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St. George Church of Taybeh, Palestine.

Introduction
Greetings from the Holy Land of our Savior. We are asking your support for a vital housing project aimed at helping Palestinian Christians keep their roots and presence in the land of Christ’s Holy Resurrection. As mentioned in a Washington Post article dated March 17, 2000, "long-term trends have contributed to Christians' extraordinary exodus from the land of their forefathers. Arab Christians make up no more than 2% of Israel and the West Bank." Many problems resulting from the political instability in the Middle East have contributed to this exodus: the Israeli occupation, severe roadblocks, curfews, the apartheid "security" wall, inferior housing and education, and lack of jobs. The last eleven years have seen horrific destruction, violence and daily suffering. We seek your help in reversing this trend by addressing one of these basic needs, housing for needy families in the village of Taybeh.

Solidarity Appeal
You can help by participating in the "Holy Land Housing Campaign." Adopting more than one of the following options will build housing sooner.

The $1 Campaign
Annually pass a tray during Christmas and Pascha Church services to help Taybeh.

The $1,000 Option
Raise $1,000 at your church towards the cost of one house. Fifty churches can build one home that costs approximately $50,000.

The Lenten Appeal
Adopt Taybeh as an annual almsgiving project or service project during Great Lent and support housing.

Background
Taybeh, located between Jerusalem and Jericho is the only all-Christian town that has maintained this unique identity in Palestine to this day. Taybeh is the modern name given by the Islamic leader Salahadin for the Biblical village of Ephraim. It is best known for the time Christ came to the village to escape and rest with his disciples before his crucifixion. (John 11:54).

At the present time there are three churches and one small chapel in Taybeh. In addition, the first Greek Orthodox Church of St. George was built in the late fourth century and now remains as archeological ruins and a special place of worship. Our present church was built in 1931 after the original church was destroyed twice. The other churches: Greek Catholic (Melkite) and Latin Church (Roman Catholic) and one small chapel built by a French monk.

The local residents of Taybeh number less than 2,000 people. Thousands of Palestinian Christians from Taybeh live abroad. Christians in this little village trace their roots to the time of Christ.

In 1998, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem allocated land to the church in order to help needy families use land for free in building their first homes. A committee was appointed to fundraise and manage the housing project licensed under the Orthodox Youth Club of St. George's Greek Orthodox Church under the Palestinian Authority.

Project Objectives

  1. Improve the living conditions of families that do not have their own homes.
  2. Help young married couples have their own homes at a reduced cost.
  3. Create temporary jobs during building phase.
  4. Sustain the Christian community in this unique village and discourage immigration.

Beneficiaries
The first phase benefited 12 families with the start of construction of the first homes (Aug 2005). The housing project is intended eventually to help thirty needy families acquire their own homes at a low cost if they meet a strict financial need requirement. Homes may not be sold for profit. Each family must agree that they will not sell their unit except to another needy family in the church or leave it for their own children. Funds raised were shared equally among the families. The second phase of the project has reached twenty one roofed homes, most skeleton style. Each family was initially paying on a monthly basis about $70.00 towards the total cost. However, due to the tragic situation in the Holy Land, we have more than 50% of the people currently unemployed. The family payment or participation was $12,000 per family spent on building the first 12 houses and due to the devaluation of the dollar became $14,000 per family in the second phase matched to the total amount fundraised as of Dec 2011 is approximately $165,000. Six families have finished the interior of their home on their own and currently live there.

Project Duration
The housing project was expected to be completed within five years but due to lack of funds, the Holy Land Housing Campaign will stay in effect.

Management
Contributions are managed by the housing committee in Taybeh and held in an account at the Arab Bank-Ramallah, Al Balad Branch. Account # 9090-662656/4/510 Taybeh Orthodox Club Housing Project.

Your help is greatly needed. Donations may be sent by check made payable to: "Metropolis of Boston Holy Land Housing" and mailed to: Metropolis of Boston, 162 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445. Please notify the committee of your donation by email (khourymaria@hotmail.com)

Housing Committee

  • Fr. Daoud P. Khoury
  • Mother Agapia Stephanopoulos (reference)
  • Dr. Grace C. Muaddi
  • Mr. Naseem Fakir (memory eternal)
  • Mr. Elias Naser,
  • Mr. Iskandar Mshirki,
  • Dr. Maria C. Khoury (Chair)
  • Daoud C. Khoury, Mayor of Taybeh.

  • For more information or to view engineering plans visit us at www.saintgeorgetaybeh.org . You may contact Maria C. Khoury, khourymaria@hotmail.com.

    Your solidarity and support is deeply appreciated. Please share this Holy Land project with others who might be able to help. Your prayers are needed.

    With great appreciation,
    The Housing Committee

     
     
      
     
    Latest News
    Dr. Maria Khoury

    Dr. Khoury lives on the West Bank, She has authored many articles dealing with the Christian presence in the Holy Land and the Palestinian struggle for independence and freedom.

    Click here to read more about Dr. Maria Khoury

    Christina Book Review By Marilyn Rouvelas

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