A MOVING POEM THAT ECHOES THE LOVE PALESTINIANS HAVE FOR THEIR OLIVE TREES AND THEIR DEEP CONNECTION TO THEIR LAND
FEATURES SEVENTEEN MAJOR PALESTINIAN ARTISTS
Rest in My Shade is a poetic story about displacement, identity and loss recited by an ancient olive tree. It is illustrated with olive trees created in various media by Palestinian artists living around the world.
Millions of people are being uprooted, separated from their families, and risk losing their culture as a result of war, poverty, repression, and climate injustice. Rest in My Shade is a tool for building understanding, compassion, and dialog. Together, we can build a truly just world—one in which we can all live where we want, move freely and without fear, value and share the traditions that make us who we are, and feel dignity and acceptance wherever we are.
Nora Lester Murad, originally from California, raised her three Palestinian-American daughters in Jerusalem. She now lives in New York. She was inspired to write this story by her father-in-law whose love for his olive trees echoes the deep connection between Palestinians and their land throughout the generations and across the continents.
Danna Masad, originally from Zeita village, was born and raised in Ramallah, Palestine. She is an environmentalist, activist, and architect with a deep love for her land and people. Her inspiration for this story comes from witnessing the deep connection that developed over a lifetime between her grandmother and the olive trees she tended.
Publishers: Interlink Publishing Group, Olive Branch Press
Publication date: 28 Apr 2019
Rest in my shade is a gentle and beautiful book that yet bears witness to the root-wrenching violence experienced by the Palestinian people.
Like the olive tree that this poem gives voice to, this small book is generous, fruitful.
One of the final lines, “May people rest in my shade and be home” is an almost universal longing. I am sure this book will serve its’ stated purpose to build compassion and to create dialogue.
My internal dialogue rips me from this sentiment.
I am not the olive tree in this story, displaced and re-placed.
The new again in this moment realization that I am apriori, always already a Settler ‘here’, where I sit in my comfortable Canadian home, knowing what my ancestors bulldozed, knowing who my ancestors displaced to claim home.
I am the consumer of olives, from all-over. A product of generations of pickling of cultures, continents of condiments.
All I can say is that I will treat olive oil as a sacrament, from now on.