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Twinning Association

رابطة توأمة نابلس دندي

Rafiq helps with the 2011 Olive Harvest

After Scotland - the olives

Rafiq ZeinEddin came to Dundee in October 2010 arrived in Dundee to spend 4 months working with DNTA. He left in January 2011 to continue his studies and is now a graduate of An Najah National University in Nablus. He has a degree in English.

This autumn he helped his family to pick olives from the trees in their village and sent us a report.

Rafiq picking olives
Rafiq havesting olives

Rafiq writes:

The middle of October is considered one of the most important months in the year for Palestinians in general and for farmers in particular as this is the time of every year when farmers start picking olives. The olive tree is an important source of income for most of the people beside the main job that almost everyone has. During the harvest all members of the family gather themselves for olive picking. They do this to finish picking as soon as possible, and in the most cases when one family finishes their olive picking early they start helping their kin or their friends.

Additionally, the importance of the olive tree comes from the importance of the olive oil. It is a very pure and healthy oil. Many other products are extracted from the olive tree, these include olives, olive wood and olive based soap. In fact, olive oil is the second major export item in Palestine; olive production contributes to about 38.2% of the income from fruit tree production.

Rafiq picking olives
Not many olives for Rafiq to pick this year

Poor harvest

Unfortunately this year the harvest wasn't good due to the winter season which came late last year and to the lack of water which had a great affect on the olive trees, so that many farmers lost a lot of oil. For instance, my family used to get about 200 hundred kilos, but this year we just managed to get 50 kilos of the olive oil, which is little income comparing it to last year. Another problem which can be considered as an old-new problem is the troubles that settlers cause to the farmers, when they keep attacking them and cutting their olive trees. Statistics showed that more than 600 olive trees were cut down this year.

Better hopes for next year

The farmer's expectation for the next year is that it is going to be better than this year as they expect to have a good winter. We wish our trees were in Scotland as the weather is rainy most of the year.

Rafiq standing in an olive tree
Rafiq in an olive tree in his home village of Majdal Bani Fadil

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