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A Tree Grows in Palestine

Tourists come to Al-Walaja from around the world to enjoy the lovely surrounding landscape. A huge olive tree, reputedly over 5000 years-old, is a big draw. For political tourists, Israel’s imposing “security barrier,” soon to enclose little Al-Walaja in a cage, is a must-see.














Music Reeds

The seductive voice of a clarinet. The wild wail of a tenor sax. The whimsical tones of a bassoon or oboe. Each of these sounds is produced by blowing air over a thin reed sliced from a cane stalk. Most cane reed is produced in the Var region of southern France.





A Village Called Battir

Standing on the edge of little Battir, I feasted my eyes on an astonishing sight: an amphitheater of ancient stone terraces covered in a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, herbs and trees — including olive trees over a thousand years old.