Jordan – Olive harvest season: custom, tradition and preservation of heritage


Location: Irbid – Jordan
Language: Arabic
Duration: 00:06:34
Sound: natural
Source: A24 in Jordan
Restrictions: A24 subscribers
Date 11/07/2022


Olive harvest season has begun in Jordan, which farmers await eagerly, as olives represent an essential source of livelihood that helps them secure their basic needs.

The olive tree is a distinctive sign for many cities in central and northern Jordan. Picking olives is an important economic event for farmers, in addition to being a season of joy and revival of folk rituals and customs.

According to official studies and data, Jordan produces olive oil with standards comparable to international varieties, which has put it on the global map for olives and olive oil, and is attracting international investments to this sector.


  • Soundbite (Mohammed Al-Quraan – Farmer):
    “This tree has been the same size since the day I was born, it dates back to the Romans according to our ancestors. I used to see my grandparents picking olives that reach a weight of 16 sacks, filling 8 tin cans of olive oil from one tree. Despite climate change and land divisions, these trees remain.”
  • Soundbite (Maryam Al-Da’jah – Member of Al-Taybeh Municipal Council)
    “Olive harvest season is a season of blessing that we eagerly look forward to every year despite its short period. Olives are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, so they are not of eastern or western origin. We pound olives with stone to give it a distinctive flavor.”
  • Soundbite (Mohammed bani Yunis – Owner of a stone olive mill):
    “We have several methods for picking and pounding olives, manual and automatic. Farmers cannot afford machinery because of the high prices, so they resort to manual method, which not everyone can do. Manual methods are much better, but they are extremely traditional.”
  • Soundbite (Mohammed bani Salman – Owner of a modern olive mill):
    “People living in Irbid like to use oil extracted from boiled olives, because it lasts about one to two years.”
    “The olive oil of Levant region is the finest in the world. Jordan is going through a long period of drought, there is a difference in the quality of taste between plants grown in greenhouses and plants grown under the sun.”
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