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A Little “Peace” You Can Wear

Olive trees regularly live to be over 1,000 years old, and their fruitful endurance has come to symbolize Palestinians’ will to flourish on their lands. Now, thanks to Just Olive Tree Jewelry, it’s possible to celebrate their power of rejuvenation by wearing it in the form of bracelets made from olive trimmings.

“Pruning and trimming is an integral part of olive tree care that provides the tree with room to absorb the sun and makes way for new growth,” explains the online shop’s founder Nissreen Chams, “and a process that many farmers take pride in doing.”

The olive wood beads she uses come from the annual trimmings from young and old trees—some hundreds of years old–in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Galilee. These are transformed into planks and then polished beads in the workshop of a seventh generation Nazareth family. The names of the pieces, such as “Call of the Dove”, symbolize “feelings of hope, strength and perseverance”, says Chams.

To root these feelings in a hopeful future, 25% of all proceeds from sales of this “Just Jewelry for a Just Cause” goes to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a non-political non-profit dedicated to saving children’s lives in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon’s refugee camps.

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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