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Planting Hope

For residents in Bil’in, Palestine, planting flowers means more than just gardening lately.

As a statement for peace, many residents in the area have planted flowers inside of used tear gas grenades left behind from wars between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.

Planting Hope

Vast flower gardens have been planted in the last year as a memorial for protestor Bassem Abu Rahmeh and the many others who have died.

Planting Hope

The gardens are near the state’s capital, stretching across a 430 mile wall that was regained by Palestinians in the war.

Unfortunately, the supply of containers seems never-ending. Luckily, neither is the ability to try and triumph over devastation with an act of peaceful humility.

Planting Hope Planting Hope

Above images are from Associated Press. Photography by Majdi Mohammed.

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Planting Hope

Image source: William Douglas McMaster

Majuli Island is located in India by the Brahmaputra River. Approximately 150,000 people inhabit this area, which includes the Molai Forest.

Consisting nearly of 1,360 acres of woods, it was formed by an unusual source.

Forestry worker Jadav Payeng began planting trees on the island in 1979. His dedication has resulted in literally 1000’s of trees, including bamboo, being planted and grown across the landscape of Majuli Island.

Planting Hope

Image source: William Douglas McMaster

His work has also made a huge difference in combating erosion, which has actually been the cause of the island’s enormous loss of land mass. In the last century it has seen its size reduced by more than half.

In addition to helping conserve the land, he has also provided a secure space for many endangered animals that were once indigenous to the area. Among the re-inhabited are an elephant herd of over 100, rhinoceroses and Bengal tigers. Also, several other species including vultures, rabbits and deer are thriving in the expanse.

A documentary about Payeng titled Forest Man was made by filmmaker William Douglas McMaster.

For these individuals, their work is not done for attention or exhibition’s sake.

Hearing about the efforts of others and the significant difference it can make reminds us that we are all capable of doing something, even if it seems small.

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