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The little Palestinian brewery that could

It’s 1993. The Oslo Accords have just been signed, and your wealthy Palestinian family has money for new business ventures. Why not a brewery? Yes, fifteen years on from its official founding, Taybeh Brewery is still going strong. The conditions may not be ideal: as the Guardian points out,”the population is predominantly teetotal Muslims. It ...

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY JOSEPH KRAUSS Palestinian youths dance in traditional costume at the fourth annual 'Oktoberfest' beer festival in the village of Taybeh northeast of the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 11, 2008. While some Palestinians have turned to arms and others to peace talks in their decades-long struggle, Nadim Khoury, owner of the Taybeh brewery, has found a third route to statehood -- the brewing of delicious local beer. AFP PHOTO/ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s 1993. The Oslo Accords have just been signed, and your wealthy Palestinian family has money for new business ventures. Why not a brewery?

Yes, fifteen years on from its official founding, Taybeh Brewery is still going strong. The conditions may not be ideal: as the Guardian points out,”the population is predominantly teetotal Muslims. It operates in bleak economic conditions, with high unemployment and the extra costs and challenges of dealing with the checkpoints and delays that make up Israel’s military occupation. And, on top of that, they have to market their Palestinian beer to Israeli customers.”

But the brewery, run by Nadim Khoury, who learned to brew beer at home while living in the US, has overcome these obstacles and even harder times (business almost completely died off during the Second Infitada) on its way to being the first Palestinian product in Germany, and a popular beer in Japan. Their latest venture is a non-alcoholic variety marketed at young Palestinians. With the Palestinian economy recovering slightly, Khoury hopes the brewery can continue to show that “we have a right to enjoy life. Enough is enough with the fighting.”

ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images

James Downie is an editorial researcher at FP.