Today marks the Palestinian National Olive Harvest Day. On this day, farmers, community members, and students all throughout Palestine picked olives in celebration of this annual tradition that is very important to the culture and history of Palestine.
The ELCJHL was represented today by the executive director of the ELCJHL’s Environmental Education Center Simon Awad, and its program coordinator Joan Ayyad. 7th -9th graders from Eshbell Hamsell Middle School came with the EEC as a part of their Environmental Education programming. Also in attendance was Bethlehem governor Kamel Hmeid, Bethlehem Peace Center Director Rania Al-Malki, and Minister of Agriculture Sama Abu Haikal. Together, this group announced the official arrival of the harvest season and the anticipation for the Olive Harvest Festival to come.
After the official declaration, all those in attendance helped to pick olives in Wadi Fohkeen. Wadi Fohkeen is an important area to Palestine’s agriculture, but is now surrounded by Israeli settlements, whose sewage, pollution, and expansion threaten the health and existence of this area. We look forward to the week of olive-related events to come!