Kannout provided thoughtful and effective leadership as a lifelong champion of arts, cultural, humanitarian, and initiatives. He was also a role model: a person of extraordinary wisdom and an individual of exceedingly high standards who was generous with his talent and time.

Dr. Kannout was an immigrant from Syria, and established Maya Family Dental in Chicago as a dynamic, vibrant practice that served people from all walks of life. A patron of music, Dr. Kannout was passionate about sharing and celebrating his dynamic cultural heritage. He was also a selfless humanitarian, often times lending his voice and leadership to help assist with life-saving disaster relief.

In 2016, Dr. Kannout left us after a battle with cancer. Though his time with us was limited, the impact he had on all of us is life-long. Even throughout his illness, Dr. Kannout remained optimistic and his smile was all that we needed to ensure hope for tomorrow.

In addition to commemorating the lifetime achievements of Dr. Kannout, MALA is launching a Scholarship Fund under his name to help preserve and carry out his lasting legacy in the field of arts and culture.

Joining us tonight in honoring Dr. Kannout’s legacy and vision are his wife, Amneh, and daughter, Lynn. Please join me in welcoming them this evening.


MALA's Third Annual Gala Honored Dr Fawaz Kannout



Above: Lynn Kannout (left) and Amneh Kannout (right) at MALA Third Annual Gala.

To see more photos from MALA’s Third Annual Gala at the Chicago History Museum, visit MALA’s Flickr page.

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