Counting Up the Olive Tree: A Palestine Number Book by Golbarg Bashi

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[...]Young football (soccer) players from various Palestinian villages need to come together to protect “the last olive tree” from “the woeful woodcutter.”

“Please don’t cut our olive tree, in our land yet to be free,” the children plead with the woodcutter, who dismisses them with a shudder. As the woodcutter lies down for a nap, the children call other children to join them as they climb up the tree, and “Player number 1, told player number 2, get hold of number 3, who told 4, we must protect the olive tree, all of us and some more…”

And as all eleven players from that team scramble up the olive tree, with little shouts of Yallah! yallah! they can see “Look who’s coming!  The players from en-Nai’me (village)!”

And all the children came together “Goalkeepers and defenders, midfielders and forwards, they held each other upward and straightforward.” And these “heroic numbers” protected the tree: “‘We’ll defend you, and the last olive tree’ cried the defenders in the land yet to be free!”

As the woodcutter wakes up from his nap, he looks up to the tree, and it is heavily loaded not just with olives, but with all the neighboring Palestinian villages’ young children…

Description Source: Mondoweiss

Year: 2019

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