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A story for Nakba Day, Al-Walaja, 2023

The bulldozer that came to Al-Walaja a few months ago to demolish Khalil’s house ran over the fence and uprooted the ancient olive tree that grew near the porch.

“How can we help?” I asked Khalil when we came to see how he was doing after the demolition. He looked at me and smiled – “The most important thing is to replant the olive tree. We’ll have to dig a lot for such an old tree.”

So, we came and dug, and together directed the old olive tree to its new place. Gently we rolled its huge roots into the ground. We covered, aired, cleaned and hoped…

Three weeks later the tree produced a new branch, green, hopeful.

“You’ll see, another year or two and we’ll be able to produce oil from it. It is insistent and smart, this olive tree”, Khalil said.

Earth and olive trees – a lesson in patience and hope.

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