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Source:
18 May 2004




U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Facelift Revives Ottoman Era-school


Children sang. Adults applauded. The sun beat down hard enough to melt stone, but the community was too excited to care. It was a time for celebration: at long last, Taybe Orthodox School had a new annex.

Located in Taybe, a West Bank village of 1,500, the Taybe Orthodox School dates to the Ottoman Era and is one of the oldest schools still operating in the Holy Land. Managed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the school serves 270 students of all faiths, including children from the neighboring villages of Rammun, Deir Jarir, Kafr Malik, Al Mazra'a Ash Sharqiya, Silwad and 'Ein Yabrud.

At the inauguration ceremony on May 6, the community of Taybeh joined American, Greek and Palestinian officials in touring the school's new annex, which boasts four new classrooms, a storage room, and an administrative room. Additionally, the school's kindergarten, which was starting to slide off its foundation, was remodeled and structurally aligned. In all, the new space comprises 347 square meters.

Local residents carried out the construction work, which provided 920 person days of employment to the economically disadvantaged area. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contributed $50,000 to support the $95,000 project, and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, and the Government of Greece supplied the remainder. The International Organization of Christian Charities supervised the project. It is the first time USAID has provided assistance to a Greek Orthodox Patriarchate school.

School officials voiced hope that with the expanded room, Taybeh Orthodox School would be able to accept more students during the coming academic year.


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