For centuries the olive branch has symbolized peace. In Palestine, olive oil is the primary source of income for about 75,000 farmers.
Under the military occupation of Israel, Palestinian farmers have suffered the destruction of their trees and land – bulldozed and burned to make way for illegal settlements or cut off by checkpoints, roadblocks or the imposing thirty foot high concrete `security fence.’
Still, there is a way to give hope and income to Palestinian farmers. Zatoun, (Arabic for Olive), is a company that markets fair trade Palestinian olive oil, soap and the aromatic herb mix called za’atar.
With every purchase of Zatoun, you support a fair price for Palestinian farmers in the struggle for their livelihood and land. As well, a share of proceeds supports Project Hope, an education and art therapy program for youth in Palestine. Another portion goes to Trees for Life, a project to plant tens of thousands of olive tree saplings to replaced trees destroyed by the military occupation.
If you would like to give a gift this Christmas that reflects the value of honouring the Holy Land as a home for both Palestinians and Israelis, you may want to purchase the Zatoun products. They are available at Sicamous United Church, and at my home. I have pre-paid Zatoun, so you can purchase from me directly.
750 ml. bottle of olive oil – $20 (comes with flower seeds from Palestine)
Bar of soap – $5 (beautiful for sensitive skin)
Za’atar herb mix – $5 (comes with a pamphlet of recipes)
Blessings, Rev. Juanita Austin