General Assembly Meeting

Please join us for the next general assembly meeting Sunday, June 10 at 6pm. There is no meal planned, however if you would like to chair the meal for the meeting please contact Tala Farah at TalaSFarah@gmail.com. We have a number of items to discuss so please plan to attend.

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On The Move: Michelle Kalil

Duval County Court Judge Michelle Kalil was recognized by the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association as the 2018 Woman Lawyer of the year.  Kalil was chosen because of her involvement in the community as well as her commitment to the legal profession and for being a role model for JWLA members.  Congratulations to Michele, who is a mother to Matthew, her biggest and best accomplishment. Her proud parents are Sam and Frieda Kalil.

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Obituary: Ellen Omar Bateh

Ellen Omar Bateh
January 1, 1936 – December 21, 2017

Ellen Omar Bateh was born in Ramallah, Palestine on January 1, 1936 to Hannah and Maria Bateh. She spent the first 11 years of her life in Ramallah before immigrating to the US in 1947. Upon her arrival to this country, she met Omar Saleeba Bateh. Little did she know that Omar would become the love of her life. They would marry seven years later and have a daughter, Marie.

Her roles were many – daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was a friend to many, whether you met her years ago or five minutes ago. Words used to describe Ellen are proud, loving, feisty, and strong. Proud Palestinian, proud mother, proud grandmother and great-grandmother. Strong… Widowed at age 33, she raised her daughter alone. A very tender-hearted yet tough woman. At the age of 40, Ellen became a grandmother and from that point on, her goal in life was to do nothing but spoil her grandchildren. She took great pleasure in giving her grandkids everything their mommy and daddy wouldn’t. After her grandbabies, her next love was being outdoors, tending to her roses and fruit trees. She enjoyed nothing more than picking grapefruit from her tree in the backyard. A great storyteller, Ellen would talk about growing up in Ramallah and about her husband Omar. Even though the events she spoke of were many years ago, they were always very vivid in her mind. Her stories are all priceless and will remain with us forever.

Ellen is preceded in death by her husband, Omar Saleeba Bateh, her parents Hanna and Maria Bateh, and her sister Alice Sallah. She is survived by her daughter, Marie (Mike), her brother, Jack (Suad), her grandchildren Sonja, Elaine, Chris-Omar (Jennifer), and Michael, and great grandchildren, Alyssa and Michael.

She will always be on our minds and forever in our hearts. May her memory be eternal.

A Legacy of love
A wife, a mother, a Tata too,
This is the legacy we have from you.
You taught us love and how to fight,
You gave us strength, you gave us might.
A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart, you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another,
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.
For all of us you gave your best,
Now the time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you’ve earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts we’ll eternally keep

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Obituary: Albert J. Bateh

Albert J. Bateh
July 3, 1935 – March 12, 2018

Albert J. Bateh, 82 of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL passed away peacefully at home on March 12, 2018 with his wife of 56 years Janan by his side. Albert was born in Ramallah, Palestine son of Jameel and Hilaneh Bateh. He came to the United States in 1951 settling in Brooklyn, New York before moving to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1992. He served in the US Army, was a lifelong member of the American Federation of Ramallah Palestine and the Ramallah Club of Jacksonville. He was a Patriarch of Ramallah Trading Company and the Ramallah Foundation and beloved by the entire Ramallah community.

He is survived by his wife, Janan Mikhail; his daughter, Deena (Fuad Doany); and his 3 sons, James (Lisa Gili), Essa (Janice Jaghab), and Robert (Angie Farah). He was blessed with 12 beloved grandchildren; Michael, Reema, Charlie, Albert Jr., Julia, Edward, Olivia, Andrew, Anthony, Ava, Joseph and Elizabeth.

He was loved and respected by all who knew him and will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace and his memory be eternal.

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Hathihe Ramallah News

Newborns:
Baby Girl, Emma Blake born to Jose & Whitney (Salem) Gomez. Her proud grandparents are Jose & Maria Gomez and Dr. Ron & Nancy Salem.

Baby Boy, James Henry “Quinn”, born to James and Brittany Bateh Frazier in Dallas, Texas. His proud grandparents are James and Caroline Frazier, and Kim (Bateh) and Derek Dewan.

Baby Boy, Christian Nicholas born to Jeremy and Nichole (Odeh) Campbell. His proud grandparents are Danny and Judith Campbell, and Hiyam Elias Odeh and the late Odeh I. Odeh. 

Baby Boy, Tarik Zafar born to Zaf and Anne Rafidi Furhad, His proud grandparents are Almas Iqbal and Sue Kalil Rafidi and Sami Rafidi.

