Obituary: Layla Hiresh Habayeb

Layla Hiresh Habayeb
August 20, 1933 – September 18, 2016

My grandmother, Layla Hiresh Habayeb, passed away on September 18, 2016 in Ramallah, Palestine after a brief illness. She was 83 years old.

This past summer, my family and I traveled to Ramallah for a family wedding. Her children and most of her grandchildren were there too. I feel very fortunate to have spent time with her over the summer before she passed, and I was thinking about her life.

Most of you never met my Tata Layla. She was born in Jaffa, Palestine in 1933; part of what was British Palestine. As a teenager in 1948, Israeli soldiers evicted her from home and she and her family became refugees. Later, she married my grandfather and had four daughters and one son whom they raised in a small apartment in Ramallah. Tata ran the household, made clothes for the family and made sure her kids were taken care of. Despite the fact they were refugees, all five children graduated from college.

One night in the early 1980s, Tata and Sedo got the news no parent wants to hear – their eldest daughter, Adele, was struck by a car and killed. The pain was unbearable for both of them and three years later, my Sedo passed away from a heart attack. Tata wore black for a decade.

I remember it was rare to see her smile, and I thought to myself this world had beaten most of the laughter out of her. But even though, she never complained or stopped taking care of her family. Her mind was always sharp and she was wise and loving.

Tata leaves behind her children: Muna (Osama) Kandah, Reem (Eddie) Farah, of Jacksonville, FL; Salim (Rana) Habayeb of Ramallah, and Rana (Daoud) Elissa of Dubai as well as 14 grandchildren, a sister in Ramallah and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Our family would like to thank everyone for their warm condolences and prayers.

Khalil Eddie Farah

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Hathihe Ramallah Magazine News

Newborns:
Baby Boy, Frank George Mackoul III was born to Frank and Amanda Salem Mackoul. His proud grandparents are Georgette Mackoul and Sam and Hanan Salem.

Baby Girl, Jada Steven was born to Steven and Angie Akel Elias. Her proud grandparents are Alfred and Nabila Elias, and Akel (Jimmy) Akel and Janan Akel.

Wedding:
Jessica Tiffany Zarou, daughter of Nader and Sylvia Farah Zarou married Scott Michael Dellorso, son of Michael and Janet Dellorso.

Club News:

On Thursday, September 29th, twenty ladies gathered for a Wine & Paint Ladies Night Out at Yes You Canvas. No artistic skills were required and everyone had an amazing time. Many thanks go out to our Youth Group Director Christy Farmand Rukab for coordinating the event.

Our annual Fall Picnic was held on Sunday, October 2nd. Many members attended and participated in fellowship, fun and arts and crafts. It was a huge success. Many thanks go out to Chairpersons Kara Bateh Mousa and Sandy Mousa as well as their volunteers.

Youth Group News:

On Saturday, November 12th, eleven youth group members enjoyed dinner at Johnny Angel’s Diner then ventured to the Great Escape Room. They had a blast and escaped the room in record time for the day. Many thanks go out to the Youth Group Directors, Katherine Shunnarah Akel and Christy Farmand Rukab.

Sympathy:
The Jacksonville Community extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the following families:

– The Farhat family for the passing of Ziadeh (John) Hanna Farhat

– The Habayeb and Farah families for the passing of Layla Hiresh Habayeb in Ramallah. Her daughter is Reem Habayeb Farah.

– The Bateh family for the passing of Ramzi Abraham Bateh

– The Louh family for the passing of George Nekhleh Louh

May their memories be eternal

Dal‘Ouna Ensemble and “Children of the Stone” US concert and Book Tour:
The Ramallah Club of Jacksonville in conjunction with Palestine Day proudly hosted the Dal‘Ouna Ensemble and “Children of the Stone” US concert and Book Tour on Friday evening September 23rd. The Jacksonville event was one of 13 stops for the ensemble in the US and the only performance in the south. Many events leading up to the night were also part of the celebration.

The US tour coincides with the paperback release of the critically acclaimed book “Children of the Stone” written by Author Sandy Tolan. The book tells the true life story of Ramzi Aburedwan, a young man who gained international fame at age 8 when a photographer snapped a picture of him in a Palestine Refugee Camp near Ramallah, preparing to throw a rock at Israeli Soldiers during the first Intifada. Ramzi‘s dream was to study music and to eventually open music schools all over Palestine. The book tells the story of how Mr. Tolan and Ramzi meet and how Ramzi pursues his dream in a very hard and driven life.

