|Volume 16, No. 2
Creating A Community Oasis
in Troubled West Bank
Three days a week, a small group of elderly village women in loose fitting garb shuffle into the stretching class for seniors at Taybeh Community Center. The rest of the week the space is used for everything from daycare to dance classes. In the computer lab the next room over, a steady stream of teens drop in to connect with the rest of the world via free internet access. Lifelong Taybeh resident and center director, Abeer, 43, calls the multipurpose facility built and equipped by IOCC an "oasis" in the West Bank village of Taybeh, about 20 miles outside of Jerusalem.
Taybeh is the last all-Christian community in a Muslim-dominated region. About 1,300 Christians still reside in this sacred place where Christ spent his final days, but the numbers continue to dwindle. A lack of employment and unrelenting political tension has driven many of the Orthodox Christian youth to emigrate in search of peace and prosperity.
Abeer calls the Taybeh community center a lifeline for those who struggle to survive in isolation amid security roadblocks and restricted access to water. "IOCC helped us to reach this point to succeed," she says. "Every person has benefited from IOCC's project in some way." Through your support of IOCC, the center has helped provide a welcome respite in a hostile environment.