Baby Girl, Nadia Awad born to Awad and Jacqueline Jaghab Rafidi. Her proud grandparents are Sue Kalil Rafidi and Sami Rafidi, and Elias and Janette Jaghab of San Jose, California.

Baby Boy Grayson Robert born to Dr. and Mrs. Robert and Kristy Nasser Griffin.  His proud grandparents are Mr Larry Griffin and the late Sonya Griffin and Mrs. Suhiela Nasser and the late George Nasser, and his proud big sisters are Alana and Gianna.

Baby Boy Samuel Christopher born to Mr. and Mrs. Christopher and Kathleen Bajalia Saa. His proud grandparents are Salim and Yvonne Saa of Loudoun County, Virginia, and Nicholas and Julia Bajalia.
 
Weddings:
Danielle Kalie Hassan, daughter of Isa Karim Hassan and Eva Kamel Hassan married David Frederick Swendsen, son of Sally Swendsen.

Lauren Andrea Akel, daughter of Dan Akel and Samia Bateh Akel married Justin Michael Sipes, son of Dave and Anita Sipes.

Dr. Laura Ashley Bateh, daughter of Sandy and Shereen Elias Bateh married Romey Riad Zaid, son of Dr. Riad and Lamis Zaid of Houston, Texas.

Graduations:

Elizabeth Rose Bateh, daughter of Ed and Brenda Bateh, graduated from the University of South Florida with a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Elizabeth is currently working towards her licensure and is interested in working with oncology patients. She will begin employment at Baptist Medical Center in June. Elizabeth is the granddaughter of Wardeh Bateh and the late Mussa Bateh, and Nabiha Farah and the late Mansour Farah.

Dr. Laurie Naheel Bateh, daughter of Dr. Norman Shihadeh Bateh and Marlene Albert Kishek Bateh graduated from Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, FL with a Doctor of Optometry degree. Her proud grandparents are Shihadeh and Naheel Bateh and Albert and Betty Kishek.

Dr. Steven Kanan Bateh, son of Dr. Steven Kanan Bateh and Sandra Ramzi Bateh, graduated from Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine with a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine. Dr. Bateh will continue in a 3 year surgical residency program at St. Vincent’s hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. His proud grandparents are Rima Kanan Bateh and the late Kanan Constantine Bateh, and Salwa Ramzi Bateh and the late Ramzi Abraham Bateh.

Abigail Tess Farah, son of Robert Farah, graduated with honors from Stanton College Preparatory School, and will be attending the University of Florida. Her proud grandparents are Nadya Batteh Farah and the late Fuad Abraham Farah.

Jessica Lauren Farah, daughter of Greg and Muna Farah, graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Arts Business Marketing. Her proud grandparents are Murad and Ida Farah, and Maurice and Lila Rukab.

Salem Joseph Farmand, son of Musa and Gina Farmand graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. He is going to the University of West Florida in Pensacola and will be studying Business along with Health and Nutrition. His proud grandparents are Kamel and Nuhad Farmand, and Nelson and Marie Salem.

Hannah Marie Hanania, daughter of David and Tania Hanania graduated from the University of Florida with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a minor in dance. Hannah will be attending a post graduate program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the fall to pursue her doctorate in nurse practice. Her proud grandparents are Musa and Hind Hanania and Said and Samira Samaan.

Mark Hanania, son of Jack and Debbie Hanania graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He will be pursuing his education at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. His proud grandparents are Nada Natour Hanania and Nelson and Marie Salem.

Madeline Elise Jubran, daughter of Victor and Alicia Jubran graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida. She was a member of the National Honor Society, National Latin Honor Society and the Society of Joe Berg. She will attend Florida State University pursuing a degree in clinical psychology. Her proud grandparents are Jamal and Nuha Jubran and the late George Louh and Violette Louh.

Nathan Jamal Jubran, son of Victor and Alicia Jubran graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society as well as Captain and two time State Champion of the Track and Cross Country teams.  He will attend the Honors College at the University of North Florida. He received a full ride with both academic and athletic scholarships and will run Cross Country and Track for the University. His proud grandparents are Jamal and Nuha Jubran and the late George Louh and Violette Louh.

Kristen Leigh Mousa, daughter of Easa and Amy Mousa, graduated Summa Cum Laude with both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Finance from the University of Florida. She also received the Outstanding Scholar Award at graduation, and will move on to work full time for Deutsche Bank in New York City. Kristen’s proud grandparents are Abla Mousa, and the late Jack Mousa, and the late Jack and Misadeh Shunnarah.

