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Olive Harvest Day

Monday 31 October 2016

On Saturday, October 29, families and teachers gathered for the binational primary school’s annual olive harvest. The harvest took place at Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom and this lovely autumn day was full of exciting activities.

After gathering in the school grounds and some words of introduction from the school principal and teachers, everyone walked down the hill to the olive trees in, and adjoining, the plots of the new neighborhood. The parents of the Jewish and Arab students were able to get to know one another better as the olives were joyously picked from the trees.

After some time, when everyone returned to the school grounds. Eido, a parent of one of the primary school students and the Jewish head of the parents’ council, gave a talk about harvesting and pressing olives. He discussed the different varieties of olive trees, their respective advantages, and modern versus traditional methods of pressing the fruit. Meanwhile, some of the olives were prepared.

Arabic songs filled the air as three music students from Hebrew University shared their talents with all of the families that were present. Ghalib, one of the musicians, played the oud and the students went with their homeroom teachers to share a meal and to learn about dabke, the Palestinian folklore dance. Song and dance is very much associated with the olive harvest in Palestinian culture.

Here is a recipe if you ever desire to prepare olives on your own. Primary school teacher, Raida Aiashe-Khatib, provided the recipe below:

After picking the olives, break them a bit by hitting them with a stone or mallet. 
Next, place the olives in water.
Change the water daily for three days.
Remove the olives from the water and place them in a separate jar.
Add lemon slices and pepper, to taste.
In a new jar, add fresh water and salt
Stir until the salt dissolves and then add a raw egg.
When the egg begins to floats, remove it from the jar.
Take the salty water, pour it back with the olives and close the jar.
Wait 2-3 weeks, and then the olives will be ready to be eaten .

Everyone truly had a wonderful time continuing this very special tradition. Thank you to all of the families who joined and made this a day full of fun.

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