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The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan

The Lemon Tree

An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

by Sandy Tolan

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Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
11 Hrs.


In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a twenty-five-year-old Palestinian, made a long-imagined journey to what is now the city of Ramle in Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it that his father had planted, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house and rang the bell, a young woman welcomed him in.

The woman who met him at the door was Dalia Eshkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, who had been a baby when her family fled Europe following the Holocaust and found their way to an abandoned stone house in Ramle, with a lemon tree in the backyard. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare and difficult friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next 35 years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967.

Based on extensive research and conversations with all the people involved, and springing from his enormously resonant radio documentary that aired on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli/Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.

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