Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Planting Olive Trees

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Planting Olive Trees

Article excerpt

This is a story that was told to my father by his father. It is a lesson that is taught to children all over the Middle East in one form or another.

Visiting Jiddu (Grandfather) and Teta (Grandmother) in their mountain village was always a special treat. Teta would have special sweets and my favorite food prepared for me. Best of all, though, was Jiddu taking me with him to the fields. Sometimes it was just a brief trip to see how the plants were growing. But sometimes Jiddu would ask me to be "Jiddu's helper" and help him with some small chores. During one visit, Jiddu told me that we would be planting olive trees. Because we would be staying in the fields all day, we had to bring with us a zuwaidy (picnic lunch), water and other provisions.

The next morning, Jiddu and I set out for the fields much earlier than usual, with a donkey carrying our provisions and small olive plants. …

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