Master Halīm Mubārik was born in Hardīn, Lebanon on 15 July 1907.
Halīm's father had emigrated to the USA in 1908 and settled in Clearfield, Pennsylvania where he ran a grocery store. A family friend Antūn Mūsà Yazbak, who was returning to Lebanon to marry, was asked to escort the young Halīm, his mother Amīnah and brother Jirjis across the Atlantic upon his return. Antūn's new bride was Halīm's aunt Sīlānah, his mother's sister.
Halīm set out from Hardīn with his mother, brother, aunt and uncle Yazbak and several others from their village bound for Beirut where they would travel to Marseille and then on to Cherbourg where, on 10 April 1912, they boarded the Titanic as third class passengers (joint ticket number 2661 which cost £15, 4s, 11d).
On the night of the sinking Halīm, his mother and brother met up with Antūn and Sīlānah Yazbak who accompanied them on their way to the upper decks. Whilst stories differ as to how the family escaped, it is generally believed that the women and children escaped in collapsible lifeboat C. Antūn Yazbak was lost in the sinking.
Upon their rescue by the Carpathia and eventual arrival in New York, Amīnah and her sons were treated for shock and exposure. Coupled with that Halīm and Jirjis had contracted measles. Following recuperation the party made their way to Pennsylvania to be reunited with family and friends.
Halīm became known in America as William and he and his family settled in Clearfield, Pennsylvania where his father ran a dry goods store. He later gained two further siblings, Roy (1916-1990) and Daniel (1918-1986) but his mother returned to Lebanon in the early 1920s where she died and he and his father and brothers moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
William was married to Pennsylvanian-born Jennie Sarkis (b. 1914), the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, and had three daughters: Evelyn (b. 1930), Lois Ann (b. 1934) and Marlene (b. 1936). The family settled in Observatory near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and William operated his own business. He reportedly disliked talking about the Titanic disaster.
William Borek died in Observatory on 29 August 1975 aged 68. His widow Jennie died in 2006.
References and Sources
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Leila Salloum Elias (2011) The Dream and Then the Nightmare: The Syrians who Boarded the Titanic, the Story of the Arabic-speaking Passengers. Atlas, ISBN 978-9933-9086-1-4
Gavin Bell, UK