For centuries the olive branch has symbolized peace. In Palestine, olive oil is the primary source of income for about 75,000 farmers.
Under the military occupation of Israel, Palestinian farmers have suffered the destruction of their trees and land – bulldozed and burned to make way for illegal settlements or the imposing 30-foot-high concrete “security fence.”
Sicamous United Church minister Juanata Austin travelled to the area and found a way to give hope and income to Palestinian farmers.
Zatoun, (Arabic for olive) is a company that markets fair trade Palestinian olive oil, soap and the aromatic herb mix called za’atar.
With every purchase from Zatoun, you support a fair price for Palestinian farmers in the struggle for their livelihood and land. As well, a share of proceeds supports Project Hope, an education and art therapy program for youth in Palestine. Another portion goes to Trees for Life, a project to plant tens of thousands of olive tree saplings to replaced trees destroyed by the military occupation.
When Austin gave the last of her za’atar to Mustafa Zakreet, the first Syrian refugee in the Shuswap, he held it to his heart. So Austin knew she needed to get more.
“Several refugee sponsor groups have already purchased a welcome gift of oil, soap and za’atar from me, and I am happy to supply it as long as the need exists,” she says.
Those interested in purchasing these products can contact Austin.
“Together we can support peace and justice for Palestinian farmers,” she says.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-832-6385.