The history of Malouf's Fabrics has been, by far, the most difficult aspect of completing this website. Words cannot begin to express to you the trials and tribulations that our parents endured for us so that we would not have to live the hard life they did. The history of Malouf's Fabrics begins when my dad was just a young boy. His hard work and determination were the building blocks of his business. Because of my dad, Malouf's Fabrics, is the flourishing business that it is today. His business practices, along with honesty and integrity, were instilled in me and continue to be the backbone of our business.
Growing up, I did not realize the hardships my parents went through for our family. The sacrifices my parents made created and enhanced a better life for my siblings and me. Now that I am raising a family of my own, I realize just how much my parents loved us. They taught us to love one another no matter what. We have a strong loving family. We support each other whenever the need arises.
My daddy, Hanna Malouf one of the most important men in my life, passed away, August 10, 2004. He is the reason I am here continuing the tradition of Malouf's fabrics. The eulogy that was written and delivered by my brother George Hanna Malouf will give you some idea of what a wonderful man my daddy was and how much daddy did for our family so that we could have a better life.
Every time I read this history page I ask myself: "Will I ever truly understand the hardships my parents, single handedly, conquered?" Could I ever instill in my family the importance of keeping family close to your heart and keeping the family bond strong?" I do know this, my parents raised 13 wonderful children, and I love and respect all of them.
Jiselle Malouf Hand (#11)
Eulogy of Hanna Malouf, by his son, George Hanna Malouf
It was during the eve of night, at the biblical port city of Tyre, beneath the majestically starlit -skies of Lebanon, that our father (as a young child) used to sit, outside his humble home, to watch the fisherman of the village, as they heaved in their tattered nets.
Near that peaceful shore, in a moment that seemed like a lifetime, his heart would pause beneath the heavens, as he nourished his deep imagination and inspected the vast realm of the Lord.
He would witness the spectacular wonders, adorned with the sparkle of countless stars, in an endless ocean of space, that continued to expand forever and beyond.
It was there, near the blue calm waters, that his spirit would find peace, as he reached out to the heavens, to praise the Lord for his providence and majesty.
And it was to this place and time that he would return, once and again, in his wandering thoughts and peaceful dreams, whenever he yearned to visit his old trusted-friend: the Azure Sea.
This youthful boy, from Tyre, Lebanon, put aside those peaceful moments, when (at the age of 13) he crossed the great Lebanese Mountains (on foot), into Palestine, in search of his livelihood.
Having come from a poor home, where his ailing father was unable to provide for his family's well being, he decided to seek out his fortune (elsewhere) to lighten the burden on his parents and to try to help his siblings.
In British-controlled Palestine, he spent his energies trying to survive, as he tried his hand at different jobs. At this young age, he learned to be a handyman and a craftsman with the tools of carpentry, as well as in the dry cleaning business.
At the age of eighteen, he met and married our mom, his "Mona Lisa," whom, he would (later) call "Momma Linda"--His sweetheart and best friend for the last 63 years.
Although, his young wife (of fifteen) came from a very well-to-do (and influential family) of Jerusalem, the young couple found themselves all alone, in a (seemingly) unheeding, "cruel-world," where they had to endure a living nightmare, just to survive. I truly believe (in my heart) that their story of survival (when told) could rival that of the famous "Romeo & Juliet."
Our parents managed to cope with each and every crisis, in Palestine, where their oldest three children were born. However, in 1948, when trouble came (with the Arab-Israeli conflict), the couple and their young family were forced to abandon their home and all their belongings, to seek the refuge of our father's native hometown of Tyre, Lebanon.
At that time, because of the lack of jobs in Lebanon, our father had to leave his home in search of employment. This time, he traveled as far as Saudi Arabia, where he found work, in the construction business, for the American Petroleum Industry. After a period of battling with the desert heat, sand and other harsh elements (not to mention severe illness), he returned to his hometown, with a modest amount of money, and opened his own small fabric store.
In 1958, when trouble followed him to Lebanon (by way of the Christian-Moslem clashes and the threatening political situation), our father found himself facing another major decision. This became one of the hardest and most important decisions of his life. He just knew that he had to move his wife and children (now totaling eight) to a safer harbor (outside the regional turmoil).
Before the end of the following year, he (along with his wife and children) boarded the Italian sea-faring vessels (Augustus & Esperia) on a 21-day journey, from Beirut to America. By the time we arrived to the U.S., our father had spent most of his savings on the tickets (for the passage), except for some small pocket change.
This young man, from Lebanon, continued to praise the Lord for his majestic creation and providence throughout his life, especially when circumstances became unbearably hard. The addition of five more (American born) children, to his (already) large family, only renewed his vigor and energy in his quest for survival and advancement.