Sandy Tolan

Sandy Tolan

Prior to their performance, Mr. Tolan was featured in an article in Jacksonville’s local Newspaper, The Florida Times-Union, promoting the club’s event and highlighting his compassionate support of Palestinian rights. In addition, Mr. Tolan and Aburdewan were featured on Jacksonville’s NPR affiliate, WJCT First Coast Connect radio program with Melissa Ross.

The ensemble includes Ramzi Aburedwan, Ziad Ben Youssef, Tareq Rantisi, Edwin Buger, and vocalist Nidal Ibourk. Prior to the performance, Aburedwan, the ensemble and Tolan greeted sponsors and audience members and continued engaged throughout the night with book signings.

The evening ended with a presentation of a violin to the Dal’Ouna Ensemble as a donation to the Al Kamandjati Music Schools founded by Ramzi.

The group performed to a sold out VIP/sponsorship audience and to a near sell-out crowd of general seating. Co-Chairs Ronie Rukab and Janice Farhat would like to thank all of the volunteers who have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the year to help make this event so successful. In addition, the co- chairs would also like to thank the sponsors who generously supported this event as well all of the community who came and attended. A special note of thanks also goes out to Dr. Sam and Poppi Elias for their generous support of the event as well as their gracious hospitality in hosting the ensemble and the committee on the evening of the ensemble’s arrival to Jacksonville.

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December General Assembly Meeting

December General Assembly Meeting:
Please mark your calendars and save the date for the next General Assembly meeting. It will be held December 4th at 6 pm. Please plan to attend as this is our annual meeting where we will be voting on the 2017 officers and board of directors. We also plan to discuss Club’s current finances as it relates to planning budgets for 2017.

We will also be offering for sale items from a Childs Cup Full. These custom made items benefit the charity as well as a portion of the proceeds returning to the club. Be sure to stop by the table to view all the items available on Sunday!

Youth Group Meeting:
The Next youth group meeting will be held on December 4th at 5:30. We plan to also vote for our officers for 2017! Parents please continue to encourage your children to participate in meetings by bringing them to the club! We are excited to continue to have meetings in the new youth room! Have questions or comments? Please contact Christy or Kathy at christyrukab@yahoo.com or 614-9740.

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Upcoming Events

Breakfast with Santa
Please join The Ramallah American Club for a FREE members* only event!

Saturday, December 3 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

The fun includes:
– Full buffet breakfast
– Cookie decorating
– Christmas Pinecone Tree Decorating
– Photo Booth
– Letters to Santa AND MORE!

The Big Man himself, Santa will be making an appearance ready to hear each child’s Christmas wish!

Similar to last year we will be helping Catholic Charities collect donations for Syrian refugees.

This years suggestions include:
– DVD player and cd’s as a family gift
– Blankets, rice cooker, pots and pans, baking sheets, large serving bowls

For the children:
Toys like Legos, scooters, bikes, helmets locks, dolls or hair accessories for the girls, soccer balls.

For the adult males:
Work gloves, fleece pullovers, hats, sox, bikes, helmets, locks

For the women:
Lotion, robes, pajamas, slippers, scarves, perfume, gloves

Interested in helping to decorate on December 2 at 10 am or joining the committee? Please contact Sandy at 904-629-3818 or at sandydsalem@gmail.com

NEW YEARS EVE
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW AND GOING FAST! Come join us as we countdown to 2017 with LIVE music by Emad Batayeh!

Adult RAC Members: $60
Adult Non-Members: $70
Children (12 and under): $30
Tickets at the Door (excluding children): $80

Mezza and Drink Setups Provided

Contact Edward Bateh at 904-424-8870 or RamallahClubNYE@gmail.com for table and ticket sales.

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Picnic, Meetings, Tournament, NYE!

Fall Picnic and General Assembly Meeting This Sunday:
Please join us for our annual Fall picnic on October 2. We will be offering our traditional Bar-B-Que chicken, hashweh and green beans for $12.00. The Youth Group will be selling drinks and desserts as well. We will have a balloon twister available to entertain the littlest members. We will also be selling a very limited number of hotdog plates for the kids (One Hotdog and Chips for $5)

Anyone interested in helping to prepare the meal please plan to join us Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. or Sunday beginning at 10am.

