On Monday, 20th June, we gathered at the Nazareth Hospital Bernath Auditorium to celebrate the opening of the new Dialysis Department named after the Reverend Canon Shafiq A. Farah (1923-2002).
The celebration was opened by Dr Suzy Srouji (Senior Advisor to the Head of the Nazareth Hospital). It took place after two years of continuous work to renew and expand the Dialysis Department at the Nazareth Hospital by adding ten medical stations. This expansion was possible thanks to the support received from Najeeb Farah and the American agency USAID (United States Agency for International Development). The guests at the event included Najeeb Farah and his family, the Mayor of Nazareth Ali Salam, Nazareth Hospital management and staff, management and staff of the Dialysis Department, Prof Karl Skorecki (Dean of Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine), and friends and ambassadors of the Hospital.
The story started almost four years ago when Najeeb Farah reached out to the Hospital wishing to support future projects, becoming one of the most inspiring supporters of the Hospital’s work. From Canada to Nazareth, the expatriate Najeeb Farah carried endless joy, generosity, and a love for his homeland and his family. He came wishing to continue building support for the Hospital as his father did through the charity ‘Friends of the Nazareth Hospital’.
Nazareth Hospital Director Prof Fahed Hakim thanked the family: “I am happy and very touched by this event. I remember my conversation with Najeeb when he told me he wanted to support the expansion of the Dialysis Department. It was a historic moment. Together we have succeeded in renovating and expanding the department and improving the services we provide”.
Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer Waseem Dibbini thanked the family of Pastor Farah and shared some thoughts about such a special occasion: “The Farah’s family has brought joy to many. The family turned the pain from Rev Farah’s kidney failure into a desire to relieve dialysis patients. The family did not only turn suffering into joy but also contributed to building a better future for our children by distributing funds to the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing students.”
Dr Zaher Armly, Dialysis Department Manager, explained the link between the kidneys and the Bible: “In the books of the Bible that follow the Pentateuch, mostly in Jeremiah and Psalms, the human kidneys are cited figuratively as the site of temperament, emotions, prudence, vigour, and wisdom. In five instances, they are mentioned as the organs examined by God to judge an individual. Dear Farah family, as you can see you have invested in the most sacred organ in the human body and that God loves.” He also added: “In our dialysis unit, we give service to 130 haemodialysis patients and 14 peritoneal dialysis patients. The mortality rate in our unit is one of the lowest in the country, between 11%-14% annually. Treating a patient’s kidney is difficult, not only from a medical point of view but also from an emotional and human point of view. We are the doctor, the father, the mother and the brother.”
“The department has undergone a medical and technical revolution over the last few years.” – Maha Zaher, the nurse in charge of the Dialysis Department, pointed out. “With the contribution and support of Najeeb Farah and the American Agency, the department has expanded and renewed, and now each patient has their own comfortable private space.” – she added.
Prof Karl Skorecki, Dean of Bar-Ilan University’s Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, said: “My first encounter with Israel was Nazareth, so therefore I feel very much at home. It’s a wonderful gift and a great tribute to the memory of your family. When I speak to my colleagues at Cardiology I always say the kidneys come before the heart; and actually, something comes before the kidneys and the heart and that is investigation – to study. That’s what Dr Armly does. And that’s why the EMMS Nazareth Hospital is a wonderful academic hospital.”
Najeeb Farah, an ex-pat entrepreneur and supporter of the Dialysis Department, said: “What I have found in this institution of love, dedication and service, I can’t find it anywhere else. This is what makes this place different: the people who are here. With them and their love, we can improve and provide much-needed treatments to our people in the area at the highest standards.”
Please enjoy some photos of the event below: