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The Olive Tree

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

When the Prophet Mohammed died all trees mourned and cast their leaves. Then came one and said to the olive tree: “Oh Olive Tree, the Prophet is dead and all trees mourn — Why don’t you mourn?” The Olive Tree replied: “Break my wood and see the grief in my heart. So he broke the branch from the tree and saw the grief in her heart. Her grief was in her soul and therefore not seen by man. That’s why nowadays you can see the black streak in the wood of the olive.

From: “Sahteen: Discover the Palestinian Culture by Eating”, published by the Freres School, Bethlehem, part of the Culture and Palestine series issued by the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Bethlehem, 1999. To order the book, send a mail to

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