has been written that 2,000 years ago, a Palestinian Jew named Jesus
began a public social justice ministry which challenged the status quo
of The Temple and Roman Occupying Forces, by turning water into wine to
keep a party going.
In 21st century Palestine the beverage of choice is beer from Taybeh, the last remaining
self-sufficient Christian West Bank village.
In 1947, 20% of the total population of the land we call Holy was Christian, but the Christian Exodus has reduced their numbers to less that 1.3%of the total in 2010.
Researchers predict that unless things change very soon, Holy Land Churches will be nothing more than museums for there will be no Christian community in the Holy Land.
The reasons why the most well educated and consistently
nonviolent members of that society are fleeing in droves include the 42 years of ongoing occupation
and oppression that has resulted in lack of economic opportunities, The Wall
which divides Palestinians from their land, resources, families and holy sites
and the increasing sense of hopelessness that fuels militancy and
fundamentalism within all three branches of Father Abraham's offspring's.
Palestinians have taught me that they laugh at the worst tragedies, or else they would be crying all the time.
Palestinian Christian Maria Khoury, writes from of Taybeh: where they produce Holy
Land olive oil and beer, but 50% of the people of
Taybeh are unemployed. It is Maria Khoury's faith that sustains her
sense of humor and fuels her love for her homeland and people.
Maria is organizing the 6th Annual Taybeh Oktoberfest, as a means to demonstrate peaceful resistance and non-violent actions. She emailed me the following invitation to the world.
Dr. Maria Khoury at St. George Church
God's Humor in Promoting Taybeh
By Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D.
I am sitting in the middle of the wilderness and most of the days I am sincerely happy that the whole world is willing to come to me. I clearly have nothing to do with this fame since my brother-in-law, Nadim Khoury, worked extraordinarily hard since the early 90's to make one of the best products that exist in Palestine. People from all of the world want to come and see how we make this great micro brewed beer, the only micro brew beer in the whole Middle East, Taybeh Beer.
Most times I am thinking we are absolutely crazy to stay in the highest mountain region of Palestine especially when we have all of the illegal Israeli settlements closing in on Taybeh and preparing a greater Israel. Sometimes, no electricity and other times, no running water and once in a while a few army invasions. But, there is something amazing happening here in Biblical Judea where Judea is ending and Samaria begins. With God's help we are still making the Finest Beer in the Middle East and feel this is our peaceful resistance.
On one level it is seriously God expressing his humor in somehow making it possible for a minority Christian family to exist among 98% Muslim population packaging a product that the majority are forbidden to drink by the Koran.
And what is interesting about God is that He has granted much strength and blessings to survive harsh conditions of occupation, closure of roads and economic daily obstacles along with all of the other usual checkpoint problems. Recently the Israeli occupation policies are making us go three hours out of the way to a designated commercial checkpoint with a scanner in order to deliver Taybeh Beer to Jerusalem which is technically only twenty-five minutes away from the brewery. Talk about a way to put you out of business since gas on this side of the world is approximately four times higher than you might know.