Gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, Ahmed Hamid struggles with knowing that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Living on occupied land, his entire village operates in fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, the people fear losing each other.
On Ahmed’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ahmed begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence and loss, and discovers a new hope for the future.
My year had begun with a lot of changes – cities, mindsets, people, work, leisure and most importantly, hope. It is almost serendipitous that the year is ending on the crimson note of hope. I think most of us believe that life is a journey from the moment your eyes open till they shut forever. There are a number of things, material and tangible, that stay with you throughout this journey. For me, great books are the priceless things I have been collecting to make my journey of a life a little better. There are a few books which will stay glued to me wherever I move, The Almond Tree has been added to that collection now.
The genre of writing about the Middle-East or Afghanistan is not easy. It has never been so. The countries and their people have gone through such things that the rest of the world would find difficult to even imagine. I, for one, didn’t have much idea about the Israel-Palestine conflict until this book. To put it softly, I thought they were the ‘India-Pakistan’ of Middle-East, a term we often use casually to describe a conflict.