Widad Kawar was born in Toelkarem from a Palestinian family and she was raised in Bethlehem. She went to a Quaker school in Ramallah and later studied at the American University of Beirut. She married Kamel Amin Kawar and went to live in Amman, Jordan. The Kawars are a long established family in Jordan, deeply involved in many aspects of the country’s life.
Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth was the daughter of Ughtred Kay-Shuttleworth (1844-1939) and Blanche Marion Kay-Shuttleworth (née Parish). The Hon. Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth's father was the 1st Baron Shuttleworth, who held various ministerial appointments, including that of Under-Secretary of State for India.
George Hewitt Myers (1875-1957) was an American forester and philanthropist who was the heir to the Bristol-Myers pharmaceutical fortune. He started to collect carpets and textiles in the 1890’s with a number of Turkish and Caucasian village rugs that were originally bought for his room at Yale University.
Alice Charlotte von Rothschild was born in 1847 in Frankfurt as the eighth and youngest child of Anselm and Charlotte von Rothschild. She was the sister of another great, nineteenth century collector, Ferdinand von Rothschild. In 1875, Alice von Rothschild acquired the Eythrope estate, close to the Waddesdon Manor of her brother, Ferdinand. When her brother died in 1898, she inherited Waddesdon.
Ferdinand James Anselm von Rothschild was born in Paris in 1839 as the second son of Baron Anselm von Rothschild (1803–1874) and his English wife, Charlotte von Rothschild (née Rothschild, 1807–1859). In 1874 he bought the Waddesdon estate in Buckinghamshire and commissioned the building of Waddesdon Manor.