It must have been quite a chore, to try to feed and clothe, not to mention trying to mold and educate us. His hardships (and adventures), as he struggled and tried his luck at different jobs, in Texas, including the ready to wear business and his (now) famous Malouf's Fabrics, could fill an entire book (by themselves).
His favorite words "Allah Bi'een!" ("God will show the way!"), have been (permanently) engraved in the minds and hearts of all his children--and these new generations of youths continue to bear that same torch for hard work, coupled with their great passion for the Lord and all his wonders.
We say our farewells to this very dear soul, a simple man with great resolve. His main resoluteness was that of providing a better life for all of us, his children. He sacrificed and suffered the pain of separation from his own family and friends (& anguished in trying to adapt to a new language, culture and a way of life), so that we would not have to grow up under the yoke of uncertainty, war and chaos.
Those, who understood our father, may not have been many, but those, who did, perceived in him, his unending energy and devotion, in providing a better home and quality of life for all of us.
When trouble came to his homeland, our father went out in search of a new home and found it here, on the shores of the "New World." This was very different from the world he had left behind. The wonderful thing about this new place was that he was able to sow and reap the fruits of his labor, in a peaceful environment. Here, he would be able to pursue the opportunities, to better his children's lives.
It really does not take a great scholar to figure out that our father was a man of God, of Christian ethics, and of high moral fiber and determination. His relationship, with everyone, about him, was, basically the same; It appeared to be fashioned from an era of honor, integrity and commitment--an era, where one's word was as binding as a contract; where the church was the way of life; and the family was the most sacred of all institutions.
Having lived an age of self sacrifice, he never quit giving of himself and never lost his moral compass. For at the heart of his universe (unlike the astronomers of his day), he did not see a huge black hole. No!, instead, he found God, the very center from which he drew his strength and direction for life.
Our Father was a small-town boy,
...But, he was a giant among the men of the world.
He was from the old school,
...Yet, he never attended a class!
He was without education,
...Yet, He was the educator of many scholars.
He could barely read
...But, was able to read between the lines and comprehend much more than the most educated of his neighbors.
Though, he could not spell words.
...To his children (and to all those around Him), He spelled out life.
He was not a speech writer,
...Yet, he was very vocal and expressive and left a lasting impression on all those, who came in contact with him.
He was of a serious disposition,
...Yet, he brought smiles and laughter to the hearts of many.
He came from an impoverished home,
...Yet, he enriched the world around him.
A wealthy man (in material possessions), he was not,
...Yet, He gave his "all" for his family.
In this person, moved a great man of God, a faithful husband, and a caring father, who loved, dearly, all his (13) children, (41) Grandchildren and(29) Great Grandchildren. And I know that he would have, also, loved the new ones that are, now, on the way and the others, yet to follow.
And in his final moments, as he laid there, suffering and confused by the medicinal-sedatives that were given to him, he was still able to put aside his pain, to squeeze out and utter every syllable of The Lords Prayer and The Hail Mary. He was, still, able to repeat the words "I love you, all," and "Take care of one another."
This man of broad mind, great vision, and good heart was, also, a man of great culture and heritage--A heritage that is traceable to his forefathers of the early "biblical era" and the Ghassani Christian Kings of the East. In his own right, he, too, was a king, not just a king in the way he took care of his family, or promoted his fabrics, but in the nobleness of his ways.
Today, in this "Prince of our Heart," truly, passes a great chief and a loving human being...A wonderful being, who has known that the future did not exist in yesterday's remorse, but, rather, in tomorrow's promise. He was a man of integrity and of strong moral character, which has, profoundly, impacted all our lives.
Indeed, the hardship of life had taught him much! His simple, but wise, sayings will, forever, resonate in our minds: "Shou Ustohk Ya Walad?" "Ma Tkhafesh." "Shed Halak, Allah Bidabbir" ("What ails you, child?" "Do Not Be Afraid." "Stand steadfast, and the Lord will provide"); and this one, with his broken English: "You do It, You get it!" (In life, we all have choices to make, and must accept the consequences for those choices).
Like many of you, here, I witnessed the battle, which he (constantly) waged, between the persistent old and the contested new. At times, the old seemed to be the victor, however, his greatest triumph was in his abundance of love, respect and compassion. For, in his heart of hearts, he was satisfied that real adaptive change would, eventually, come (much easier) to his offspring.
Looking around me, today, I can see the majesty and legacy that this "simple man" had left, inscribed in the souls of each and everyone of you ( who were left behind). For all of us, he was an incalculable and irreplaceable source of respect, order, courage and strength. He was our " Pillars of Hercules, " our "Rock of Gibraltar."
How can we, ever, replace this faithful husband and loving father? We cannot! His loss cannot be measured, not even by our strongest grief. Maybe, we can ease our pain, somewhat, to know that he is in the very best of hands.
~George Hanna Malouf