Below is an effort to try to answer some
of the frequently asked questions many individuals
have asked who wish to help with the Taybeh
Housing Project, Taybeh, Ramallah, West
How were committee members selected?
Committee members were self-nominated
to the housing committee. It is all
volunteer work. They were approved
by the parish members during an after
church meeting were all parish members
were welcomed to attend. Committee
members can serve three years and
any new member of the housing project
can nominate him or herself to serve
on the housing committee and approved
by the parish members.
Why do housing members pay 10 dinars
to the church each month when the
houses are built?
Once the houses are build, as a
support to the Church and because
the land was donated for the housing
project, members sign a contract to
pay about $15 to the church each month
to support the parish. The money can
be used to maintain the church or
what the needs of the church are not
the needs of the housing units. Each
unit is an independent entity and
the member is in charge of his own
housing unit for painting, repairs,
or damages. However, each member signs
a contract to comply with a certain
design, colors, and specifications
so all units look the same style.
However, such things as the main road
or main electrical lines, or main
telephone lines are shared by all
members and the expenses are shared
by all members as they are due but
not collected per month as "a
condominium fee per se" familiar
in the States. If an expense is necessary
to be shared, a meeting will be held
to determine the need and solution
and shared cost of each family.
How many units can a member build?
Each member can build one more
unit on top of his home for his child
or possibly instead of one large unit,
two very small units on top of his
main home but following all regulations
set forth in his contract.
Who is the owner of the unit?
The land for the housing project
continues to stay in the name of the
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in order
to protect the land from being sold
by individual owners. Because the
housing unit has thirty names it is
only possible to technically leave
the land in the name of the Greek
patriarchate with Christian families
as the beneficiaries of living on
the land. Individual housing members
are in charge of their own home or
unit and can only give it to their
children. If they want out of the
housing project, they must sell to
a member of the St. George Church
for the funds that were actually placed
in the unit from their pockets. They
cannot sell for profit for funds that
were fundraised. All members equally
benefit from funds that are raised
and funds are equally shared. If no
one from St. George Church purchases
the unit in need of sale, then the
church shall hold the unit available
until a needy member of St. George
church or a newly wed couple is in
need of their first home. The village
of Taybeh falls under the jurisdiction
of Real Estate laws under the Jordanian
Government which currently the Palestinian
Authority follows, thus the person
living in the unit is protected by
government law to stay in the unit
for his or her lifetime with his children
having a right to inherit the unit
without the patriarchate having a
right to ask them to leave.
What materials will be used to
build the housing?
Inside Taybeh we do not have much.
It is a very small village. We must
purchase materials from Ramallah the
nearest city or when materials are
not available in the West Bank , we
must purchase them from Tel Aviv,
from the Israelis either direct or
via a Palestinian broker. The contracting
bids have been received from four
different firms and the housing committee
will select a contractor who will
thereby be responsible to purchase
materials and stay within the budget
according to his bid.
Most materials are imported such as
cement. Only stones are local. Iron
is usually purchased from Israel through
a Palestinian agent. Jewish workers
would never work in the West Bank
because when an Israeli worker inside
Israel receives $1000 each month for
labor, the Palestinian worker in the
West Bank receives about $300.00 each
month for the same labor. The Taybeh
Housing Project will employ all workers
from within Taybeh for building the
housing units because we have many
people currently unemployed.
Who has been contacted for financial
support for the Taybeh Housing Project?
Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF).
Cambridge Foundation of Peace.
Orthodox Peace Fellowship.
IOCC in the United States and Jerusalem
Representative. World Council of Churches.
Proposal sent to each bishop individually
in the Synod of Bishops in the United
States and collectively to SCOBA.
National Philotochos of the Greek
Orthodox Christian Mission Center
Proposal sent to 100 Orthodox Church
in America during Easter appeal 2001
Less than ten churches responded.
Proposal sent to 25 churches in America
during Christmas appeal 2001.
Proposal sent to thirteen heads of
Christian Delegations on a Peace Mission
Tour in February 2001
Appeal made to Bishop Dimitrios of
Xanthos, a member of the delegation.
Proposal sent to ten different general
consulates offices in Jerusalem representing
their governments and having a record
of helping Christians in the Holy
Land . All responded they cannot help
except for the Greek Consul leaving
us a small chance for assistance.
Proposal sent to ten different non
governmental organizations such as
World Vision, Catholic Relief Services
and the European Union. Most responded
they cannot help small housing projects.
Virginia Farah Foundation.
Arthur DeMoss Foundation.
Habitat for Humanity.
Proposal sent to Church of Greece
in Athens and Solidarity office in
Proposal sent to Antiochian Archdiocese