An evening of solidarity, breaking bread and story sharing with Palestinian farmer Bassema Barahmeh and Zaytoun CIC director in Palestine Taysir Arabasi. Olive trees carry more than an economic significance in the lives of Palestinians. The trees represent Palestinian resistance and resilience. The fact that olive trees live and bear fruit for thousands of years is parallel to Palestinian history and relationship to the land. Palestine has some of the world’s oldest olive trees, dating back to 4,000 years.
In addition to their symbolic meaning, olives are a main source of income for around 80,000 Palestinian families.Threats by the Israeli army, land theft and continuous uprooting of the trees are daily struggles Palestinian farming families have to endure. Zaytoun CIC as a Fair Trade initiative helps many farmers to trade beyond the Occupation Wall and reach international markets.
Behind every bottle of Fairtrade olive oil, there is family and this is their story.
The evening is hosted by Fair Trade Brighton and Hove (www.bhft.org.uk) and Zaytoun CIC (www.zaytoun.org)
We will have a stall selling Zaytoun Fairtrade produce including Olive oil, Medjoul dates and the famous herb mix Za’atar. Brighton Social Enterprise Hub The Platform(www.theplatform.org.uk) are supporting this event through hosting it in their venue space, Wagner Hall. The Platform’s ethical catering company The Big Fig will be making some hot Palestinian soup and homemade middle Eastern Za’atar bread.The Big Fig cooks delicious food and creates positive social impact through reinvesting its profits into training unemployed and disadvantaged people to gain skills and qualifications to get a career in catering. Bassema Barahmeh will join Big Fig chefsand qualified trainees in the kitchen before the event to share some of her recipes and Palestinian cooking knowledge.
£3 donations gratefully received in the support of this event.
Bassema Barahmeh, a farmer, board member of the Palestine Fair Trade Association, village council member and mother of four. In addition to being a noted expert in hand-rolling Maftoul, also produces organic Fairtrade olive oil, shells almonds, blends za’atar, and bakes pastries with other women to sell at local school canteens. Bassema lives in the village of Anza located 450 metres above sea level, one of the most scenic villages in Palestine and impacted by the Israeli Army’s constant militarisation and land confiscations.
Taysir Arabasi is a community leader and Zaytoun’s Director in Palestine. He lives in Salfeet district which is an area highly dependent on olive cultivation and one which has seen much of its rich agricultural resources stolen through the construction of the illegal settlements. Involved in supporting international peace camps to build solidarity for families cut off because of the Occupation Wall. Taysir is a prolific campaigner and remains a key voice for Palestinian steadfastness and the resistance needed to keep so many families in West bank accessing the much-needed trade justice markets in the UK and Europe.
Atif Choudhury Atif Choudhury a Brighton resident co-founded Zaytoun CIC in 2004 in direct response to his visits to Palestine and work volunteering with Palestinian led human rights agencies. Atif has an MSc in Conflict and Development and co-founded the UK chapter of the International Solidarity Movement in 2002. Until recently he was also a trustee for the anti-poverty NGO War-on-Want and remains founding Chief Executive of a disabled-led social enterprise specialising in assistive technology called‘Diversity and Ability’ (DnA).