In the blink of an eye, everything changed. People were leaving their homes and taking along anything they could carry. They took hold of their memories and the keys to their homes. But, the orange trees, they couldn’t carry them; they only preserved its aromatic scent in their hearts.
Parent & Teacher Guide
In 1948, Palestine was occupied, and its people sought refuge in various parts of the world. However, those who were forcibly displaced from the Palestinian cities and villages carried home in their hearts and memories. With every day that passes by, the elderly think of their homes and tell their grandchildren stories about it, passing on their dream of return from one generation to the next. This book raises a poignant humanitarian issue, the occupation of a land, the displacement of its people, and it embodies resistance to the occupation. The determination to endure is symbolically encapsulated in the hoopoe bird figure, which insisted on keeping its homeland’s orange orchards alive, collecting its seeds, and scattering them on the ground. The story also sheds immense light on the remarkable figure, Ghassan Kanafani, who left a significant mark on the Palestinian literature.
What does your homeland mean to you?
What is the meaning of safe living for a person?
How would you feel if someone took your home?
What do you love most about your homeland?
Why did the hoopoe refuse to speak to the tree?
How did the orange orchards bloom?
Why do we love Palestine?
What are some of the holiest places in Palestine?
Where is Al-Aqsa Mosque located?
Where is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre located?
Do you know any other cities in Palestine?
Describe how you felt when Ghassan and Lamis returned to the village.
Do you know the writer and poet Ghassan Kanafani? Have you read “The Little Lantern”?
How can we protect our homeland?
Author Alessandra Amorello
Alessandra Amorello is an Italian writer and translator. She has got a degree in Arabic Language and Literature and studied Arabic in Syria and Tunisia.
In 2020 she conceived and produced the intercultural project “ITALIAN ARABIC KALIMĀT” on the stories of Juha, a character of the Mediterranean cultural oral tradition. Within the project, she realized the short film Juha’s tales.
She is one of the founders of the blog riveArabe and is in charge of the Arabic children’s literature section.
Illustrator Amani Yousef
Amani Yousef is a children’s books illustrator from Jordan. She aims to make books more attractive to encourage children and young adults to read.
She holds a BA in English Language and Literature and has published many children’s stories and books locally and in the Arab world.
Participated in working on several children’s television series, including (Pink Panther and Pals). In addition to working on several projects with international organizations such as: Sesame Workshop, UNICEF, USAID, and Room to Read.