Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Historic Taybeh: After a tour of the microbrewery in the West Bank town of Taybeh (Et-Taiyiba) the master brewer, Nadim Khoury, took me to see the ruins of the el-Khadr Greek Orthodox Church located near the town hall. The ruins date back to the Byzantine period (325-638) but the town itself dates back to the Bronze Age.  The town was called Ephraim in the New Testament and is referenced in John 11:54 as the place where Jesus and his disciples retreated from threats of violence. The current name (meaning good, delicious or fertile) was given by Saladin on his way to conquer Jerusalem in the 12th century.  Mosaic tile floors remain despite being open to the elements. Today villagers continue to make offerings and light candles at the ruins. From the church ruins and along the roadway one looks out to the Jordan River valley.   

From the ruins looking west toward the town.
Taybeh Tourism:  Nadim and the Khoury family are passionate about investing in Palestine to support the achievement of its political and economic self-determination.  This national vision is based on their roots in Taybeh and the agricultural products of the area.  Once in Taybeh I discovered that the brewery organizes an annual Oktoberfest with the municipality and that Nadim has been making wine, exporting olive oil from community producers to France, Germany and the United States, and is building a boutique hotel on the road overlooking the Jordan valley not far from the church ruins.  The hotel will house the winery and a brew pub.

Taybeh Products:  After my tour of the church ruins and the hotel I returned to the brewery for "one-stop shopping".  I left the brewery loaded down with two types of red wine, fresh pressed olive oil, beer, t-shirts and mugs with the brewery logo, and olive oil soap. I also left with a keen desire to return to stay at the hotel and explore the walking trails, the historic sites, the upcoming vineyard and enjoy the Taybeh landscape and hospitality.    
(See a youtube video on the annual Oktoberfest in Taybeh)

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