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Zaitoon - Facebook page about Middle East launched by two former Arabic students

Launched in 2O13, Zaitoon is a fun grassroots initiative to create understanding about the Middle East. Inspired by two young women who sought to find a venue to expose the truth about Middle Eastern social, cultural and political realities, Zaitoon is a way for them to accomplish their mission. As American activists, it is important to use their experiences and travels to show how life truly is in various Middle Eastern countries. 

The Arab-American relations have been strained due to the heavy influence on both sides by media sources. This is an initiative to correct those misunderstandings and take steps towards bettering the local relationships through education.

Zoe (Zai) is a Middle Eastern Studies student who has lived in Amman, Jordan for four months in spring ’12. Then she spent part of her summer doing relief work in Bir Ziet, Palestine. She moved back to Amman for another four months in spring ’13. She has travelled to Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.

Thahitun (Toon) is an International Relations student who has lived in Amman, Jordan for four months in fall ’11 and recently lived and worked in Hebron, West Bank for seven months. She has travelled to Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Kuwait.

Lastly and coincidentally, the word Zaitoon has a definition in Arabic. It means olive.