Along the Cremisan Valley are the remains of a 7th century Byzantine Monastery, known as the Cremisan Monastery. Growing up in Beit Jala the Monastery was an important part of my childhood and my get away from home to play and meet girls from the neighbouring villages.
My Dad owns a piece of land in this beautiful part of Beit Jala. On his land he has a hundred olive trees. Each one of them has a story of its own.
I read my Dad’s Facebook post over and over again in disbelief and disappointment, thinking of Dad and his state of mind reading the news and then sharing it to the rest of the world in a silent cry for justice. I closed my eyes recollecting childhood memories of picking olives with my Dad, I saw myself under each tree and in every corner of our land. recalling conversations I had with Dad during the olive harvest, and all the nagging and complaining I made about how hard and boring it is to pick olives. I hated the dust and dirt, the waking up early in the mornings, the scratches and bleeding from the branches trying to reach all parts of the tree. I personally hated it back in the days. I remember one particular conversation with my Dad asking him if harvesting the olives and making oil was worth all the hassle and hard work invested in doing it. My Dad looked at me and replied in a sad voice “ya binti (my daughter) it is not about the olives we harvest and the oil we make, it is the trees themselves and the land that matters.