Erika Megan Rukab, daughter of Robert and Paula Rukab, graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a minor in Math from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. Her proud grandparents are Maurice and Leila Rukab and Isa and Muna Farhud.

Hannah Isabel Rukab, daughter of Marwan Rukab and Christie Rukab, graduated from Bishop Kenny High School and will be attending Florida Atlantic University. She will pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. Her proud grandparents are Lewis and Odette Rukab and Omar and Martha Farah.

Lewis Marwan Rukab, son of Marwan Rukab and Christie Rukab, graduated from Bishop Kenny High School and will be attending the University of North Florida. He will pursue a degree in Sports Management. His proud grandparents are Lewis and Odette Rukab and Omar and Martha Farah.

Sofia Youssef Sayaf, daughter of Youssef Sayaf and Judy Salem, graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She is attending Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts in the fall. Her proud grandparents are the late Zaki Sayaf and the late Koukab Sayaf and Nabila Harb Salem and the late Zacky Salem.

Amal Victoria Tamari, daughter of Steve and Sandra (Samaan) Tamari graduated from Edwardsville High School in Edwardsville, Illinois. She will be attending Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in the fall to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Her proud grandparents are Azmi and Victoria Samaan, and the late Elias and Mary Ellen Tamari (May God rest their souls.)

Ashley Grace Hassan, daughter of Joe and Linda Hassan, graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. She will be attending the University of Central Florida to pursue a degree in Public Relations. Her proud grandparents are Suad Hassan and the late Jamil Esa Hassan, and Audi and Huda Bajalia.

Demi Mari Rouhani, daughter of Hooman Rouhani and Dina Rukab Rouhani graduated from Duncan U Fletcher High School. Demi also received an Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE Diploma), a scholarship from the University of North Florida as well as a Bright Futures’ Scholarship. Demi will major in Biology at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. Her proud grandparents are Rahmat and Parvin Rouhani, and Edward and Bridie Rukab.

Brooke Lynne Hassan, daughter of Joe and Linda Hassan graduated from Bishop Kenny High School. She will be attending the University of North Florida to pursue a degree in Business and Marketing. Her proud grandparents are Suad Hassan and the late Jamil Esa Hassan and Audi and Huda Bajalia.

Club News:


(pictured from left: Chairpersons Cynthia Farah and Nova Harb)

On Sunday, March 18th, our annual Spring Picnic was held. It was an amazing success. Along with a very competitive Easter Egg Hunt, The Easter Bunny visited and took pictures with the little ones and a very talented vendor named the “The Balloon Man” came and made fun animal shaped balloons for the children as well as some of the adults. Many thanks and appreciation go out to Co-Chairpersons, Cynthia Farah and Nova Harb, and their committee for a fabulous and fun event.

On Sunday, May 6th, an event was held in honor of Mothers’ Day at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre featuring Tony Nominated Best Musical “Five guys Named Moe.” Approximately 150 ladies including mothers, daughters, aunts and grandmothers enjoyed a dinner, show and fellowship. Much appreciation and thanks go out to Mrs. Reem Habayeb Farah and Mrs. Sandra Bateh Hanania for coordinating such an enjoyable event.

Youth Group News:

On Friday, April 13th our Youth Group hosted a bingo and pizza dinner after our general assembly meeting. Everyone had a great time and 5 prizes were awarded to the Bingo winners. Many thanks go out to our Youth Group President, Said Akel, and Vice President, Kaitlyn Bateh, the game callers. In addition, much appreciation goes out to Christy Farmand Rukab and Kathy Shunnarah Akel for planning this fun night.

On Saturday, May 5th our Youth Group participated in the annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life at a local High School. Our youth worked hard raising funds before and during the event and raised over $1,500.00 for families impacted by cancer. How amazing it was to see our youth make a different in our community! Many thanks go out to those who donated, our youth and their Youth Group Advisors, Christy Farmand Rukab and Kathy Shunarah Akel for organizing.

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

The Owais and Cadoura families for the passing of Mr. Asad Yacoub Owais.

May he Rest In Peace and May his Memory Be Eternal.

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General Assembly Meeting

Please join us THIS Sunday, May 20th, at 6pm for the the next General Assembly Meeting. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

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Medical Missions Dinner

Save the date and plan to join us for the Medical Mission Dinner on May 19, 2018 beginning at 6:00pm for cocktails and dinner at 7pm.
Tickets are $50 per person with proceeds to benefit medical and cultural missions.

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Hathihe Ramallah News

Newborn:
Baby Girl, Lilia Catherine born to Robert Daniel Mousa and Cassie Marie Mousa. Her proud grandparents are Sam and Sandy Mousa, and Cathy Jones and the late Frank Jones Sr.

