Farah, Nahil

August 26, 1933 - March 14, 2021

Nahil Fahmi (Zabak) Farah, “Mama” and “Tete” to her children and grandchildren, passed away peacefully on March 14, 2021 in Houston, Texas. She was born in Ramallah, Palestine on August 26th, 1933 to Khamees Yacoub Zabak and Whadha Eid El Khawaja, and was the youngest of four children. Nahil was devout in her faith, faithful to the Church and to her family, and generous with her love and meals despite not having much financially. She lived a simple (yet extraordinary) life given the circumstances of war in her homeland, immigrating with her husband and children to Houston, Texas in 1969 to escape the war in Palestine. Although she barely spoke English, Nahil was still able to support her family in America – she was known as a wonderful seamstress in the Ramallah community in Houston, creating and selling beautiful gowns and other clothing items. No matter where she lived, Nahil planted her own garden with plenty of grape leaves and vegetables to cook everything from delicious Middle Eastern to American meals.

Nahil’s children and grandchildren meant everything to her, often referring to them as “Ya’ani” (my eyes) and “Ya rohi” (my life). One of her greatest hobbies was knitting and crocheting, and she knitted blankets in a range of colors for all of her grandchildren when they were born to represent their uniqueness. Not only did she love cooking and knitting for her grandchildren, but she also loved telling them stories about her upbringing in Ramallah. When she wasn’t sharing stories about her time in Ramallah, she found joy in singing her hometown song “Wein a’a Ramallah”! Although she had longed to go back, she claimed Houston was the next best place and that she was grateful for the city that created a safe home for her family.

Anyone who knew Nahil knew her true passion lied in the Church with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was a dedicated member of the Lady’s Altar Society at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Houston and welcomed new members into the community with open arms. Her acts of service and kindness toward her family, the St. George community, and the broader Houston community were a testament of the family-oriented mindset she embodied. Unsurprisingly, one of her favorite ways of expressing love to her family and the community was through food! No one left Nahil’s sight without having a bite to eat.

After her husband passed away in December of 1990 and her children moved out, Nahil became an empty nester and enjoyed the simple things. Her daily routine included listening to Byzantine Orthodox chanting, reading Scripture, picking grape leaves from her garden, having Turkish coffee with a friend, and watching Arabic soap operas. Her family will forever miss her precious smile and tradition of waving goodbye and blowing kisses from the south bay window of her home as family drove away. Until we meet again in the Kingdom of Heaven, sleep in peace dearest Nahil.

Nahil is preceded in death by her husband Fahmi Issa Farah, her parents Khamees and Whadha Yacoub Zabak, her brothers Yacoub Khamees Zabak and Fouad Khamees Zabak, and sister Aziza Zahir.

Survivors include her son Bassam Farah, her daughters Ibtisam Farah, Suzan Nasra and husband Samir, Hanan Threadgill and husband Greg, Jinan Copold and husband Derek, and Vivian Doran and husband Greg, as well as 13 surviving grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. The family would like to express sincere appreciation to the staff of Park Manor of Westchase Nursing Home for taking such loving care of our “Mama” and “Tete”.

Visitation & Viewing will be Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 9:30am – 11:00am, followed by Trisagion and Funeral Service at 11:00am at St. George Orthodox Christian Church (5311 Mercer Street, Houston, TX 77005).

Interment will be at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery following the funeral service. (12800 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77077).

In lieu of flowers or memorial donations, the family has requested that donations be made to St. George Orthodox Christian Church, 5311 Mercer, Houston, TX 77005 in memory of “Nahil Farah.”

Service Information

Visitation & Viewing will be Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 9:30am – 11:00am, followed by Trisagion and Funeral Service at 11:00am at St. George Orthodox Christian Church (5311 Mercer Street, Houston, TX 77005).

3 replies on “Farah, Nahil”

Wael Rabie says:

Our deepest condolences
May her soul Rest In Peace

Lorie Foux says:

Vivian and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of of your mom being so sweet and nice to me as a kid, and always sharing a tasty meal. I hope that your memories of her will bring you some small measure of comfort and peace.

Panayota Boyd says:

The “Sunshine Committee of St Anthony are praying for your soul and your living loved ones!

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