Heidi Trautmann

187 - The Cry of an Olive Tree, a new book by Ali Nesim – Book Review


By Heidi Trautmann


Ali Nesim is well known and respected for his deep love of Cyprus, its culture, legends and nature. The many books he wrote and published are proving it. Ali Nesim grew up in Zeytinlik, knows its background stories and has seen its development with all its positive and negative sides. In his childhood his family – and all the families in Cyprus – lived from what nature gave them and the respect was much higher. Today you can buy everything ready made and packed in the supermarket and most of our children don’t know any more what it takes to plant, grow, care and harvest, the life circle of trees, plants and animals.

I am of Ali Nesim’s generation, born in the same year, and although grown up in Germany, we both still know how it is when you live from the fruit of your field or garden.

Now he has published a new book in English and Turkish “The Cry of an Olive Tree”. It is an epic poem, a long poem dedicated to the olive tree weeping for itself and for mankind, an elegy of a living soul to another, a cry addressed to human mankind.


In his foreword he says:

“In this epic story I tried to narrate the tragic story of the olive tree. This was an unavoidable duty for me. As a human being grown among the olive trees, I cannot endure the pathetic end of the olives. I am sure, all of you have felt the same situation with the destruction of the olive trees.

Unfortunately the politicians are not as sensitive as the people to the environment; nevertheless this must not be allowed to silence us: We have to fight as individuals and as groups.

In this book I used the pictures taken mostly by my son Bulut Nesimoğlu and the pictures of the Great Fire in 1995 taken by my son Dr Tayfun Nesimoğlu.

I want to thank to Roger Simpson from English Language and Literature Department of Near East University who edited the English version of this book.

I also want to thank my daughter-in-law Burcu Nesimoğlu, who helped me in all the stages of this book.

Of course the biggest thanks go to my eternal and the oldest friend the old olive tree, who whispered these words into my ears in its last breaths.”


The book is available in all bookshops in North Cyprus.

On the occasion of the 9th International Olive Festival Ali Nesim will be present to sign the book for the visitors of the festival which promises to be a great event. He feels it his duty to be present at his home village’s festival.


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