Born 1 June 1951 at Qaraqosh, Iraq, Yousif Behnam Habash entered St. John’s Seminary in Mosul in 1965 at the age of 14. From 1970 to 1972 he performed military service in Iraq. Thereafter, when the Mosul seminary closed, he completed his seminary studies at Charfet, Lebanon, studying at the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik. He was ordained a priest for the Archeparchy of Mosul on 31 August 1975 after which time he was assigned to a parish in his home town of Qaraqosh and worked in youth ministry. He later served as vicar and then pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, in Basra.
In 1994, he was assigned to the Syrian Catholic Mission of North America, serving first in Newark, New Jersey and, from 2001 on, at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in West Hollywood, California.
In April 2010, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the second eparch of the Syrian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark. He was consecrated a bishop on 11 July 2010 by his predecessor Ephrem Joseph Younan, who had been elected Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians.
Eparch Habash's territory includes the United States and Canada.