The lemon tree: an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East

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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.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID88169592-9b48-e044-0cf7-b59f0d9a3b62
Grouping Titlelemon tree an arab a jew and the heart of the middle east
Grouping Authortolan sandy
Grouping Categorybook
Last Grouping Update2019-11-21 11:12:59AM
Last Indexed2019-11-21 11:13:30AM

Solr Details

authorTolan, Sandy.
author_displayTolan, Sandy
available_at_arlingtonAurora Hills
Columbia Pike
collection_arlingtonAdult Nonfiction
Book Discussion Group
detailed_location_arlingtonAurora Hills Adult Nonfiction
Columbia Pike Adult Nonfiction
Glencarlyn Adult Nonfiction
Shirlington Adult Nonfiction
Westover Adult Nonfiction
display_descriptionWith a new afterword by the author, and a sneak preview of Sandy Tolan's new book, Children of the Stone

In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967. Based on extensive research, and springing from his enormously resonant documentary that aired on NPR's Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.
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ils:.b13185020.i12530761Aurora Hills Adult Nonfiction956.9405 TOLAN1falsefalseOn ShelfSep 30, 2019aanbd
literary_formNon Fiction
literary_form_fullNon Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington956.9405 TOLAN
Online OverDrive
owning_library_arlingtonArlington Public Library
Aurora Hills
Columbia Pike
Connection Crystal City
Detention Center
Local History
owning_location_arlingtonAurora Hills
Columbia Pike
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
overdrive:9b53d211-70c7-4bba-9943-6a29fa9b3d2feBookeBookEnglishBloomsbury Publishing2008
ils:.b13185020BookBooksEnglishBloomsbury Pub. :2006.xiv, 362 p. : maps ; 25 cm.
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subject_facetArab-Israeli conflict -- Biography
Israelis -- Biography
Palestinian Arabs -- Biography
title_displayThe lemon tree : an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East
title_fullThe Lemon Tree An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
The lemon tree : an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East / Sandy Tolan
title_shortThe lemon tree
title_suban Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East