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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 Bank, Palestine.


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 Archdiocese.

Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC).

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 Greece .

Proposal sent to Antiochian Archdiocese of America.


Individual unit drawing
Taybeh Housing Individual Unit Design: Floorplan
Individual unit drawing
Taybeh Housing
Design of Duplex
Individual unit drawing
Taybeh Housing
Site Plan: 15 Units
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