BANISTER BOOK GROUP
Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan. In conjunction with the book discussion Life in Palestine, a talk and slideshow, will be presented by Octavia Taylor. Ms. Taylor and her husband Stephen spent the fall 2014 semester in Palestine volunteering: Stephen taught a computer programming course at Birzeit University and Octavia worked with Jeff Halper, Director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. She will report on the complexities of Israeli-Palestinian conflict and look at how daily life for Palestinians has been affected by the Israeli Occupation. All are invited to attend. Reading of the book is not required.
The Taylors’ passports bulge with entrance and exit visas from four continents. In addition to living in Palestine this past fall, they have lived five semesters in the Middle East, including a time in Syria for the 2009 – 2010 academic year. Stateside Octavia has worked as a community organizer and manager of grants primarily for environmental and social justice projects at Clark University. She is affiliated with a number of international peace and justice organizations, such as the American Friends Service Committee, the Jewish Voice for Peace and the Iraqi Student Project. Stephen teaches Computer Science at Fitchburg State University; his research in applying computers to the Arabic Language has brought him to the Middle East for many conferences. They live on a farm in New Braintree.