Zababdeh, Palestine
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Zababdeh is located in the Northern West Bank between Jenin and Nablus.
When we departed Zababdeh, the village's population is roughly 3000.  There were another estimated 3000 Zababdeh natives living throughout the world, including many in the United States.  At the time, Zababdeh, along with villages like Taybeh and Beit Sahour, was one of the few majority Christian population centers in all of Palestine and Israel.  The 66% Christian population attends one of the village's four churches:
Roman Catholic (Latin) Church of Visitation, St. George's Greek Orthodox Church
St. Matthew's Anglican Church, and St. George's Greek Catholic (Melkite) Church.  The rest of the population of Zababdeh is primarily Sunni Muslim. There is one small mosque in Zababdeh. When we left, a larger one was being constructed to accomodate a growing population, including the influx of Arab-American University of Jenin students. 
The dating of Zababdeh is unclear.  The Latin Church of Visitation is built on the site believed to have been visited by Mary and Elizabeth to visit one another.  Zababdeh is reputed to lie on the route of the Roman Way, an active travel route during the time of Jesus.  Mosaics in the Latin Convent indicate that there may have been Christians here since the third century.  There is also a stone from the Grotto where St. George's Orthodox Church is located; the stone is undated, but contains an inscription which may be ancient Latin or Greek. However, the modern village has been continuously inhabited since the early 19th century. 

Zababdeh Nature Page

Zababdeh is a rural village, thus many of its residents are farmers.  The Latin School employs fifty-five teachers (though not all from Zababdeh), plus many others in different capacities - office, maintenance, bus drivers, etc.  There are also two government schools in Zababdeh, one for boys and one for girls.  The new Arab American University of Jenin (which, in spite of its name, is located next to Zababdeh, not in Jenin) employs many people as faculty and staff.  There were also several sewing sweatshops which do labor for Israeli import/export companies, but they have closed because of the difficulty sending and receiving goods.  It is impossible to fully summarize employment here.  Some families run stores either in town or along the main road.  Prior to the current conflict, many people had jobs in Israel or in Jenin or Nablus; most of these people cannot get to their jobs now. Some drive taxis, others work for the municipality.
Other Zababdeh pages:
Ramzi Bassam Duaibis' "Zababdeh Home Page"
Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem's Zababdeh page
Ein Zababdeh Testhomepage von Dr. Raed Khader (auf Deutsch)

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