Olives for Hope

If the world is ever going to come to peace,
humanity can no longer be recognized 
on a case by case basis.



Gently Falling Down;

The Rain Returns;

Crashing Through My Heart

(written my last night in Galilee 2010)

‎"I do not sit at my desk to put into verse something that is already clear in my mind. If it were clear in my mind, I should have no incentive or need to write about it. We do not write to be understood; we write to understand." (Cecil Day-Lewis)

These are my personal reflections on my time in Israel / Palestine as well as my view of events connected to the situation since returning (as well as the occasional randomness that is me as I seek peace in a restless world). My journal from 2008 is here . I do not have comments enabled because I have seen too many of these types of sites taken over by back and forth bickering and just plain mean-ness. but I am opening up the guests page for comment in response to several requests. At this time, only site members can comment. It is easy to become a member - just complete the subscribe request. If you want to contact me directly (to set up a presentation, ask a question, make a donation etc) please use this contact page. I have added daily journal for 2011 here.

I am no longer adding news items directly on this site. I have created an OFH fan page on Facebook for news postings. There is a link on the sidebar and it seems to work even if you are not a Facebook member (please let me know if you have a problem accessing the page. News items are continually added to that page which you will likely not see in the traditional US press. Thank you for taking a moment to like the page so I know that it is serving its purpose.

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Graduation Essay by N.O.

Posted on April 28, 2022 at 7:00 PM


N was a 15 year old female Palestinian student of mine. This is her final graduation essay.




The Train to Confidence

She was an ordinary girl, going from home to school, school to home - studying, sleeping and eating, without knowing the world. This girl was me. A girl who doesn't like to socialize with people who often feel like a traffic jam. I'm like a butterfly, a girl who loves nature, calm and solitude.

l stayed like t...

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Come Dance with Me, Habibi

Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:45 PM

I am sea foam. Come dance with me.


Untangle my hair and taste the salt on my lips.


I will erase your frown lines with my kiss.


I want your white noise and the dark quiet of your soul.


Let it go..let..it..all..go…



I am sand. The shore of my hips is strong but yielding.


They can carry the weight of your tears.


The fingers of my soul y...

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The Sound of You Gone

Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:40 PM

you come...quiet


like the breeze playing the curtains


you fill the empty spaces


and tangle my hair






like the pulse moving my blood


your breath fills my ears


and tosses my mind




you leave...loud


like the storm filling the sky


the sound of...

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There's Got To Be a Morning After

Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:35 PM

March 2020 - Pandemic Quarantine 1.0


There’s Got To Be a Morning After


So here's the thing - I feel like I am living through a Stephen King novel and facing the zombie hoard, literally, on my own. No, I am not sick, but I am not OK. I am the one that is most comfortable reassuring others. I am the strong one, I am independent, I can take care of myself. These are the bedrocks of my identity, my security. That's largely been enough. But none ...

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Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:30 PM

Gravity - not the stuff of science class, but hot and oppressive, like a sticky Alabama August before a storm. That’s what it feels like, to be a spectator, watching impotently, as the life I’ve known for nine years starts to be pulled away in front of my eyes. Or maybe it is more like a star, imploding on itself, leaving a black hole. I have never, even in the darkest moments of my life, felt this helpless to change the course of things. A reality my mind rejects, but my heart fe...

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Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:25 PM

No storybook tale;


No beautiful maiden;


No brave knight to the rescue;


Just two souls seeking shelter from the storm.



We have seen the darkness,


Which only defines the light.



I know who you are when you have forgotten;


You remembered me before we met.



I am h...

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One Day I Understood

Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:20 PM

One day, I understood.... There are people that spend much of their lives searching for enlightenment. They read the 'right' books, learn the ancient verses, quote the 'best' philosophers and know all the obscure mantras. But it is a wasted endeavor, if they never practice compassion (at least not with anyone outside their "tribe"). Enlightenment then just becomes an exercise in individualism, of seperatness. Compassion teaches us we are connected, in the good and in the bad. My neighbors sad...

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Soul Crimes

Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:20 PM

Is it better to know the hour of your death, or to live as if you will never die? If I had known that my world was about to be turned upside down…would I have opened the door? He has killed before – this stealthy hunter of the heart. What makes me think I am strong enough – that I can handle whatever awaits? Whatever it is pushes me out and into the storm. Even though we have not yet met this time – I would recognize him always. It is in the eyes. Does he recognize me?...

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Posted on April 28, 2022 at 5:15 PM

I love butterflies!


Ya know, some people say to live without expectation, because expectations only lead to disappointment. I call it anticipation, and it is not a bad thing. Anticipation is that excited butterfly feeling at the start of anything (or anyone) new and worthwhile. It is hope, it is wonder, it is a secret smile, it is fresh starts and second chances at life and love. Sure, it can lead to disappointment, but disappointment just means we tried for somethin...

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Dear Mr. President

Posted on March 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Dear Mr. President,

So I hear you were in my neighborhood. I want to ask the question I am asked here all the time, “How do you find Palestine?” But, you were not here long enough to find much at all. What did you see traveling to Bethlehem in your limo, “The Beast”? ; Perhaps more than if you had gone as planned by helicopter. Did those tinted windows let you see the wall as you passed through the checkpoint? I know you didn’t see the refugee camps wi...

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