set of 10 blank greeting cards, and a limited edition of prints By photographer Darius Himes, 1999

The olive trees in these photographs dot the landscape of a particular grove just outside of Akk, Israel. Akk sits on the northern edge of the Bay of Haifa, and for centuries was used by the Ottoman Turks as a prison city, infamous for the filth of its streets and the depravity of its common criminals. This particular grove is the view from the balconies of a country home once inhabited by a Persian exile and political prisoner of the Ottomans during the latter half of the 19th century. He had been sentenced to life imprisonment, not for any act, but for his words:

"Thus will the earth be regarded as one country and one home. The most glorious fruit of the tree of knowledge is this exalted word: Of one tree are all ye the fruit, and of one bough, the leaves. Let not man glory in this, that he loveth his country, let him rather glory in this, that he loveth his kind."

Words such as these were spoken while in the vicinity of these olives trees, trees that have long stood as a symbol of peace and reconciliation to the world.