Taybeh Oktoberfest is Happening Right Now!

Taybeh Oktoberfest is Happening Right Now!
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Taybeh Oktoberfest is Happening Right Now!

Religious leaders offer blessings at the opening of the annual Taybeh OktoberFest which celebrates the Fall harvest and the local economy of the Palestinians living in one of Palestine’s few Christian hubs. The festival is popular among Christian Palestinians, and also many Muslims, to show support.

By Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D. 

You are asking me to attend a beer festival?

Yes, your Beatitude, with all due respect, it is not just a beer festival, it means the whole world to me if you please come and give Taybeh your blessing for this unique event.

But, patriarchs do not attend beer festivals!

Ok.  However, it is so critical that we have your blessing for this strange way that we promote our heritage and culture in a village that is one of the most ancient places in Palestine, Biblical Ephraim; of course you know it is the last stop our Lord Jesus made before His glorious entry into Jerusalem.

Please, Your Beatitude, I need you to be at the opening reception for the 2018 Taybeh Oktoberfest at the Taybeh Golden Hotel.

Mina Band: All time Oktoberfest favorite performing annually with Oriental & Traditional Palestinian music

Mina Band: All time Oktoberfest favorite performing annually
with Oriental & Traditional Palestinian music

Needless to say, not too many patriarchs showed up today (Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018) in Taybeh for the opening of the 14th Annual Taybeh Oktoberfest, but our most favorite patriarch certainly came.  It has been a tradition, throughout the many years, that if His Beatitude, the former Patriarch of Jerusalem Msgr.  Michel Sabbah is in the country, most likely he offers the prayer at the Taybeh Oktoberfest since 2005.

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What a great blessing this continues to be for Taybeh and I am personally grateful for this critical support. We had a double blessing since His Grace Bishop Mounib Younan, retired Lutheran bishop of Jerusalem accompanied the patriarch who also happens to be the most famous resident of Taybeh.  His Beatitude served in Jerusalem from 1987 – 2008, and was the first non-Italian to hold this position in more than five centuries.

We are so happy some of the bishops find it worthy to grant us their blessing. Some people have referred to Taybeh Oktoberfest as the “Highlight of Palestine,” but actually for others, it has been an interesting and practical event to gather a multicultural audience meaning Christians, Muslims, Jews, locals, internationals, and secular people.  Today, more than twenty ambassadors, consul generals and representatives of different countries to the Palestine Authority showed up in Taybeh from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Lithuania, Switzerland, Romania, and many others.

There was an amazing performance with the Hungarian Band, Live Act Folk and wonderful guitar music by Aldo from Brazil while a young Taybeh vocalist, Naheel Munther Hanna sang a beautiful song for Jerusalem. All in all, with new artists such as Bashar Murard and Ghazall band from Nazareth, the local Palestinian dance seems to be the most popular among American Embassy staff visiting with all of their armored jeeps and strict security.

Hope you visit Taybeh one day too. Cheers!

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Maria Khoury

Maria Khoury

Palestine Christian Writer, Blogger at St. George Greek Orthodox Church
Maria C. Khoury

Palestine Christian Writer, Blogger at St. George Greek Orthodox Church
Maria (Kouremenou) Khoury is the author of Orthodox Christian children's books including Christina Goes to the Holy Land, walking the footsteps of Christ. She is a graduate of Hellenic College (1982), Harvard University (1985) and Boston University (1992) with a doctor of education degree. Born in Tripoli, Greece, she was raised in Denver, Colorado. On Dec 31, 2009 she was included on the top 4 Human Rights Champions list by DC Human Rights Examiner including the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Hilary Clinton.

Maria is the author of Witness in the Holy Land (distributed by www.HolyCrossBookstore.com), a publication reflecting personal experiences living under military occupation with her husband the former Mayor of Taybeh, David Canaan Khoury and three children Elena, Canaan, and Constantine. Her articles have been published world-wide in numerous newspapers and magazines and have been translated to various languages bringing awareness of the Christian presence in the Holy Land.

Maria Khoury has been the Taybeh Oktoberfest organizer since 2005.She divides her time between her homes in Boston and Taybeh, travels throughout the world promoting the Christina Books and making presentations about the dwindling Christian community in Palestine.She encourages people to stay at the new Taybeh Golden Hotel and experience rural life in Palestine.
Maria Khoury
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