Al-Taybeh is a very small village that lies near Ramalla. This village had welcomed Jesus Christ and his disciples when they took refuge in the village. Al-Taybeh village belongs to Beni Salim villages that lie in the east part of Ramalla. It is only 20 kilometers from Jerusalem. The village is built on a hilly area, between a mountain and a valley and it is 900 meters above the Sea Level. Al-Taybeh is famous for its olive trees, its grapes and its fig trees.
It’s one of the ancient villages in Palestine that belongs to the Bronze Age, and was established between the years 2900-2200 B.C. formerly it was known under the name Ufra which was one of eight cities built at that time. Ufra means a female deer in Arabic. During the Bronze Age it was called so and remained Ufra during the Second Bronze Age, the first middle Bronze Age and during the Second Middle Bronze Age. Its name didn’t change during Moses Age and was mentioned in the Bible more than once in Joshua, Judge and I Samuel. In the II Samuel its name was changed into Afrime. In the New Testament it was mentioned as Afrime only once.
Its current name Al-Taybeh, was suggested by Salah Addin after its “good people” “Al-Taybeen” did help him. Al-Taybeh inhabitants are about one thousand four hundred while its people who abandoned it are about three thousand seven hundred live nearly all over the world.
During the Uthman reign in the Middle East that lasted 400 years, ignorance was prevailed in Palestine and other Arab countries ruled over by the Uthmans. In 1770 Al-Taybeh was one of the luckiest villages in Palestine, because a school was founded in it by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.
Latin Patriarchate School
In 1869 a second school was established in it by the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem. This school was divided into two parts, one for boys and the other for girls. Twenty-five male students studied at the boys’ school and fifteen female students studied at the girls’ school.
In 1966 the “two schools” were put together where boys and girls were able to study at it. In 1978 the school became a secondary one and that allowed many students from the neighboring villages to join it.
Father Philip Brook, a German, was the Parish priest when the school was established. People of Al-Taybeh sent many appeals to the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem requesting a pastoral care. Father Brook cared so mush about education so he bought apiece of land on which the current school is built. He embarked on building four rooms for students, one of these rooms to be used for teaching Christianity. The number of students was twenty and one of them was sent abroad to study theology and become a priest. This student was Father Dadoush.
Father kittana took power in the village after father Brook had left. He constructed a playground near the east part of the school and a wall was built around it for protection. The Turks had closed the school when the First World War broke out. Father Alfruji became the new Parish priest after the war and was interested in updating the school. In 1945 Father Silvio Brosalin, who was an Italian, came to the village and at once decided to build another floor for the school. After the new floor had been built, the first floor was specified for boys and the second one for girls. The nuns occupied part of this new floor. The first kinder-gratin in the village was also established by Father Brosalin.
In 1975 Father Brosalin left the village and traveled to Sudan. Father John Sansour was the new Parish priest who was so enthusiastic and active regarding his Parish and the school. He was able to persuade the Patriarch Beltritti of the necessity of building a new school in the village. In 1978 the school was completely built.
The holy Sepulcher Knights had sent the required expenses for building up the school. It was then named a secondary school and started to keep up with the ever-increasing number of students in the village and in the surrounding villages. Father Sansour suggested that a qualified teacher should run the school not a priest, and this was to be so from now onwards.
Now the school consisted of two floors, a yard and playgrounds for basketball, volleyball and handball. It comprises all the stages of learning, starts from the kindergarten up to the secondary stage, literary and scientific streams. Since 1978 20 groups have been graduated. The number of teachers in the school is thirty-one, 24 teachers, males and females work in the school, five female teachers work in the kindergarten and two nuns to teach religious education.
The school has different sections that are considered to be as the none curriculum activities. It has a modern library that contains at least fifteen hundred books of both languages English and Arabic. Martyr Hanna Muqbil’s parents founded the library. They decided to do so for honoring the memory of their son.
The school also has a laboratory that was equipped by teacher Mousa khouri sons who have been doing so to keep the name of their father who died several years ago. Since then the laboratory has been updating and it consists of every tool, machine and equipment that help students learn more. A qualified teacher teaches computer science at this school and a room of ten sets is available where students can learn more. These sets need upgrading to meet the ever developing of computer science all over the world. A room for teaching music is also available and another room is available for teaching house – keeping and this room is provided with all-important devices and six sewing machines. Last year the hall was renovated and updated. It was supplied with chairs, tables and loud speakers.
Dahdel family in Jordan and in America donated twenty heaters to the school. The school administration cares so much about the school different sections. Not only do the students learn at it, but they also participate in its none curriculum activities that help them grow mentally, spiritually and physically.
They take part in the school broad – casting unit, school parties and in other school activities such as picnics and competitions.
Physical training activities are held every year, inside and outside the school and an annual exhibition of arts is also arranged to display the students’ works with the help of their teacher.
Taybeh’s Peace Lamp Initiative:
“Taybeh’s Peace Lamp initiative was launched in Taybeh in 2004. This initiative all started from the following analysis: In the terrible conflict that harms the Holy Land, Israelis and Palestinians have tried all possible means of action to put an end to it, using both violence and non-violence, but with little success.
As our last resort, we address a prayer for Peace in the Holy Land to our Lord with a simple and symbolic idea: unite over 100 000 churches, through our lamps, in a common prayer for peace in the Holy Land.
Thus, the lamp, together with the oil and the light, becomes a message of peace from our side and a sign of solidarity towards the Holy Land from the churches all around the world:
– Whilst uniting all Christians and people of faith around the world in a prayer for peace in the Holy Land, this initiative is also a major information tool on the living conditions the Christian communities face in the Holy Land, due to the conflict.
– This initiative also helps the Christian communities in the Holy Land to fight unemployment. These lamps are produced in Taybeh’s new ceramic workshop, and provide jobs to 20 young men and women who now earn a decent salary and can live with their families in dignity on the land they cherish.
– Finally, this initiative provides a needed marketing opportunity for the olive oil produced in the Holy Land
The “Lamps for Peace in the Holy Land” initiative was officially launched on November 16th 2004, in a ceremony during which it received the blessing of the Cardinal of Florence, H.E Ennio Antonelli as well as the one of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, H.B. Michel Sabbah.
Our hope can be summed up like this: With 100 000 churches united in a prayer for Peace in the Holy Land, the Lord will hear his congregation. He won’t have the choice!!
P. Raed Abusahlia
Parish priest of Taybeh”
Taybeh: Holy Redeemer
Mobile : +972 54 970 64 75
Mobile: +972 59 742 04 50
Home: +972 2 2898020
Fax: +972 2 2898160