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If intolerance is mercilessness, Dr. Khaled Diab has been victimized by it. If it is impatience, he has practiced it. If tolerance is acceptance, Dr. Diab has benefited from it. If it is forgiveness, he has demonstrated it. Khaled Diab's story has inspired many to examine their own prejudices, and to work toward understanding and acceptance of those they once considered enemies. Jews, Moslems and Christians, Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, have enthusiastically embraced his cause.
Khaled Diab was 21 years old in 1948 when the UN partitioned Palestine. His plans to obtain an advanced degree in London were derailed when he was forced to flee his homeland after his village was overrun by Israeli fighters. He became a refugee with responsibility for raising young family members. Dr. Diab eventually made it to the United States, where he earned advanced degrees and worked in the electronics and defense industries. Love of country and sadness for the hardship experienced by all residents of the Holy Land inspired him to found the Olive Trees Foundation for Peace, bringing hope and prosperity to poor and discouraged people in both Israel and Palestine. Christians, Jews, and Moslems work together to plant olive trees in an effort to fortify the land and their bond as human beings. In addition to being a symbol of reconciliation, the olive tree provides sustenance for generations to come.
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