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.
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.