Mrs Niqūlā Khalīl Naṣr Allāh was born as Adāl Hakīm on 19 March 1895 1 in Zahlah,2 Beqaa, Lebanon, a city 55 km east of Beirut.
She was the daughter of Habīb Hakīm and Attur Jaraysātī (b. 1860) and had five known siblings: Ilyās (1890-1916), Abraham (1893-1964), Mahībā (b. 1896), Rashīd "Richard" (1901-1973) and Mary (1907-1993).
Adāl was married in early 1912 to a fellow Zahlah native, Niqūlā Khalīl Naṣr Allāh (b. circa 1883). Niqūlā, like many in his family before him, had emigrated to the USA around 1908 where he is believed to have taken up residency in San Francisco where he had many family members. He returned to Lebanon to find a wife and upon his marriage to Adāl they would return to California.
The couple boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers (ticket number 237736 which cost £30, 1s, 5d), the only Lebanese passengers travelling in that class. Their last place of abode was listed as Paris.
On the night of the sinking Mr Naṣr Allāh escorted his young wife to a lifeboat but was not permitted to follow her so they bid farewell. Adāl recalled how cold it was that night but stated that she was unable to see the ship sink but could hear the cries of those left behind.
Following her arrival in New York aboard Carpathia Adāl was met by relatives, including a brother, and spent time recuperating in hospital before journeying on to Cleveland, Ohio where she had a sister, Mahībā Anter. She was awarded monetary assistance from various relief funds.
Pregnant at the time of the disaster Adāl gave birth to a son on 9 December 1912 but the child lived only a few hours.
Adāl and her brother Ilyās moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico around 1914 and it was here that she met her future husband. Her new suitor was Albert Ayoub Shamaley (b. 15 May 1884), a confectioner and a native of Bejdarfel, al Batrūn, Lebanon who was the son of Ayoub and Selma Shamaley. He had first come to the USA around 1898, first to Minneapolis, Minnesota then to Denver, Colorado and ultimately Albuquerque. In early 1916 he and Adāl were married; later that year Adāl lost her brother Ilyās when he died aged just 26.
Adāl and Albert moved to El Paso, Texas in 1917 and in 1922 Albert Shamaley established Shamaley Co., an office equipment firm of which he later became vice president, growing to employ some twenty people. In America, Adāl became known as Adele.
For many years Adele and Albert lived at 3722 Alameda Street in El Paso. They had five children: Selma (1916-2007, later Mrs Michael Okies), Ayoub Albert John (1919-2000), Lee Joseph (1920-2011), Albert (1922-1923) and Anne (b. 1927, later Mrs Lloyd Burrows). She was later joined in the USA by several of her siblings and her mother Attur also came to America in 1929, living with Adele for a time.
Her husband Albert died on 18 August 1969; he had been involved in a three-car collision on 30 July that year and later died from his injuries aged 85.
A devout Catholic, Adele was a member of St Patrick's Cathedral in El Paso and spent her final months living at 400 Mississippi Avenue in that city. She died in hospital only five months after the death of her husband on 20 January 1970 following a heart attack. She was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso.
Phillip Gowan, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
- Birth date as per social security application. Her death certificate gives her birth date as 19 March 1898 which, if true, means that she had been 13 or 14-years-old at the time of her marriage to Niqūlā Naṣr Allāh. Whilst not uncommon for girls of that age to marry in Lebanon in 1912, it is more likely that she was older. The 1930 census gives her age as 36 (pointing to a 1894 birth year) and the 1920 and 1940 censuses give her age which points to an 1896 birth year. She was listed as aged 18 upon arrival in New York in 1912 and the Uniontown Morning Herald (20 April 1912) described her as 21 years of age.
- Also spelled Zahlé or Zahleh
Unidentified Newspaper (El Paso, Texas) January 21, 1970, Obituary
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55).
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB-85-T715-Vol. 4183.
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
El Paso Times, 21 January 1970, obituary
El Paso Times, 27 January 1970, obituary
El Paso Times, 19 August 1969, obituary (of Albert Shamaley)
Articles and Stories
Fort Wayne News (1912)