Sharing early spring from the Jerusalem office

[Original by Mai NAMIKI, Public Relations (February 28, 2019); Translated by M. Goto/S. Altman]

Hello, this is Namiki, the former program officer of the Palestine project. I moved to the Public Relations department this January. I will start reporting what you want to know about our work overseas and the local people. I would be glad if you could feel closer with us.

Almond flowers look like cherry blossoms.

I went on a business trip to Jerusalem, Palestine, this February. From my previous experience, I thought it would be cold in Jerusalem. February is the rainy season in the Middle East and it usually rains a lot. However, this year, it was warm and full of sunshine. I could go out with just a light jacket. I was surprised to find that almond flowers were in full bloom. I enjoyed watching them just like cherry blossoms. I’d like to share how Spring in Palestine is like with this photo.

Almond flowers have a more moderate shape than cherry blossoms.

Palestinians can recognize the arrival of spring by finding blooming almond flowers. When I was taking a photo of an almond tree, a man living in the house in front of this tree asked me “Isn’t it wonderful? After the flowers are gone, nuts grow in their place. Raw almonds are so delicious if you add salt. Have you ever tried it?” Differing from the roasted almonds that we find in Japan, Palestinians eat green almonds before they ripen in spring. Raw almonds are a little bitter and have the taste of spring. (I wish I could show you a picture of the raw almonds, but it is not yet the season.)

Not only limited to almonds, Palestinians are proud of harvesting food by themselves and enjoying the seasonal taste of different food. They cherish the connection to their land and the lifestyle as farmers, while I buy vegetables at a supermarket …

I started thinking to grow something on my balcony when I go back to Tokyo. My business trip is still going on, so I will report about local news again!

A cat taking a nap under the warm sunshine. She looks so comfortable.

The lemon tree in the office garden has a lot of fruit.

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