The Sinno family has a strong sense of its own identity as a social unit through history, with its own association, website, Facebook page, and Twitter handle.
It is generally accepted that the original name of the family was “Sunna” referring to the family’s strong commitment to Islam and the Sunna (doctrine of the Prophet). The family originated in Morocco and migrated to Beirut over 600 years ago. According to Dr. Yussef Bin Ahmad Bin Ali Al Husseini, the Sinno family was among the seven families of Beirut who made a historical agreement with the governor of the city in 1351 to defend the city against the Crusaders. From the 2003 book “Beirut and its Seven Families” by Dr. Husseini.
In 1920 two men almost got into a fight in Beirut. When someone came to mediate, it was found that both men were members of the Sinno family who didn’t know each other. Efforts to mediate the conflict led to the establishment of the Sinno family association in 1921. In 1998 the official name of the association became the Sinno Family League. In 2007 a further amendment established the number of board members as 18 of which six seats each were reserved for male and female members under the age of 40. A review of the amendments to the charter have documented the evolution of social changes within one of the oldest families in Beirut and possibly the most experienced in family organization.
The most noted changes in the boundaries of inclusion are:
1937: All male adults of the Sinno family (18 years and above)
1965: Male and female members, from a Sinno father, even when the female is married outside the Sinno family
1998: Wives of Sinno family members are included Since its establishment, the association has been concerned with creating stronger bonds among family members and settling intra-family disputes. The current president, Faisal Badraddin Sinno (who is also vice president of the Makassed Islamic Philanthropic Association) notes that as much as 90% of the work of the Sinno Family League is to collect alms, “zakat” from its wealthier members to provide for the health and social needs of its most needy members, as well as supporting the educational development of its most capable.
Notable Family Members
Kamal Sinno – Lebanese Food Bank
Kamal Sinno is the co-founder and president of the Lebanese Food Bank (LBF) that was established in 2011 to eliminate hunger in all Lebanon. LFB collects unserved food from hotels, restaurants and catering companies as well as dry foods, and surplus produce from farmers markets, distributing the food (as well as clothes, furniture, and appliances) to those who need it most, through a network of some 65 NGOs all over Lebanon.
Tarek Sinno – Fashion Designer
Tarek Sinno was born into a family actively involved in the textile industry with factories and shops in Beirut and beyond. He launched his first workshop at the age of 20. Tarek Sinno Haute Couture creations, which have been shown in Lebanon, Paris, New York and elsewhere, include high end fashion evening dresses and bridal gowns, many with exquisite embroidery.
Hamed Sinno – Lead singer of Mashrou’ Leila
The band Mashrou’ Leila, formed in 2008, has consciously chosen not to conform to standards of sound and appearance that would garner the support of the mainstream musical industry or media.
To the contrary the Arabic lyrics of Mashrou’ Leila music provocatively challenge the status quo by addressing controversial themes related to Lebanese society, politics and sexuality. The band has produced three albums and performed to sold out audiences in Beirut, Cairo, Paris, Amsterdam, Montreal, Tunis, Geneva, Amman, Serbia, Dubai, and Barcelona. In April 2015, they became the first Middle Eastern artists to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Dr. Hani Sinno – Facial aesthetics and Reconstructive Surgeon – Quebec
Teaches at both the Université de Montréal and McGill University – a volunteer with Operation Smile, an international medical mission to correct the cleft lip and palate deformities of underprivileged children living in third world countries.
- Abdel-Raouf Sinno: Lebanese University (Modern and Contemporary History)
- Abdulkader Sinno: Indiana University, Bloomington (Political Science/Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
- Ahyaf Sinno: Université Saint Joseph (Vice Rector for Arab and Islamic Studies)
- Dana Sinno, Colorado State University, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
- Durriyah Sinno, American University of Beirut Medical Center (Pediatrics)
- Nada Sinno Saoud: American University of Beirut (Biology).
- Nadine Adel Sinno: Virginia Tech (Arabic language)
- Nisrine Sinno: Lebanese University (Computing in Mathematics, Natural Science, Engineering and Medicine)
- Sammy Sinno: New York University School of Medicine (Hospital Operations)
- Stefanie Sinno, Muhlenberg College, PennsylvaniaEngineering (Psychology)
- Ralph R. Sinno, Emeritus Professor, Mississippi State University (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
- Talid R. Sinno, University of Pennsylvania, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) /Mechanical and Applied Mechanics
- Wafic Sinno – Université Saint Joseph – Renowned eye surgeon. He is famous for assisting needy people during the Lebanese civil war