Symbol of Peace Found in Child's Milestone Birth

Bethlehem’s Holy Family Hospital Delivers 50,000th Baby

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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 20, 2010 ( In an area known for its struggle to maintain peace and civility, today on the West Bank there is cause for celebration. Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem has announced the birth of the 50,000th child born at their facility.

“This is a very special moment for the hospital, for us, for our future and especially for the mother,” said Dr. Jadallah Naijar, head of Holy Family Hospital’s Gynecology and Obstetrics Department.

Parents, 19-year-old mother, Hafsah Omar Radayiah, and 24-year-old father, Isam, welcomed their new daughter, Aisha, into the world at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 18. Both mother and child are doing well.

«This birth is very exciting and symbolic,» said Dr. Jaques M. Keutgen, general director of the hospital. «This is the future of this hospital.»

Since being named by Pope John Paul II, in 1990, as «one of the top 100 global priorities for the new millennium,» Holy Family Hospital has served the families of the West Bank by providing such essential medical services as quality maternity, gynecological and pediatric services.

The hospital, operated by Sovereign Military Order of Malta, offers the only neonatal intensive care unit in the region, saving an estimated 400 infants annually. In addition, the hospital also offers outpatient clinics and a mobile-outreach program that cares for the poor families living in the Judean desert.

The birth of Aisha is not only a milestone for the hospital that has already accomplished so much; it is also a chance to glimpse the possibility of what may be in the future.  

«I hope there will be peace in this land,» said Naijar, «and that this birth is a symbol of that peace.»

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