Baby Girl, Leila Lawson born to John and Deena Bateh Wallace.  Her proud grandparents are Wesley and Sandra Wallace and Mr. George Ziadeh Bateh and the late Janan G. Bateh.

Baby Boy, Brandon Rabih born to Adib and Dianne Elias Hitti, His proud grandparents are Adib and Mary Hitti, and George Michael Elias and Lucy Kishek Elias.

Wedding:
Valerie Wedad Salameh, daughter of Ramzi and Poline Salameh married Nicholas Wayne Pearl, son of James and Cindy Curren.

Graduation:

Andrew Charles Sackllah married to Rachel Sackllah son of Charles and Nabila Sackllah graduated from the University of Central Florida in Accounting. He will continue his education to pursue his CPA.

Club News:

On Tuesday, January 16th our club hosted “Community Suppers” sponsored by the Jacksonville Chamber and OneJax. Various members within our community, the Chamber and OneJax members were involved in engaging, important and powerful conversations. These conversations allowed our club to showcase our amazing culture and proud heritage. Many thanks goes out to Joy Batteh-Freiha for organizing the event.

On Saturday, January 27th, our annual membership dinner/installation of officers’ event was held. In attendance were 400 including special guest, Federation President Hanna Hanania and other respected Federation guests. They enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by one of our local Middle Eastern caterers. Outgoing President Edward M Bateh thanked everyone for their support throughout the year. He stated what an honor it was to serve as President and encouraged our younger members to stay active and involved. Incoming President Tala Farah, our youngest President and second female President spoke about her memorable years growing up in our club. Her goal is to increase membership and focus on getting our youth more involved. Much appreciation and thanks go out to Incoming President Tala Farah, our 2017 and 2018 Officers and Board members for coordinating a successful and enjoyable event.

Outlined below are our 2018 Officers and Board Members. Congratulations and God Bless them for much success throughout the year.

Club Officers:
President: Tala Farah
Vice President: Tyler Ted Bateh
Treasurer: Elias Louie Samaan
Financial Secretary: Sandy Salem
Recording Secretary: Cynthia Farah
Club Manager: Ronie Rukab

Board Members:
Anna Ajluni
Edward Bateh
Melissa A. Farhat
David Hanania
Nova Harb
Tarek Kishek
Christy Farmand Rukab
Jeremy Salem

Youth Group Officers:
President: Said Akel 
Vice President: Kaitlyn Bateh 
Treasurer: Elaina Rukab 
Secretary: Layla Farah
Historian: Samantha Rukab
Directors: Katherine Shunnarah Akel and Christy Farmand Rukab

On Sunday, January 21st our club held a Jaguar Watch Party for the 2018 AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. It was our Jacksonville Jaguar’s 3rd AFC Championship game. Members enjoyed great football, fellowship and great food. Unfortunately, our Jacksonville Jaguars were defeated; however, we ended our season strong. Many thanks go out to the Officers and Board for planning the event.

On Sunday, February 4th, our club hosted its’ annual Super Bowl Party, Super Bowl LII. Members enjoyed an amazing halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake and a sweet victory by The Philadelphia Eagles, their first Super Bowl win!!! Many thanks go out to the Officers and Board for planning the event.

On Sunday, March 4th, various members of our community (all ages) were interviewed by a local college student for his Honors Thesis for Anthropology. His thesis ‘focus is looking at how Palestinians in the diaspora, specifically in Jacksonville, Florida, maintain a sense of family, and identity. All interviewees provided many examples of how we showcase our pride of being Palestinian as well as being from Ramallah, Palestine. We provided him a brief history of our family heritage/legacy as well as many examples of how we display our culture and heritage. Many thanks to the officers and board for coordinating this educational event.

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

The Michael and Cadora families for the passing of Nadia Cadora Michael

The Kawwas family for the passing of Christeen Yousef Kawwas

The Bateh family for the passing of Mr. John (JJ) Bateh.

The Bateh family for the passing of Mr. Abdullah Bateh.

May they Rest In Peace and May their Memories Be Eternal.

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Mother’s Day

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Members Needed for Interview

Dominic Mitchell is a student at UNF and is currently working on his Honors Thesis for Anthropology. He needs volunteers for a group interview this Sunday 3/4 at 3:45pm, meeting in the club board room. His thesis is focused on looking at how Palestinians in the diaspora, specifically in Jacksonville, Florida, maintain a sense of Palestinian identity; and given the role the local Ramallah Club plays in the Jacksonville Palestinian community.

If interested please reach out to Dominic at (904) 707-2752 and/or email n00974299@ospreys.unf.edu. All volunteers are greatly appreciated!

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