Thursday, 22 October 2015

The Tears of Olive Trees - Abdulkarim Al Makadma

                I really didn’t consider reading this book until someone suggested I give it a try and I am so glad I did. Just by looking at the cover I would not have picked it up nor did the title entice me but by the end both made perfect sense. The Tears of Olive Trees is the autobiography of Abdulkarim Al Makadma, a Palestinian man who grew up in the Al Shati refugee camp, or as we know it in English, the Beach Camp. He persevered and eventually became a respected doctor and Canadian citizen. His story starts with his father who lived in Palestine before the occupation by Israel. It follows the family through the years, telling of their struggles and triumphs as they try to survive in horrible conditions. The writing is not just dry facts and recitations about parts of history nor is it full of complaining as many would in this situation. Instead, it is touching, spiritual and, many times, heart breaking. Before reading this I asked someone who is the “bad guy” in the troubles between the Palestinians and Israel and I was told it was Palestine. As the author states, this is a belief many Westerners have, so hopefully this book will help people to see the other side of the story. I try to never take being a Canadian citizen for granted and this book made me realize even more how very lucky I am. I read this book on my ereader and it formatted to digital form well. It truly made me look at things differently.