Who would you climb a tree to see?

Today, at Saint Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church in Grand Island, New York, Father Earle King talked about Zaccheus, who climbed a sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus. Zaccheus was a short man so he needed to get the advantage of a little extra height. Being “fun sized” myself, I understand this need to get a little extra height. Well, Zaccheus was a tax collector so he wasn’t really anyone’s favorite person. Zaccheus promised to change his ways and to make restitution to anyone that he had fleeced.

Father Earle asked us this question: Who would you climb a tree to see? Who do you admire so much that you would climb a tree, just to see this person. 

Here are my choices:

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish: An infertility specialist, originally from Gaza, Dr. Abuelaish now lives in Canada. He wrote a book, titled I Shall Not Hate. The book’s title is amazing because Dr. Abuelaish, the father of eight children, experienced the worst horror that a parent could experience. Three of his daughters and one of his nieces were killed on January 16th, 2009, by an Israeli shell that hit his house in Gaza. He immediately called a friend and TV broadcaster, Shlomi Eldar, in Israel. His story was broadcast live in Israel. Israeli friends helped evacuate another injured daughter and an injured niece from Gaza.

Dr. Abuelaish grew up in a refugee camp, where he was educated. He went on to medical school and was the first Palestinian doctor to be offered a staff position at an Israeli hospital, where he took care of both Palestinian and Israeli women, who were having issues with infertility.

Dr. Abuelaish founded the “Daughters for Life Foundation” in memory of the three daughters who died: Bessan, Mayar, and Aya. The foundation raises money for girls in the middle east to receive a university education. Most recently, the foundation raised the funds for eighteen refugees (fifteen from Syria and three from Morocco) to learn English at the International Language Academy of Canada and to prepare for university education.

Dr. Abuelaish has called on the people of the Middle East to stop the violence and start talking to one another. He has said that it his hope that his daughters and his niece will be the last sacrifices on the road to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Dr. Abuelaish’s dedication to human rights and to life is amazing. Yes, I would climb a tree to see him. 

Two writers: I’d like to meet these two writers, who created fictional worlds that felt more real than reality. The only problem with these books is that they ended. Yes, I would climb a tree to have an opportunity to meet these two writers.
Anthony Doerr: Author of All The Light We Cannot See, set in occupied France during World War II. Beautifully written. The author has the magic touch with words.
Kate Atkinson: Author of Life After Life, set in England and Germany between 1910 and World War II. The main character, Ursula, is born and dies repeatedly. It is an incredibly original, creative book.

My question for you is: Who would you climb a tree to meet? Please tell me about your choices in the comments section and, in a future blog post, I will feature your answers.

3 thoughts on “Who would you climb a tree to see?”

  1. Alice, you ask hard questions! I have few living heroes/heroines. But I would definitely climb a tree to see Malala Yousafzai.

  2. Where do you want to go today?

    Yes, a tough question, it needs some thought. I don't idolize others and I think a lot of the people around me.

    My tree climbing days are almost at an end but there are some people I plan on traveling to see.

    You may have prompted me to reread "All the Light You Cannot See."

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