Olive trees will live for centuries if they are NOT plowed down by USA MADE CATERPILLARS, which has been the vehicle of choice that Israel has used to plow down over one million fruit bearing trees to 'plant' The Wall that divides Palestinians from their families, land, resources and holy sites.
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Palestinians also name their trees because they are a part of their family. Just 25 olive trees can sustain a typical Palestinian family for they waste nothing- they prune the branches and carve olive wood sculptures, they harvest the olives and make oil, soap, salads and from nursery to manufacturing there are many jobs!
The Olive Branch is also SACRED to all of Father Abraham's offspring's for Jew, Christian and Muslim share the story of Noah and the DOVE of PEACE who returned with the Olive Branch of PEACE after the flood-and haven't we All had ENOUGH of the flood of blood, hate, racism and Military Occupation?
So far a few thoughtful, committed citizens of the world have provided the funds to plant 40,000 trees rooted in Israel Palestine on both sides of The Wall, through The Olive Trees Foundation For Peace.
First Honorable Mention Written Work Selection for the Expressions of Nakba Competition 2008 http://www.expressionsofnakba.org
The wailing of families throughout Majd Al Krum could be heard for miles that
cold night in October 1948. In single file, under the cover of darkness,
Khaled, his sister, two cousins and hundreds of neighbors guided by only the
light of a crescent moon trekked through the Galilee to Lebanon fearing for
their lives, for the Israeli army had surrounded their village.
Twenty-one hours later they reached the town of Bint Jubayl and the family joined the end of a queue at a water well. The land owner offered them drink and hard crusts of bread and Khaled told him of their twenty-one hour odyssey of terror. Their host sighed and shrugged, then handed Khaled a blanket and pointed them down the grove where they could sleep amongst thousands of other Palestinian refugees. When they found an unoccupied olive tree they spread the blanket atop the dirt and roots and huddled together beneath the tree's broad canopy and fell into an exhausted sleep.
The next day, a mile from the grove, the young family found a vacant, unfurnished room in an unfinished building and sat down. For two days, they moved in a cloud of unknowing as more refugees flooded into Lebanon. On the third day Khaled announced, "We must move on. I say we go to Damascus. I have my teacher's certificate with me. I will teach the children of wealthy merchants, and we will eat and sleep without fear until we can return home."
He smiled, remembering the fierce joy of Khaldiyeh and Latifah when they erupted into song and dance, and Little Mo asked, "Why not?" It was their first laugh since leaving home.
The only transportation available was a decrepit old train that had once carried livestock. Hundreds of refugees were packed in like standing sardines and people relieved themselves and vomited all around the young family. After five hours, Khaled noticed the girls looked ready to pass out and announced that they must all jump off.
"I will count to twenty, and then we must all jump at the same time. Are you ready?"
The girls were visibly trembling, but nodded yes. Little Mo appeared stoic, but quaked within. Khaled counted slowly as they all stood at the edge of the open car holding hands. When Khaled screamed "twenty," he, Little Mo, and Latifah jumped, but not Khaldiyeh! With astounding power Khaled ran after the train, climbed back aboard, grabbed his sister, picked her up, and jumped off once more. The siblings were scraped and bruised, but grateful to get off that wretched train. They all laughed for the second time since they had fled Majd Al Krum.
The young family walked the remaining mile to Beirut, where they spent the
night wide awake in a bus depot, waiting for their ride to Damascus. They were
filled with idealistic, youthful hopes, until their connection arrived,
carrying thousands of dazed and confused Palestinians.
After disembarking from the long, silent ride, Khaled led his family into a dingy gray Damascus neighborhood. He was able to afford a few nights in a sparsely furnished attic room. On the third day, he ventured alone into the center of the cradle of civilization.
The Damascus streets sights and smells overwhelmed Khaled's senses. His gait slowed to a shuffle as he inhaled and savored the pungent spices of meats and the sweet perfume of fresh fruits. He stopped at a booth displaying rugs and despaired at the thought of his family sleeping another night on a bare floor.
With a crooked smile the Syrian merchant inquired, "Which carpet is it that you desire?" Khaled pointed to the thinnest scrap and asked "How much?
"Only 125 Syrian liras. It is a bargain, and it is a fine eye you have for excellent quality. I see you are a smart young man, who will not pass up my gracious offer."
Khaled was shocked into silence. The amount was five times more than he
possessed. He turned to leave, as the rug merchant shouted, "How much can you
spend? You cannot just walk away from me. What can you afford? You cannot treat
me this way! You must answer me. How much can you spend?"
Khaled never had experienced such a verbal assault from any of the merchants in his hometown, and blurted out, "I have twenty-five Syrian liras."
The rug merchant's face clouded over with concern, and he asked, "Ah, young man, are you a refugee?"