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Radio 4 Book of the Week: The Lemon Tree

 

Radio 4's Book of the Week is The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan - the true story of a 40-year friendship between an Israeli woman and a Palestinian man.

Dalia was born in Bulgaria during the Second World War. The 47,000 Jews of Bulgaria were saved from the Holocaust by the brave intervention of the Vice President and King Boris. But, after the War, nearly all emigrated to Israel. In late 1948, Dalia's family arrived in Ramla and found a beautiful Arab house with a lemon tree in the garden, which was vacant.

Fifteen years later, and after the 1967 Six Day War, Israel had vastly expanded its territories and all the old boundaries had changed. A 25-year-old Arab, Bashir, who had been forced to leave Ramla with his family when he was six, paid a visit to the house he'd grown up in ­ a house with a lemon tree. Dalia welcomed him in, and that was how they began their unlikely dialogue.

Produced by Matt Thompson, the Lemon Tree can be heard at 9.45- 10am repeated at 12.30-12.45am each day this week.

first posted LONDON - 13 February 2007 - 120 words