Charbels smileLiving in Beit Jala, 5 miles south of Jerusalem, is Charbel Zeidan, the 7-year-old boy seen grinning from ear to ear.

Charbel has severe problems with his teeth. The treatment - pediatric nerve treatment for six teeth – comes at a high price, and the pandemic nearly halted the possibility of surgery.

His father, Steve, used to work in a souvenir shop, but Covid-19 has put an end to that, leaving Charbel’s mother, Maggy, as the sole breadwinner of the family.

Assisted by Friends of the Holy Land, Charbel’s surgery will go ahead, hopefully allowing him to impress everyone with his lovely smile for many years to come!

Mirna and baby NicolaYoung mother Mirna Kheir, also from Beit Jala, is married and lives with her husband in a rented house. Her baby, Nicola, is only a few months old.

Before Nicola came along, Mirna used to work in a hotel as a housekeeper, and her husband Ramzi worked as a labourer in Jerusalem. But since Ramzi has struggled to obtain permission to work, there has been no income for the family.

The family is passing through a very difficult time and Friends of the Holy Land were delighted to be able to offer some financial assistance to the family.

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Yousef smilingYousef Thalgieh is a 64-year-old who lives with his wife in the place of Jesus’ birth, Bethlehem.

Yousef has a tumor in his bladder and needs specialist treatment every 6 months. Before the pandemic, that might just have been manageable, but since, things have changed signficiantly...

Yousef used to work as a tourist photographer in the Nativity Church square. The next part is as predictable as it is sad: the coronavirus pandemic stopped his income and changed his family’s life.

Yousef’s wife Suzan is, for other reasons, only now receiving her salary. This is the only income for the family right now – and Yousef’s sons can’t help as they are just managing to cover their own family’s costs. 

Friends of The Holy Land have helped Yousef twice; the first time last June and recently we contributed towards another of his operations. Yousef is another person that you’ve helped to keep smiling.

Thank you.