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It takes one citrus tree to hold memories toward

By Ghadeer Najjar


Founder, Architect, REsearcher

Described by economists as Palestinian oil, and tour operators as a must try fruits while visiting the holy land, citrus trees has been a major component linked to making happy memory at cities and in the countryside of Palestine. Searching for a happy memory documented on a land famous for political unrest, I found a common element shaping a frame of happy moments. Through its smells, shades and fruits, a citrus tree was always defined in childhood diaries of those who lost the place.

Readings to Palestinian diaries took me back to my grandmother floor cushions she distributed whenever we went outside to play and chat. With the citrus trees shades over a book, toy or ourselves, these tree held good smells and a connection to good food picking best fruits to use preparing our best local dishes.

Inspired by childhood memories and rich history of citrus trees in Palestine, I redesigned previously used floor cushions with what it brings to memory. Dreaming of lemon tree branches moved by the wind. A four floor cushions can be linked together to form a mattress which can be easily moved to sleep in the outdoors or host a visitor. Under the Lemon tree reflects Levant hospitality serving our visitors with minimal furniture yet making a memory.  Women taking care of every single detail and comfort of their family members prepared floor cushions to enjoy sitting for longer times on front door stairs, central water fountain and on the balcony edges.

Piece was exhibited in October 2019 at the crafts district of Amman Design Week: Possibilities. In Amman with strong connection to Jerusalem architectural heritage, audience linked the piece to their memories at traditional houses. Flexibility of the piece added much of the fun to the exhibition area with audience try different possibilities for a rest.

Ghadeer, an architect and researcher in Levantine Architectural heritage and hospitality, spent the last decade of her career analyzing stories, maps, documents and photos linked to her subject of research. She draws illustrations and designs objects to tell a beautiful aspect of the Levant heritage. Her illustrations introduces architectural spaces through minimal lines inspired by regional heritage patterns and atmosphere.

Hana Sham Scent was born out of a passion to tell a beautiful story behind the walls of the Shami Houses.