When I think of olive trees, I think of my aunt, Hanan, in Gaza. The annual olive harvest has just ended in Palestine, and I always call her to hear about how her grove did.
“Olive trees are unlike any other,” she tells me. “They resist drought and they grow despite the poor soil conditions. Think of everything that’s happened to us, to our fields, and yet, they grow.”
I can feel the warmth of her pride through the phone. I imagine a flurry of red and white tatreez as she weaves between the groves. Her delicate, worn hands tending to every branch, inspecting every leaf. I hear the sweet sound of their rustle as they are greeted by the breeze of the salty Mediterranean.
Olive trees are synonymous with Palestinian resistance and resilience and that makes them a target of the occupation. Since 1967, Israel has destroyed at least 800,000 olive trees – equal to 33 Central Parks. Some of them were over a 1,000 years old.
“In Gaza, everyone copes with and resists the occupation in different ways. For me, farming olive trees is my form of resistance.”
Olive trees are not only a lifeline for Palestinian farmers like my aunt Hanan, but a real and tangible link of resistance to being uprooted between our people, families, and land.
You can help root this resistance. Plant an olive tree for a Palestinian farming family with a donation of just $25 – that will also support our work for Palestinian rights – through the Palestinian Fair Trade Association’s Trees for Life program.
If you make a tax-deductible donation of $100, we will be able to plant five trees. Trees for Life gives priority to farmers who are young, women, have small groves, or who have lost trees to the occupation. When you plant an olive tree, you are supporting a Palestinian fair trade farmer financially, and showing them that you stand in solidarity.
When you give, we will send a commemorative certificate to you or someone you would like to honor with your gift.
Manager of Finance and Operations
PS – Our goal is to raise enough to plant 1,500 trees this year. With the generous support of over 300 people like you, we are over halfway there. Please give what you can today, starting at just $25, to help us plant the remaining
668 651 trees.