Protect The Trees

الأربعاء 02 أيلول 2009

by Dalia Majed


In arid Amman, where we’re starting to have dust storms in summer and where every tree is worth a fortune, one would hope that a few olive trees might have escaped the uprooting and relocation that the municipality started a couple of years ago.

A few days ago I heard the ominous sound of buzz saws, and very much hoped it was just someone trimming their garden. I went on working, but when I eventually looked out of the window, I saw the aborted trunks of the decades-old olive trees exposed sadly with their fertile branches scattered on the pavement around them.

Still, I hoped that the trunks would be left perhaps to sprout again.
No such luck. The buzz saws came back today and I was too sick to watch the final murder as I already knew from neighbours that protest was useless.

I know some people are allergic. I myself take anti-allergy medicines, but I would do almost anything to protect a tree, especially one so old. They added something precious to this peaceful side street; I used to see peasant women come by very early in the morning to pick their fruits off the trees. You can actually see and hear humming birds and wild pigeons on Friday, seeking any small green oasis in our stone and concrete edifice.

It is so sad. The pavement of our quiet side street was wide enough, and the trees could have easily just been trimmed. I wish we were given the option to replant them in our back gardens.
How is it that a type of tree that has lived in this region for centuries – symbolic of so much and giving shade in the harsh heat of summer, is now murdered just like olive trees are by Israeli bulldozers in Palestinian farms?

A tree is the greatest expression of life there is. Spread life. Plant trees for your grandchildren to enjoy, and protect them.

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