Two sisters researched the history of Taybeh, where they grew up, and have published an encyclopedia on the only all-Christian village in Palestine.
A general view of Taybeh, West Bank, Aug. 29, 2010.
Mary George Farah Khoury, a researcher at the Modern University College in Ramallah, was surprised and disappointed at the lack of information available on the history of her village when she wrote a research paper three years ago.
Aware of the rich history of Taybeh, known as the last all-Christian village with Caananite roots in Palestine, Farah and her sister Nusra worked to compile a comprehensive database on the history of their village using local and international sources and interviewing villagers. The database grew into an encyclopedia on the history of the village that was published in January.
The village of 3,000, located 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Ramallah, is indeed the only village solely inhabited by Christians. It’s known for both its history that dates back 4,000 years and its Oktoberfest, which attracts tourists who come to enjoy the local Taybeh beer.
“Landmarks of History and Civilization in Taybeh” narrates the region’s political and economic history along with the history of its agriculture, education and arts as well as the influential figures in the region.
“We did not find a [comprehensive] reference that included information about the village and all its historical treasures, even though it is one of the oldest Palestinian villages. We collected information about the Canaanite history and civilization of the village and the Palestinian territories,” Farah told Al-Monitor.
The sisters hope that the encyclopedia will inspire those in nearby villages to dig into their own history and ensure that the rich heritage of the region is not forgotten.
While compiling the information, Farah and Nusra built on existing information on the village with field research and interviews with families and documents such as municipal and church records, school registries and private and public libraries.
The 500-page encyclopedia is written in Arabic and English. The two sisters, who paid for its production out of their own pockets, printed 100 copies that they have distributed to schools, libraries, churches and other institutions in the village. Farah said that more can be printed, adding, “We do not seek financial remuneration or profits out of this. We want each family in the village to have a copy of the encyclopedia and to keep it as a reference.”
Its cover bears a picture of Khodr Church, the oldest and most important church in the village. The Byzantine church built in the fifth century is one of the oldest in the Palestinian territories and a key archaeological landmark in the village that dates back to the first Christians in Palestine.
Raed Abu Sahliya, a priest who worked in Taybeh parish for 10 years and published dozens of studies about the village in French, told Al-Monitor that the sisters have filled gaps in the documentation of the village’s heritage and religious role.
He said that the village is mentioned six times in the Old Testament under the name of “Ephraim.” In the New Testament, John 11:54 reads, “Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.”
Abu Sahliya shared a popular story about the village’s name. According to the priest, the best documented story dates to the Crusades, when Saladin, the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, came to Jerusalem in the 12th century and the fighters defending a fortress in the village found out and ran away. When Saladin arrived, he entered with no resistance and the people welcomed him. He asked them about the name of the village and they said “Afra,” which means “dust.” He then told them they were “good” people (“taybin” in Arabic) and that the name did not suit them. From then on, the village was called Taybeh.
Abu Sahliya stressed that the village must keep its Christian character. To keep the young residents from leaving, he has helped create jobs by encouraging the building of a home for the elderly and setting up candle and wood workshops. The village is also home to an olive press that exports high-quality olive oil, several hotels and a famous brewery.
Christian pilgrims who travel from Jerusalem to Nazareth visit the village because of its historical and religious importance. According to Abu Sahliya, an estimated 15,000 pilgrims visit Taybeh annually, a major source of income for the hotels and the village in general.
African business leaders meet with officials from the Israeli company Ashra as part of the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange tour of the Jewish state. (Credit: American Jewish Committee/)|
A delegation of 10 African business leaders and entrepreneurs are touring Israel as part of an effort to grow further business and development ties between the Jewish state and sub-Saharan Africa.
Fremale tank commander at helm (Photo courtesy IDF)
On Thursday, the first four female tank commanders complete the Armored Corps’s tank commanders course. The four armored combat soldiers underwent 16 weeks of training at the 460 Brigade and successfully completed the course.
Armored Corps Chief Brigadier General Guy Hasson stated: “After a year and four months of experience, we can say with certainty that an armored combat team under the command of a female tank commander is capable of carrying out operational activity as part of the border defense system.”
Astronaut Randolf Bresnik tweeted this photo of Israel from space. (@AstroKomrade/Twitter)
Israel was ranked the eighth most powerful country in the world, according to US News & World Report magazine’s 2018 best country rankings. With few natural resources and surrounded by sworn enemies, one entrepreneur is convinced that it is Israel’s destined role as a Light Unto the Nations that has fueled this rise to the top.
The ranking, measuring a country’s diplomatic, economic and military might, placed the tiny Jewish State ahead of most European countries, Australia, Canada, and all of the Arab countries. One of the major factors for placing Israel so high on the list was its role as a leader in global technology.
New reports reveal the connections between BDS and Islamic terrorists.
Those were the words of Ismail Haniyeh, a former Hamas prime minister and the head of its Politburo. And they revealed that Hamas considers BDS to be a component of its strategy for destroying Israel.
Even as Hamas continues the violence against Israel, it has gone on cheering BDS.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar puts the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel ahead of any proposals to ease the decadelong siege on the Gaza Strip.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar (C) shouts slogans as he takes part in a tent city protest near the border with Israel, east of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, March 30, 2018.
When the Oslo deal that would create two Islamic terror states inside Israel came up for a vote in the Knesset, the legislator whose vote helped it pass is the same man now accused of spying for Iran.
The strange story of Gonen Segev, doctor, Minister of Energy, drug smuggler, Nigerian exile and now accused Iranian spy, is also that of the dirty politics behind the peace process. It wasn’t idealism that made the deal with the PLO. It was dirty backroom deals with dangerously unprincipled politicians.
For years, Israel’s Right has asserted that the Supreme Court tilts sharply Left, treating Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria in an unfair and even unjust manner. Time and again, politicians and pundits have argued that behind their pronouncements of principle, the justices were in fact often motivated by political agendas.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Although nuclear strategy must, by definition, be shaped without historical precedent, it should contain certain ancient core concepts. The strategic postulates first laid down by Sun Tzu could be referenced usefully by the current architects of US nuclear strategy, especially with reference to an already nuclear North Korea, and to a plausibly future nuclear adversary in Iran.
Last week, in Kibbutz Beit HaEmek in northern Israel, a vote was held in order to decide whether three single parent asylum seekers and their children should be allowed to stay there.
With a majority of 92 against 87, the decision was made against their absorption. It’s not just any Kibbutz but one with an especially high percentage of Meretz voters.
TEL AVIV – What do Israelis think of the idea of Israel winning and the Palestinians losing?
It’s a radical idea, very different from the 50-year-and-counting win-win assumption of “land for peace” that has transfixed governments and monopolized their attention. That old idea holds that putting Palestinians and Israelis in a room together will prompt them to settle their differences. On the cusp of the Oslo Accords’