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Christmas Presents

From holy land to advent centrepiece

Jackie Macadam traces the journey of a Christmas crib, from a Holy Land olive grove, to sale in an Edinburgh shop.

COVER

The nativity scene carved from the olive wood

THE old tree had been growing in an olive grove on the West Bank of the Jordan River for generations. Twisted and gnarled, thanks to careful pruning of wizened branches it still produced the olives the grove was known for.

Pruning has to be done regularly to keep the trees at their best, but being precious olive wood, nothing is wasted.

The wood taken from the olive tree had a long journey to make – all the way to Edinburgh and beyond in fact.

“The olive tree has a huge symbolic value for Palestinians,” says Carol Morton, one of the volunteers who works at Hadeel, the shop at 123 George Street, Edinburgh (next to the Church of Scotland offices) that sells Palestinian Fair Trade goods.

“The tree has roots that go very deep into the ground and provides shelter, food and nourishment, warmth and often a source of income for the people who live there.”

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: - FROM HOLY LAND TO ADVENT CENTERPIECE The journey of a Christmas crib - THE ACCIDENTAL TRAIL BLAZER The Rev Rola Sleiman, the first Christian woman minister ordained in the Middle East - SIGNPOSTS OF FAITH The Rev John Chalmers on change in the Church
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