Though Nahil is not one of the mothers at the hospital, she has acted as a mother to many throughout her decades of unfailing service to the Hospital.

After 25 years serving the mothers and babies of Bethlehem at Holy Family Hospital, midwife Nahil Banoura prepares to enter retirement. Nahil began her career in Bethlehem as a nurse in the labor ward, the first to be recruited when the Hospital reopened its doors in January 1990. At that time, with only two nurses on staff, she worked twelve-hour shifts just to keep the Hospital running.

“I spent 25 years here, I spent the days and nights here,” Nahil remembers, “I still recall very well working for a full week without returning back home at all… I slept all that week in the Hospital!”Nahil 3

Before coming to work at Holy Family Hospital, Nahil had been a nurse in Saudi Arabia for nine years. While visiting her family in Beit Sahour, in the Bethlehem region, she learned she would be unable to return to Saudi Arabia due to political conflict. It was then that she heard about the opening at Holy Family Hospital.

Nahil quickly became a key figure at the Hospital, working in multiple departments and training new incoming nurses. In 1992, not long after joining the Hospital’s team, she enrolled in the first midwifery courses offered at Bethlehem University. She obtained her certificate in 18 months.

When asked about what she has loved most about being a midwife, Nahil says “The smiles and joy we see in the eyes of the family after seeing the mother and new baby in good health. ”

Over the last 25 years, Nahil has seen countless changes take place at Holy Family Hospital, and has watched its impact deepen throughout the Bethlehem community. “The people of Bethlehem were so happy when this Hospital was opened,” she says “During that time there was no maternity hospital. The people are grateful for the quality of care provided here.”

We thank Nahil for her incredible devotion to the Hospital and to each and every family it serves. As she transitions into her retirement, her heart remains with the medical team, the mothers, and the babies of Bethlehem. “I will miss the Hospital,” Nahil says, “I spent most of my life here. It is my home.”