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FROM CHILE TO BETHLEHEM – FOND MEMORIES

 

 

“Mis 100 Años de Vida” – an autobiography by

Victoria Kattan de Hirmas

 

This book “Mis 100 Años de Vida” written in Spanish by Victoria Kattan Salame de Hirmas is a gift from Mr. Enrique Elsaca to Bethlehem University Library. Mr. Isaac Sahhar, at the Advancement Office  – in his visit to Chile - was the kind medium to deliver the book safely to the Library.

What makes this book doubly interesting and dear to our hearts is the author’s close link to Bethlehem; in fact, she was born here but had to emigrate to Chile by reasons of marriage. There in Chile, with her husband Nicolas Hirmas, also of Palestinian origin, Victoria found herself in a foreign land, yet  surmounted hardships and trials, and discovered her inner strength as a woman living in a new country, encountering a new culture and adjusting to people she didn’t know before.

In the book’s epilogue, she writes inspiring insights:  “…we should never lose hope…even in the midst of sorrow…we should live life with optimism, until the last days of our life.”

She ends the epilogue saying: “It is 2005 and with 97 years of age, I do feel really old but still strong to manage my business, sharing with my children and grandchildren… It is a life worth living.” Interestingly, her book is entitled “My 100 years of life…” perhaps a metaphor representing the perfection of a life well-lived, well-traveled surrounded by a loving family, relatives and friends.

That’s the mettle of a “Bethlehemite” woman: “Victoria” - which literally means “victory,” with a fortitude that helped her forge a future away from her homeland.  She was not only victorious over life’s vicissitudes, she lived life to the full with joy, gratitude and love.

Bethlehem University Foundation
Email: brds@bufusa.org
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
E-mail: info@bethlehem.edu
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine