• To donate, send checks payable to the “ELCA,” c/o The Foundation of the ELCA, at 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631 (write “Mount of Olives Housing Project” on the notation line).
• Gifts can also be made at www.elca.org/giving (choose ELCA Good Gifts Catalog, select “Housing in the Holy Land” from the drop-down menu). Or call (800) 638-3522, Ext. 2970, to donate or to inquire about giving stocks, securities or through your estate.
Adib Muribia, 35, said he passed up several marriage opportunities even though he earns a decent salary as an accountant for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.
As the family’s sole wage earner, he pays the $700 monthly rent for the apartment he shares with his parents and sister. He sleeps in the living room. If he married and moved out, he’d pay rent on two apartments and have no salary left, he said.
In traditional Palestinian society a prospective husband must provide a suitable home for his bride, he â€¨explained. “I want a wife but it is very difficult ...,” he added. “I don’t even have a room to offer. It’s better to just stay alone like this.”
Muribia now regrets leaving France, where he completed his studies. “We live better outside the country than we do inside,” he said. “Our future isn’t clear here. But we [must] keep our Christian community here.”
Family life centers around one room in Saleh
and Sahar Kawas’ apartment in Jerusalem’s Old City. It’s where the
30-something couple and their five children eat, do homework, watch TV,
play indoor basketball and sleep.
Their cramped conditions illustrate a larger problem. Lutheran World Federation regional representative Mark Brown said affordable housing is hard to come by for Jerusalem’s Christian Palestinians.
To help, the LWF plans to construct an $8-million Christian housing project on almost 4 acres on the Mount of Olives. Done in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and the Germany-based Kaiserin Auguste Victoria Foundation, the homes would sit near Augusta Victoria Hospital on the southeastern corner of LWF property. The project consists of 84 low-rent apartments in 12 buildings.
|From eating to sleeping, everything happens in one room of a tiny apartment rented by Saleh and Sahar Kawas, who have five children (Niran, 13; Nariman, 12; Nakaleh, 10; and 6-month-old twins Carlos and Chris).|
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© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers