Correspondent: Julia Farhat
Baby Boy Victor Phillip born to Mr. and Mrs. Phillip and Amanda Mousa Gazaleh.
Tyler Jack Bateh graduated from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. His proud parents are Mr. and Mrs. Ted and Jackie Bateh.
Maryann Nicole Jaghab, daughter of George and Nancy Hishmeh Jaghab graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. Maryann has been accepted into LawSchool and will be attending this fall.
Kelly Rukab Salem, wife of Anthony Salem and daughter of Robert and Paula Rukab graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Congratulations Kelly!
Taylor Edward Salem, son of Linda and Edward Salem graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and a minor in Hospitality Management. He will be attending graduate school at the University of Florida in the fall to pursue a Masters Degree in International Business.
High School Graduations
Lexie Noelle Bajalia, daughter of Michael and Ann (Shawqi Shunnarah) Bajalia, graduated from ProvidenceHigh School. Lexie is the granddaughter of the late Essa Bajalia and Laila Bajalia and Shawqi and Nawal Shunnarah. Lexie was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. She was Vice President of the Student Government; a science fair winner, and the recipient of an Academic Achievement Award in Law Studies. Lexie graduated with an Advanced Placement Honors Diploma and will be continuing her education at the University of Florida, where she will major in biology on a pre-medicine track.
Leila Abeer Bateh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George and Abeer Ayoub Bateh graduated from Bartram Trail High School.
Sierra Naimeh Batteh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Fuad and Darlene Rukab Batteh graduated from Bishop Kenny High School with honors. Sierra will be pursuing a degree in Education a University of her choice.
Elana Grace Farhat, daughter of Mr. Joseph Farhat, and the granddaughter of Mrs. Grace Farhat and the late Jamal Farhat graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bishop John J Snyder High School. Elana was a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society and the recipient of multiple Academic Excellence Awards and scholarships. She was a representative of the Student Government, Secretary of the Anchor Club and President of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She will continue her education at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.
Olivia Nicole Farhat, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Salem and Sandra Farhat graduated from WashingtonHigh School in Pensacola, Florida, and crowned Homecoming Queen. She will continue her education at Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida.
Nicholas R. Freiha, son of Joy Batteh-Freiha and grandson of Jamal Jaleel and the late Mariam Bajalia Batteh graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. He will be attending Jacksonville University and plans to pursue a degree in Engineering.
Patrick Joseph Hanania, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hanania and Sandra Bateh Hanania graduated from Atlantic Coast High School. He will be attending Santa Fe University.
Tarek Elias Kishek, son of Elias and Shirley Kishek, graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. He will be attending the University of North Florida.
Jared Noel Ridsdale, son of Mr. and Mrs. Noel and Rhonda Bateh Ridsdale graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. He will be attending the University of Arizona State to pursue a Business degree.
Isabella Kimberly Robbins, daughter of Ms. Christina Batteh Robbins graduated from University Christian School. She will be attending Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida to pursue a degree in education.
Alexander Robert Rukab son of Robert and Paula Rukab graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bishop Kenny High School. Alexander was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. He will be attending the University of North Florida.
Kyle Awad Rukab, son of Mark Rukab and Kerry Tierney, graduated from Bishop Kenny High School.
He will further his education at a college of his choice.
On Sunday, March 24 our annual Spring Picnic was held and we served our traditional chicken meal. The event was a huge success as close to 375 people attended. In addition, a raffle was held along with an Easter egg hunt including a special appearance from the Easter Bunny. The winner of the raffle prize (a beautiful Oriental rug) was Mrs. Nuhad Farmand. Many thanks and appreciation goes out to Chairperson and Co Chairperson Samira Samaan and Mary Yousef Bateh, as well as their committee; and Mr. Johnny Rukab for donating the Oriental rug.
On Friday, April 5, a mini Hafleh was held. Approximately 100 attendees enjoyed good food, music and fellowship. Huge thanks go out to Mr. Marwan Akel and his committee for coordinating the event.
On Sunday, April 14, our local theatre in historic 5 Points held a special showing of the Oscar nominated documentary “5 Broken Cameras.” Over 100 people attended to see daily life of Palestinians from a small village living under occupation. Many thanks go out to Mrs. Mimi Salameh Bajalia for securing the venue to bring the documentary to our big screen.
On Friday, May 10, our annual Mothers’ Day Dinner was held at a local restaurant on our beautiful riverbank. Everyone enjoyed appetizers, dinner and multiple door prizes. Huge thanks and appreciation goes out to Mrs. Sireen Bateh for coordinating the event. (Pictured from Left to Right: Dalya Farah, Rawan Farah, Tala Farah, Dr. Laura Bateh and Lena Bateh.)
Youth Club News
On Friday, March 22, approximately 15 members gathered at Rebounderz for Friday Night Frenzy. They enjoyed delicious food, fellowship and many games including dodge ball.
On Friday, April 12, the youth enjoyed a movie night at a member’s home. Approximately 15 members attended and everyone had a great time. Many thanks go out to Mr. and Mrs. Al and Lisa Ghanayem for hosting the event.
Children’s Club News
On Sunday, March 24, the children’s’ club directors held an Easter egg hunt during our Spring Picnic. Many children participated and also enjoyed a special appearance from the Easter Bunny. Many thanks and appreciation goes out to Mrs. Gina Behnam Nammour and Mrs. Hala Mardini Salman, the Children’s Club Directors.
On Saturday, March 15, fifteen members of the Teen Soyo participated in a lock in. The event included dinner, group discussions, activities and fellowship. Everyone had a wonderful time. Many thanks go out to St. John the Divine for sponsoring the lock in.
On Saturday April 13, St. George Orthodox Church hosted a Mid Lent Mini-Retreat including special guest speakers, Father Nicholas Louh and Father John Elias who spoke on a variety of topics relevant to Lent. A special thanks to the Ladies Auxiliary who provided lunch for all attendees, and the various St. George Organizations for their participation in this wonderful spiritually uplifting event.
On Sunday April 21, the Ladies Auxiliary hosted a delicious fish luncheon. Many thanks go out to the Chairladies, Clemance Hanania and Vera Hishmeh as well as their committee for coordinating a successful luncheon.
The 33rd annual Fundraiser Dinner was held on Saturday, May 11th. The support for the event was phenomenal and the chairperson of the ticket committee, Sam Kalil, helped coordinate the sale of 300 tickets. Many thanks go out to the chairman and Parish Council President, Jimmy Farah, and the various committee members for all of their hard work. A special thanks to everyone who donated their time and baskets to the successful themed basket drawings. The Very Reverend Father Kamal Alrahil and the Parish Council thanks everyone for giving their continued support to this wonderful event.
The Jacksonville Community extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the following families:
– The Rukab family for the passing of Zacky Abraham Rukab.
– The Salah and Amons families for the passing of Dorothy Salah Amons
May their memories be eternal.
On The Move
Congratulations to Amanda Saad as she was asked to create a children’s page for each edition of the magazine. The children’s page will feature games and activities that focus on helping our younger generation learn Arabic. Amanda graduated from Jacksonville University with a degree in graphic design, and has been accepted in the Masters of Visual Art program at Jacksonville University. Amanda currently teaches Art at a local middle school.
In addition, Amanda has hew own business called Holler Back Designs and an online shop at www.etsy.com/shop/hollerbackdesigns. This shop offers her stock invitations as well as custom invitations for all occasions. Her proud parents are Nabil and Boshra Saad.