We are happy to announce that the expansion of the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing is nearing completion! Recently a milestone was reached this past February as the new roof was placed on the building, another sign that this project is nearing the end. Construction at the school has included building two new floors on top of the existing School of Nursing facility, and contains four simulation rooms for student learning in addition to staff offices. The new floors will also have much needed space for new classrooms as well as areas for students both to study and have recreation.
A large portion of this project was made possible by the generous support of Najeeb Farah. Najeeb’s family story greatly influences his passion in aiding the mission of Nazareth Hospital and the Nursing School. Najeeb was born in 1960 in Beirut where his father went as a refugee from Palestine. Najeeb’s parents, both Palestinian Christians, suffered greatly during the Nakba in 1948. Unable to return to his former home after the war, Najeeb’s father was engaged to his mother for eight years before he could actually see her. She eventually left Palestine in 1954 and was stripped of any citizenship rights. As a child, Najeeb witnessed the effects the regional conflicts in the Middle East had on the Palestinian people. All of these events had a profound impact on his life. Subsequently, Najeeb has felt the need to aid the people of Palestine, he remarks, “Since then, I’d always thought I have to do something for the people of Palestine. Also, I realized that I am called upon in faith to work for peace in peace”.
Najeeb’s connection to Nazareth Hospital began in the 1980’s. During the early 1970’s his family moved to Toronto, Canada and his father, Rev. Canon Shafiq Farah, met future NPI board member Dr. Bob Martin in 1988. Bob recalls:
“[Rev. Farah] became aware of the need to support the hospital in 1987 when he was visited by former Nazareth Hospital director Dr. John Tester…He then set about to develop chapters in Canada called “Canadian Friends of the Nazareth Hospital” who began to raise financial support for the hospital. He also was instrumental in setting up chapters in Australia and New Zealand. Soon after I became in charge of the hospital in 1988, I wrote to Rev. Farah and invited him to come to the hospital for several weeks to become acquainted with the work and make personal connections with the staff. During that time, he also gave spiritual encouragement to us and our friendship developed. When the Nazareth Project Inc was formed in 1991 Rev. Farah was among the early board members.”
Inspired by his dad’s legacy of humanitarian work, Najeeb decided to support the ministry of Nazareth Hospital just like his father did. His initial donation of $150,000 was used to purchase new chairs for the Nazareth Hospital’s dialysis department. Najeeb’s dad was himself a dialysis patient for 5 years in Toronto before passing away. For him, there was a special connection with his father’s memory and the hospital’s need. A visit to Nazareth Hospital helped him decide to become a donor. Impressed with what he found there, Najeeb recalls, “I was euphoric. There was a really nice Christian environment with wonderful people. I felt the energy there.”
In addition to this, the Farah family donated $1.8M towards the expansion of the dialysis department. Commenting on the motivation for his generosity he said, “My dad had an incredible influence on my life. He made me who I am.”
In honor of his father’s legacy of caring for Nazareth Hospital, in 2022 Najeeb and his wife, Maha, made a generous donation of $3M towards the expansion of the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing. This project was inspiring to Najeeb because of the connection his mother, Laila, had with the institution as both a former student and as a prep nurse in the operating room of Nazareth Hospital.
NPI continues to support the mission of Nazareth Academic School of Nursing primarily through scholarship funds. These funds provide scholarships to lower-income and high-achieving students at the School of Nursing.
Your generous support of The Nancy Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund will help provide more scholarships to many future students like Najeeb’s mother and those who need the scholarship program to uplift themselves and the region, as many come from financially disadvantaged homes. NPI’s goal is to surpass $200,000 in the endowment before the end of 2023. We will gladly continue to partner with those who “work for peace in peace”, bringing change to northern Israel.
The Nazareth Project is the primary US partner of the Nazareth Trust, an organization dedicated to serving the population of the Middle East and the wider world through healthcare, education, proclamation, and service. Our work and mission are rooted in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, though we are committed to serving all peoples, regardless of faith, political affiliation,
or tradition. The offerings of the Trust include the Nazareth Hospital and the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing, as well as Nazareth Village and the SERVE Nazareth program, both of which allow patients, students, volunteers, pilgrims, and tourists to deepen their relationship with God and one another. Contact us today for more information on these programs, or consider donating to support our work!