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 ID 88169592-9b48-e044-0cf7-b59f0d9a3b62
Grouping Title lemon tree an arab a jew and the heart of the middle east
Grouping Author tolan sandy
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-02-22 09:48:45AM
Last Indexed 2019-02-22 09:50:44AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Tolan, Sandy.
author_display Tolan, Sandy
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction, Book Discussion Group
detailed_location_arlington Aurora Hills Adult Nonfiction, Westover Adult Nonfiction
display_description With 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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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 956.9405 TOLAN, Online OverDrive
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Aurora Hills, Westover
primary_isbn 9781596913431
publishDate 2006, 2008
record_details ils:.b13185020|Book|Books||English|Bloomsbury Pub. :|2006.|xiv, 362 p. : maps ; 25 cm., overdrive:9b53d211-70c7-4bba-9943-6a29fa9b3d2f|eBook|eBook||English|Bloomsbury Publishing|2008|
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subject_facet Arab-Israeli conflict -- Biography, Israelis -- Biography, Palestinian Arabs -- Biography
title_display The lemon tree : an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East
title_full The 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_short The lemon tree :
title_sub an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East
topic_facet History, Nonfiction, Politics