Book Details

Operation Olive Tree is about two opera-talented, Oasis of Peace High School teenagers, Irith Goldman, an Israeli, and Jamal Shaheen, a Palestinian. Their passion for opera grows into a friendship and a dream to sing for peace. Despite initial support from the Israeli Ministry of Education and intensive opera coaching from Tel Aviv University’s award winning voice trainer Susan Roth, they are frequently haunted by cultural prejudices related to decades of warfare over territory and religion. In addition, the support of family and friends is dormant because of their collective mistrust of Irith’s partnership with her Palestinian singing prodigy who has family ties to an uncle, a terrorist suspect, and a childhood friend, an abused risk taker with regular brushes with the law. On the other hand, Jamal’s father fears losing him to opera, preferring his career to advance along the path of his older siblings in the medical field. But, nobody could have predicted the direction their careers take following their exposure to the life of a Mossad agent in Baghdad, Iraq, where Irith emerges as Russian-Swiss opera star Tatyana Smirnoff, and Jamal an escaped fugitive from Israeli law!

 

About the Author

Jemil Metti

American-born Jemil Metti lived in the Middle East between 1956 and 1970, mostly in Iraq.Growing up in upper middle class Baghdad neighborhoods, he was raised in an environment of social harmony among Muslim, Christian and Jewish neighbors. However, the unrelenting prevalence of dictatorial and discriminatory governments since the downfall of Iraq’s monarchy in 1958 encouraged Metti’s decision to return to the U.S.There, his international studies at Northern Illinois University, and State University of New York in Binghamton triggered his attraction toward electronic and print journalism for almost ten years.But as immigrants from the Middle East to the U.S. witnessed a significant jump during the 1970s and 80s, so did the need for bilingual and ESL educators. Taking advantage of a fellowship offer, he was able to complete his doctoral studies in education at Wayne State University.He has been an ESL coordinator, instructor and a community college adjunct professor of political science for a combined education career lasting almost forty years. Metti is the author of an autobiography, Perception Wars: Iraq from the outside In and his first novel, The Pahlavi Sword.He’s currently working on a third novel.