Ever since Jameelah Abu-Eideh was a little girl, she wanted to be a tailor, and was working as a tailor when a neighbor and friend wanted to do an entrance exam for practical nursing. She asked Jameelah to accompany her and so she did – “for the fun of it” she says.

The results came out: Jameelah’s friend failed & Jameelah passed, with one of the highest marks, so she decided to try nursing.

Her mother disapproved of this step; she used to work in a hospital at that time and saw the hard work that nurses do and the long shifts that they endure, especially during the night.

She told her mother that she would only study for the sake of using her free time to obtain a degree, and did so – happily working as a tailor, with no intention to shift to another field.

“I had a plan for my life,” Jameelah said, “but God had a better one for me.”

One step led to another. Passing the entrance exam motivated her to study - obtaining the degree motivated her to work - and when she started working, she realized that this is what she was meant to do.

In 1992, Jameelah was hired by Holy Family Hospital as a practical nurse in the nursery department. During the first couple of years, she wanted to learn more, to become better and do better. Being in a hospital that’s dedicated to continuing the education of its staff enabled her to study staff nursing, then neonatal nursing.

Soon, from being a simple tailor with no qualifications, she became not only a senior nurse in the nursery, but the head of the department. In addition, she worked as a clinical instructor for Bethlehem University students.

She loves her work and the hospital. Her affection for the staff, the babies, and their mothers is beyond compare. “I see miracles every day,” she said, “and I take part in many of life’s most amazing stories. I’ve seen many babies surviving from inevitable death. Seeing them getting better day after another is priceless and knowing that God’s hands are in the miracle of birth keeps me motivated to give more and more.”

The Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem is not only Jameelah’s journey – it is her home.

As we recognize her extraordinary career and continuing compassionate work on May 11 at the United Nations, the Nurses With Global Impact team is humbled by Jameelah’s service, and forever inspired by her grace.

Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem is a primary work of The Order of Malta.

With 25 years as a Catholic teaching hospital, Holy Family Hospital has become the premier maternity hospital and neonatal critical care center in the Bethlehem region, serving mothers, babies, and families throughout the Holy Land.

Hospital programs like the Mobile Outreach Clinic and Well Woman Clinic address urgent public health issues endemic to residents by providing care to largely underserved populations within the region. The Mobile Clinic treats women and children living in impoverished circumstances in four United Nations refugee camps and nearby Bedouin encampments. The Well Woman Clinic works to provide a range of health services to women beyond childbearing age, including diabetes and cancer screenings and other forms of preventative care.

The Hospital serves as an instrument of inter-religious peace, where Christians and Muslims work together to provide life-sustaining medical care to all mothers and babies of the Bethlehem region. The ever-resilient staff never closes its doors despite regional political conflict, road closures, and curfews. The Hospital is committed to serving the neediest residents of the Bethlehem community.

Congratulations and deepest thanks to all who make care possible in this very special hospital in the most sacred of places, Bethlehem; Jameelah, we will be forever grateful.

– Deb