Hathihe Ramallah News January-March 2014

JACKSONVILLE
Correspondent: Julia Farhat

Newborns
Baby Girl Samantha Lynn Marie born to Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Edward and Kara Bateh Mousa.

Weddings
Lyanna Jan Louthan to Scott Bradley Kalil. Their proud parents are Mr. and Mrs. Sam and Freida Kalil and Mr. and Mrs. Edwin and Eva Lee Louthan.

Dalia May Mousa to Salem Mechail Fakhouri. Their proud parents are Mr. and Mrs. Mechail Fakhouri and Mr. and Mrs. James Mousa.

Club News
Installation Ceremony Members Dinner

On Saturday evening, February 1 our annual membership dinner/installation of officers’ ceremony was held. Over 400 members attended including the Honorable Judge Gary Flower and his wife; our Federation guests Mr. Bassam Eways, Deputy President and his wife Suzanne; Mr. Hanna Faris, AFRP President and his wife Naimeh; Mr. Ken Harb, Coordinator for the Leadership Conference; Mr. and Mrs. Basem and Muna Hishmeh; Mr. and Mrs. John and Nadia Joubran and Mary Harb Sheets, Facilitator for the Leadership Conference.

In addition, we had the pleasure of our own, the Honorable Judge Michelle Kalil Taylor swear in our 2014 officers and board members. Outgoing President Donald Bateh thanked everyone for their support, especially those who assisted with the numerous events including the successful signature events, and Incoming President Sammy Batteh stated he is looking forward to a very successful 2014! Huge thanks and appreciation go out to our outgoing and incoming leadership for assisting with the preparation and facilitation of this event.

Outlined below are our 2014 Officers and Board Members:
– President: Sammy Batteh
– Vice President: Issa Odeh
– Treasurer: Chris Farmand
– Financial Secretary/Correspondent Secretary: Julia Farhat
– Recording Secretary: Grace Jamal Farhat
– Club Manager: Amanda Mousa Gazaleh

Board Members:
– Jason Bajalia
– David M Bateh
– Donald Bateh
– Ricky Batteh
– Nader Farhat
– Tania Hanania
– Ted Bateh
– Ramzi Salameh
– Nancy Salem

On Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday, our club hosted our annual Super Bowl party. Approximately 200 people attended with covered dishes in hand and watched the Seattle Seahawks crush the Denver Broncos 49-8. Huge thanks go out to the Officers and Board members for coordinating the event.

AFRP Leadership Conference

The Jacksonville community proudly hosted the AFRP Leadership conference for young business professionals. The event was held beginning January 31 to February 2, 2014. Twenty four young adults included our own Anna Ajluni, Tyler Bateh, Daniel Hanania, Nova Harb, Michael Kalil, and Andrew Salem attended this conference. It was an engaging conference led by the very knowledgeable Mary Harb Sheets who also made it very enjoyable. In addition the participants were able to network with each other and further advance their leadership skills. Many thanks go out to the Jacksonville community as well as Ken Harb for organizing the conference.

Bishop Estevez Visit

Father Tony Sebra of St. Paul Catholic Church at Jacksonville Beach; Bishop Felipe J. Estevez; Msgr. Mortimer Danaher; Mr. Sammy Batteh, current president of the Ramallah Club of Jacksonville; Father Kamal al-Rahil of St. George Orthodox Church, and Father Selwan Tapouni of St. Ephrem Syriac Catholic Church.

On Saturday, March 8, our community proudly hosted a special Lenten dinner in honor of Bishop Felipe J. Estévez of the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida. Nearly 150 people attended the longtime support of peace in the Middle East. He spoke about the right for a sovereign Palestinian state, and the importance of maintaining a Christian Palestinian presence in the Holy Land. He also spoke about the importance of connection to a homeland and for pilgrimages, offering his own experiences as an immigrant.

“As a refugee myself, I understand the ideology of a people of diaspora, exile,” said the Cuban-born Bishop Estévez, who fled his native country as a young. “There’s a love for the land of our fathers – family here, family there.”

Condemning the injustices against the Palestinians in the Holy Land, he quoted His Eminence Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in a New York Times article in which Patriarch Sabbah said, “Israel cannot have it both ways –security and occupation. They must give up occupation for security.” Also attending the dinner were Father Selwan Tapouni of St. Ephrem Syriac Catholic Church; Father Kamal Al-Rahil of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church; Msgr. Mortimer Danaher, a retired priest and advocate for Palestinians; and Father Tony Sebra of St. Paul Catholic Church, Beaches. Much appreciation and thanks go out to Joy Batteh-Freiha for organizing the event.

Youth News
On Saturday evening, January 18 approximately 30 youth members and their parents attended a bon fire at Dr. Sam and Mrs. Donna Hanania’s house. Everyone enjoyed dinner, roasting s’mores on a warm fire, drinking hot cocoa and fellowship. Huge thanks go out to the Youth Club directors, the parents and Dr. and Mrs. Hanania for hosting the event.

Eagle Scout

Nicholas Ossi, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence and Sandra Salem Ossi, received his Eagle Scout rank. The prestigious rank of Eagle is scouting’s highest honor, afforded to the elite. Attending his ceremony were five Ramallah sons and Eagle Scouts. Pictured left to right: Nicholas Freiha, Jacob Bateh, Joseph Salem, Jason Salem and Nicholas Ossi.

Outlined below are our 2014 Youth Club Officers:
– President: Alex Hanania
– Vice President: Rawan Farah
– Treasurer: Matthew Mousa
– Recording Secretary: Reem Farhat
– Historian: Rania Farhat

Youth Club Directors:
Mrs. Shereen Shunnarah Bateh and Mrs. Ghada Habash Batteh

Church News
Outlined below are the newly elected officers of the 2014 Parish Council:

– Chairman: Mr. Raja Saoud
– Vice Chairman: Mr. Nassim Elias
– Treasurer: Mr. Ameen Hakim
– Financial Secretary: Miss Beverly Michael
– Recording Secretary: Miss Leila Mousa

Congratulations and God Bless for a successful and healthy year.

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

The Elias family for the passing of Archpriest Abouna John Elias.

May his memory be eternal.

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