The General Assembly Meeting will be held during (starting sometime between 2:15 and 2:45pm) The youth group meeting will be at 1:00 in the new youth room. Please plan to attend the meetings.

Request for Donations for The Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program:
The Catholic Charities Refugee Program has asked for our assistance in helping two families from Iraq settle in Jacksonville. Please bring your unwanted but gently used/clean clothing and small household items/appliances to the Club on Sunday, October 2, and place them in Board Room. They will be donated to help these two families.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Golf Tournament:
The RAC’s Golf Tournament is BACK! Save the date for Sunday, October 9th at Deercreek Country Club! Anyone interested in sponsoring a hole or playing please contact Edward Bateh at embateh@att.net as soon as possible. Thank you!

Be sure to pay your registration before October 2nd to take advantage of the $25 discount! Contact Edward at RACJaxGolf@gmail.com or 904-424-8870 to register and pay. You may also register via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-ramallah-club-charity-golf-tournament-tickets-26690005525

Countdown to 2017:
New Years Eve Hafla
TICKETS GO ON SALE TO RAC MEMBERS OCTOBER 1
NON-MEMBER TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 1

Adult RAC Members: $60
Adult Non-Members: $70
Chidren (12 and under): $30
Tickets at the Door (excluding children): $80

Mezza and Drink Setups Provided

Contact Edward Bateh at 904-424-8870 or RamallahClubNYE@gmail.com for table and ticket sales.

Fashion Show Update
Due to reasons beyond the control of the committee we will be moving the fashion show to late April or early May as part of our annual Mother’s Day event. Please stay tuned for details!

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General Assembly Meeting/Upcoming Events

Fall Picnic and General Assembly Meeting
Please join us for our annual Fall picnic on October 2. We will be offering our traditional Bar-B-Que chicken, hashweh and green beans for $12.00. The Youth Group will be selling drinks and desserts as well. We will have a balloon twister available to entertain the littlest members. Please plan to join us.

Anyone interested in prepping the meal please plan to join us Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. or Sunday beginning at 10.

The General Assembly Meeting will be held at 2:15 during the picnic and the youth group will be meeting at 1:00 in the new youth room. Please plan to attend the meetings.

Wine and Canvas!
CALLING ALL MEMBER LADIES!!! You’re invited to a special night out on Thursday, September 29! Lady members, join us for this private event with wine and painting! No artistic experience required.

Cost: $25 Limited tickets available. Full details available on eventbrite.

Tickets must be purchased in advance, here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rac-wine-paint-ladies-night-out-tickets-27156080568

Fashion Show!
We are excited to bring back the ever popular Fashion Show! Please mark your calendars and save the date for November 19th! Tickets will be going on sale soon. Interested in joining the committee? Please contact Sandy Salem at sandydsalem@gmail.com or 629-3818.

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Obituary: John Peter Bateh

John Peter Bateh
September 9, 1938 –September 1, 2016

John P. Bateh was born on September 9, 1938 in Ramallah, Palestine to Butros and Sabha Salamy Bateh. During his teenage years, John immigrated to the United States on St. Patrick’s Day in 1954, where he then began attending Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville, FL. Shortly after, he proposed to his sweetheart Klare Batteh, and they were married on January 4, 1959. John and Klare were blessed with four children: Randall, Raymond, Renee and Robert. During their time raising children, John supported his ever growing family with three businesses: Brentwood Food Market, The Sandwich Shop, and Breakfast, Lunch & More.

Besides his businesses, he was a lifetime member of the Ramallah American Club. For over twenty years, John served in some capacity in the Club, including, but not limited to, President and Treasurer. He was especially instrumental in the plans of refurbishing the Club.  As hard of a worker as he was, he still found the time to fulfill his passion to travel. John and Klare were blessed with four grandchildren: Caroline, John, and Emily from Randall and his wife Suha Habash; and Zabrina, from Raymond and his wife at the time, Heather Parker. He was preceded in death by his parents: Butros and Sabha; sisters: Freida Bajalia, Yesmeen Bateh; brother: Bateh P. Bateh (Salwa). John peacefully and pain free passed away at his home on September 1, 2016 with his wife of 57 years by his side when he took his last breath.

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Hathihe Ramallah Magazine News

Newborns:
Baby Girl Alexa Jade was born to Jamil and Lena Danforah Farhat. Her proud grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Isam and Jeanette Farhat and Mr. and Mrs. Remon and Jeanine Danforah

Baby Boy Hunter Timothy was born to Greg and Jena Kassis Higginbotham. His proud grandparents are Marty and Susan Higginbotham and Mr. and Mrs. Issa and Effa Kassis.

