Olive Trees Palestine

Olive trees are an important source of sustenance and income for families in Palestine.  The olive tree is a symbol of longevity, a constant in the lives of so many people in this troubled land.

The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree.   These trees grow in groves here in the West Bank, in valleys and along man-made terraces up the sides of mountains.  The harvest of the fruit, the olive, takes place in the fall.

Olive trees come in all shapes, sizes and ages, ranging from saplings to gnarled and weathered veterans of hundreds of years.  This tree was planted near Qaryut, south of Yanoun.Image

In a field nearby, I discovered this giant of a specimen –


This grove of olive trees is a comforting sight near Lower Yanoun along the Old Nablus Road when our team does the morning or afternoon walk.

Norman Williams - Olive Grove - Old Nablus Road - 13.05.11

Olives (zatoun), olive oil (zeit) and za’atar (a thyme, sesame seed and sumac combination) are daily parts of our diet in Yanoun.  They go hand-in-hand with home-made cheese and yoghurt from the sheep that populate our village and bread baked in in outdoor oven (taboon).

Have a great day wherever you are from the team here in Upper Yanoun, West Bank, occupied Palestinian territory.

2013.04.26 Upper Yanoun Photo Norman Williams

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2 Responses to Olive Trees Palestine

  1. Jennifer says:

    It looks truly beatiful.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Yes, truly beautiful and full of surprises. I’m in South Hebron Hills for my first placement visit. Just gave an English lesson to a very keen 10-year old. So gratifying. Tomorrow will likely deliver other kinds of surprises – the not-so-happy kind. Keep well and keep commenting.

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