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The Lemon Tree

An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
Tolan, Sandy (Book - 2006 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Lemon Tree
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The tale of a simple act of faith between two young people - one Israeli, one Palestinian - that symbolizes the hope for peace in the Middle East. In 1967, not long after the Six-Day War, three young Arab men ventured into the town of Ramle, in what is now Jewish Israel. They were cousins, on a pilgrimage to see their childhood homes; their families had been driven out of Palestine nearly twenty years earlier. One cousin had a door slammed in his face, and another found his old house had been converted into a school. But the third, Bashir Al-Khairi, was met at the door by a young woman called Dalia, who invited them in. This act of faith in the face of many years of animosity is the starting point for a true story of a remarkable relationship between two families, one Arab, one Jewish, amid the fraught modern history of the regio. In his childhood home, in the lemon tree his father planted in the backyard, Bashir sees dispossession and occupation; Dalia, who arrived as an infant in 1948 with her family from Bulgaria, sees hope for a people devastated by the Holocaust. As both are swept up in the fates of their people, and Bashir is jailed for his alleged part in a supermarket bombing, the friends do not speak for years. They finally reconcile and convert the house in Ramle into a day-care centre for Arab children of Israel, and a center for dialogue between Arabs and Jews. Now the dialogue they started seems more threatened than ever; the lemon tree died in 1998, and Bashir was jailed again, without charge. The Lemon Tree grew out of a forty-three minute radio documentary that Sandy Tolan produced for Fresh Air. With this book, he pursues the story into the homes and histories of the two families at its center, and up to the present day. Their stories form a personal microcosm of the last seventy years of Israeli-Palestinian history. In a region that seems ever more divided, The Lemon Tree is a reminder of all that is at stake, and of all that is still possible.
Authors: Tolan, Sandy
Title: The lemon tree
an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Pub. : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2006
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: xiv, 362 p. :,maps ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Sandy Tolan
Contents: First words
Author's note
A note on spelling and pronunciation
Bell
House
Rescue
Expulsion
Emigration
Refuge
Arrival
War
Encounter
Explosion
Deportation
Hope
Homeland
The lemon tree
Acknowledgements
Bibliography
Source notes
Index
ISBN: 1582343438
9781582343433
1596913436
9781596913431
Branch Call Number: 956.9405 T647L 2006
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [269]-282) and index
Subject Headings: Palestinian Arabs Biography Israelis Biography Arab-Israeli conflict Biography
Topical Term: Palestinian Arabs
Israelis
Arab-Israeli conflict
LCCN: 2005030360
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Join the discussion on Oct. 21, 2014. An award-winning story of two families, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who both had lived in the small stone house in Ramla, Israel, that had a lemon tree growing in the backyard. Tolan traces the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the perso... Read More »

Join the discussion on April 12, 2015. An award-winning story of two families, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who both had lived in the small stone house in Ramla, Israel, that had a lemon tree growing in the backyard. Tolan traces the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the pers... Read More »


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Very informative. Appeared to be an unbiased, very factual (nothing has been created for this book, all thoroughly researched - nearly half the book related to references) book. I valued the information I received from reading it.

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