Weddings:
Mohanad Iwais, son of Hanan Iwais and her beloved Fahed Iwais, married Manal Kawaja, daughter of Mr. Husam and Mrs. Muna Kawaja of Houston, Texas.

Special Recognition:

Our own Joy Batteh-Freiha was recognized with The American Federation of Ramallah Palestine’s Distinguished Service Award for recognition of the work done in writing and editing the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine’s first Annual Report, summarizing the progress of the Federation and outlining its various sponsored programs. Congratulations Joy and Bravo!!!!

Club News:
On Saturday July 30th our Ramallah Club hosted a Summer Party with nearly 200 people in attendance. The DJ played the latest Arabic and American hits while everyone enjoyed appetizers, Hookahs and a special treat: Henna Tattoos! Special thanks goes out to chairperson, Eric Bateh and his committee. 

On Saturday, August 20th our RACJ hosted a Children’s Water Play Date. Many adorable children of all ages came to enjoy slides, water balloons, a pie-eating contest, and hamburgers and hotdogs. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make this a very enjoyable event.

50th Anniversary:

Bader and Jeanette Bajalia of Jacksonville, Florida celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on April 24th, 2016. They celebrated with a reception on May 29th. Their children are Joseph, married to Sandy Khamis Ewis Bajalia; Darlene, Nader, Roger and Ronald. They have 3 grandchildren, Buder, Brianna and Christian.

Youth Group News:  

On Wednesday, July 27th, 20 members of our Youth Group gathered at Dave & Busters for fellowship and fun. Special thanks to our Youth Group Directors, Katherine Shunnarah Akel and Christy Farmand Rukab who chaperoned the event as well as assisted with coordinating the event, and Abla Bishara Farhat who also chaperoned the event.

Sympathy:
The Jacksonville Community extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the following families:

The Bateh family for the passing of Hanna Peter Bateh.

May their memories be eternal.

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Upcoming Events

September General Assembly Meeting:
Please mark your calendars and save the date for the next General Assembly meeting. It will be held September 11th at 6 pm. Wardeh Bateh and her Committee have graciously offered to prepare a Sfeeha (Meat-pie) dinner with tabouli and a drink for $7. Please plan to join us!

Youth Group Meeting:
The Next youth group meeting will be held in September 11th at 5:30. Parents please continue to encourage your children to participate in meetings by bringing them to the club! We are excited to continue to have meetings in the new youth room! Have questions or comments? Please contact Christy or Kathy at christyrukab@yahoo.com or 614-9740.

The youth group fundraiser party will be on December 3rd, tickets will be sold ahead of time, and is open to members and nonmembers ages 13-20. Please plan to join us!

Dalouna Ensemble:
Tickets will be available at the September meeting for those interested in purchasing tickets or viewing sponsorship packages. The date is coming up quick so please purchase your tickets and come join us for a special night!

Ladies Wine and Canvas!
Ladies, join us for a members only wine and canvas night on September 29th at Yes You Canvas from 6:30-8:30! Tickets must be purchased in advance via Eventbrite. For more information please check the RAC Facebook page.

The RAC’s Golf Tournament is BACK!
Save the date for Sunday, October 9th at Deercreek Country Club! Anyone interested in sponsoring a hole or playing please contact Edward Bateh at embateh@att.net as soon as possible. Thank you!

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August General Assembly Meetings

August General Assembly Meeting:
Please mark your calendars and save the date for the next General Assembly meeting. It will be held August 7th at 6pm. We will have light maza available.

Youth Group Meeting:
The next youth group meeting will be held in August 7th at 5:30pm. Parents please continue to encourage your children to participate in meetings by bringing them to the club! We are excited to have our FIRST meeting in the new youth room with pizza and drinks! Have questions or comments? Please contact Christy or Kathy at christyrukab@yahoo.com or 614-9740.

The RAC’s Golf Tournament is BACK!
Save the date for Sunday, October 9th at Deercreek Country Club! Anyone interested in helping to plan please contact Edward Bateh at embateh@att.net as soon as possible. Thank you!

Dalouna Ensemble:
Tickets will be available at the August meeting for those interested in purchasing tickets or viewing sponsorship packages. This will be an exciting event please plan to attend!

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