Letter: Olive oil founder brings opportunity to connect on Israel-Palestine conflict

Writer invites public to hear talk by Zatoum founder Robert Massoud

When Salmon Arm’s first Syrian refugee arrived, I wanted to offer a “Welcome.”

I chose a small jar of za’atar, an aromatic herbal mix from Palestine, and took it to Shuswap Immigration Services to give to Mustafa. He breathed in the scent and held it to his heart.

It was the comforting smell of home.

The person who made that gift possible is coming to Salmon Arm to give a talk entitled, “How a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel Can Save our Planet.”

Robert Massoud is a Palestinian-Canadian who founded Zatoun Fair Trade Olive Oil from Palestine. It is a registered non-profit that brings Canadians high quality fair trade extra virgin olive oil from farmers in Palestine.

To most Canadians, Palestine and Israel seem to be fraught with division, but perhaps the olive, the universal symbol of peace, can help bring people together.

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The story of Zatoun is an opportunity to connect with each other in Canada over Palestine-Israel, an issue that has divided people and endangers the world.

Robert’s message is that Israel-Palestine affects all humanity, and resolution of the ongoing conflict there is vital to peace in the world and the health of the planet. The event is at the First United Church Hall, 450 Okanagan Ave. on Saturday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m. The presentation if free and all are welcome. His visit is sponsored by KAIROS Canada.

Juanita Austin

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