This little tree booklet was first created in 2014 in order to enable kids visiting Mashjar Juthour to identify native trees and learn some basic information about each one. The idea has always been this: if we educate children and youth about our nature, Palestine's natural heritage and our community's role in protecting it, we can change the future of Palestine and ensure it is a green one! Traditional knowledge about our nature in Palestine is quickly being lost as our older generations disappear. Trees are often poached for fire wood and the habitats for our wildlife threatened.
Empowering Palestinians through environmental education
The first change we must make is to empower our people to identify the trees, shrubs, wildflowers and wildlife in Palestine. In naming, we are also claiming a responsibility for their well-being. When a child walks by a wild spiny hawthorn tree, he can recognize it, understand that it is edible, perhaps eat its fruits, or pick flowers or leaves to make some tea as his ancestors have always done. We aim at Mashjar Juthour to educate and instill pride in our community for the incredible biodiversity this country is home to.
All the resources from Mashjar Juthour are open source with free, printable downloads online. If you would like to access a booklet of this, you can get one directly from Mashjar Juthour or Handmade Palestine. The booklet is printed and bound in such a way as to enable users to hold the photos up next to the tree and identify the tree. Then there is interesting information in English and Arabic to teach youth about the tree. This book can be used to engage kids in a scavenger hunt of sorts, sending them around to find each of the trees in the booklet and then quizzing them on relevant information. It's a fun, playful way to learn. The ultimate goal of all our resources is that our youth learn about the flora and fauna of this beautiful country and understand that they have a very important role to play in protecting nature.