Debwania Olive Tree Project
The olive tree is a cultural staple of the indigenous people of Palestine, and as such we find a deep connection between the olive trees and the Palestinians. The olive tree represents the deep history and profound connection to the land that gives life to the Palestinian peasants.
As an environmental organization, The Debwania Olive Tree Project aims to empower women farmers in Palestine through the planting and harvesting of olive trees. The fruit of their labor is a mode of substance for their financial sustainability through the development and sales of olive oil, olive soap, olive pickles, and more. Thousands of Palestinian families rely on olives and olive oil for primary sources of income. The efforts of this initiative date back many years. Since 2012, with the help of local farmers and the Palestinian Agricultural Development Association (PARC) we are proud to have planted over 9000 olive trees during Land Day (March 30th) of each year. All of the trees are planted on privately owned land around the cities of Nablus and Bethlehem.
We are reaching out for financial support to plant 1000 olive trees per year. With your support we hope to maintain the olive tree’s symbol of Palestinian heritage and courage.
Hanan Awad is a Palestinian American street photographer based in Houston, TX. She is a member of “The Arab Photo Agency.” Her photos have been exhibited around the world. After having had solo exhibitions in Abu Dhabi-UAE (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017), Houston-Texas (2018 and 2019), and Gallery Al Quds in Washington D.C. (2019) With a keen eye for disappearing places and traditions, Hanan’s photos document the tragedy of the physical and cultural forced displacement of Palestinians and narrate the story of Palestinian resilience/resistance against the colonialist occupation of Palestine.
After witnessing the forced displacement of the Jahalin Bedouins, Hanan became interested in their history. She devoted several years of research and fieldwork with the Jahalin community and wrote her Master thesis about their plight. In 2012, she established the Olive Tree Project that plants 1,000 olive trees in Palestine annually.
She holds a B.A. from Rutgers University, New Jersey in Middle Eastern Studies and a Masters in Latin America and the Middle East from University Of Central Oklahoma. She earned a filmmaking certificate from New York Film Academy.