What and why Zatoun
Zatoun is a non-profit volunteer organization registered in Canada to import and sell symbolic products from or about Palestine to create awareness for a just peace for Palestine-Israel. The formal name is “Palestine Peace Awareness Inc.” because the legal name of a non-profit must reflect its purpose. Zatoun is the trade name because it speaks to people through its Arabic character and direct translation to the word “olive”.
When Zatoun was first conceived as a project in 2003 the word “Palestine” was hardly mentioned or heard. The reference was limited to “Palestinian” as a mysterious, voiceless and disembodied people who hovered and never touch down on land.
Zatoun wanted to help change this impression by humanizing Palestinians and contextulizing Palestine. It did this in a dimension of culture, of feeling, of realness which is absent from the usual barrage of words and images which Palestinians feel has portray them unfairly for 70 plus years. Think of Zatoun as their voice telling their story. The olive is the ideal carrier for the message as it is the universal symbol of peace, warmth, light, divinity; and it represents the land of Palestine and its indigenous people.
Through its products and activities Zatoun helps to create a context based in ordinary everyday life to view and discuss the situation in Palestine-Israel. No longer is it an abstract geopolitical issue involving power elites and undefined national interest but something that Canadians and Americans can experience, learn and share.