Mariam Issa: Compassionate & Generous

Houston: With loving memories, Mariam Issa, a Houstonian for more than four decades, passed away on January 3, 2021. 

“When you give to others, it is important to give more than what is expected.”  These are words that Mariam repeatedly conveyed to her children and grandchildren – words that she learned from her father and passed down as a reflection of her own actions of compassion and generosity.

Mariam was born in Bombay, India in 1940 and migrated to Karachi, Pakistan in 1947.  Her passion for humanitarian efforts began in Pakistan.  At a young age, she learned braille so that she could tutor two blind students, who later earned degrees in English.  Mariam’s desire to serve the less fortunate moved with her when she immigrated to the United States. Taking root in the Houston community, Mariam founded many non-profit organizations and served on numerous non-profit boards – all of which allowed her to continue her unrelenting and unlimited passion for helping those in need.  Her tireless and selfless contributions within her community are countless – from assisting refugees in acclimating to their new homes, to mentoring women entrepreneurs, to organizing a team of Houston health professionals to help burn victims in Pakistan, to delivering hand water pumps, lanterns, and sewing machines to remote Pakistani villages, and many more.  Mariam’s compassion and generosity had a significant impact on many lives around the world and will be remembered forever.

Mariam spent the last days of her life surrounded by individuals who cherished caring for her as well as spending time with family and close friends and winning many rounds of Rummikub.  Mariam is survived by her daughter Fazila, son-in-law Harindra, grandchildren Mikail and Mischa, as well as many other relatives.  She will be dearly missed by her family and friends who take comfort in the fact that she will be joining her loving departed son, Faisal.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Mariam Issa Scholarship Fund. Please make a check payable to APAHA and mail to

P.O. Box 1408, Bellaire, Texas 77402

In the memo field, please write The Mariam Issa Scholarship Fund.