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Palestinian spirits sag as coronavirus steals Christmas

Taybeh, the only village in Palestine where the entire population is Christian, is having a dreary holiday season with residents confined at home due to the pandemic.
A man is pictured in the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 20, 2020 after it was re-opened for prayers following strict COVID-19 restrtictions. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)

While visiting Taybeh, a village northeast of Ramallah in the West Bank that is known as the only town in Palestine where all residents are Christan, I found myself outside Zahra Thalji’s grocery shop on the main roundabout in the center of town. Thalji greeted me with a warm smile, until I asked why she had not put up a Christmas tree.

“What celebration? We live in a coronavirus nightmare,” she said.

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