Manira Farha Aboussie
is honored with a Brick from Gary and Cris Aboussie and Peter and Betty Ellis.
Manira Farha Aboussie was born December 10, 1915 in the small village of Merjayoun, Lebanon. She is the seventh child of Farah and Nahima Salamy Farha.
In 1920, her tiny village was disrupted by World War I and the course of her life was changed. Her mother, a young widow with eight children, received word that the Turkish army was quickly approaching. And it was common knowledge that they ransacked villages looking for supplies and young recruits. So with little warning, Manira, her mother, and her brothers and sisters fled. They ran at night and hid during the day until they reached Beirut. Manira was so small that her brother Sam carried her on his shoulders.
At the age of 4, she arrived at Ellis Island and within a few weeks rode the train to Wichita, Kansas. Manira's oldest sister, Nellie, had come to Wichita with her father a few years earlier and remained there with an uncle's family.
Six months later, with little knowledge of the English language, Manira entered kindergarten at Franklin Elementary school. Later she attended Allison Junior High and graduated from North High School. Her love of athletics began in school where she enjoyed playing baseball, field hockey, and basketball. She especially enjoyed folk dancing. Her brother Bebe Farha, taught her golf.
Want to know about any sports team, its coach, its record of wins and losses.....ask Manira. Her favorite coaches include Ralph Miller and Dean Smith because these men expected their players to achieve success in the classroom as well as on the court. You may have heard her cheering for the Wichita State Shockers. She's a loyal fan. Want to know about how to start or run a business.....ask Manira. She learned those skills at a very early age.
When her brothers purchased F&E Wholesale Groceries and opened a chain of retail stores, Farha Bros. Supermarkets, Manira was right in there with them. Working as a checker, a carryout clerk, a store manager, or at the warehouse, she participated in company meetings and decisions. In 1946, she married Camal Aboussie. Together, they worked side by side for over 18 years as owners of Cradle Land, a children's clothing store in downtown Wichita. Manira applied the same basic principles of honesty, hard work, and fair play to each business opportunity.
Her advice to her children and grandchildren reflects her lifestyle and values. Be kind. Love your fellow man. Give thanks to God. Appreciate the freedoms that this country gives you. Know that you have a purpose on this earth. Use your time and talents well.
Thanks, Mom, for leading by example. You're a tough act to follow! We love you!
July 22, 1998