Through the two brothers, I tried to capture the different ways in which Palestinians respond to Israeli oppression. The brothers, though very different in character, were virtually inseparable until an Israeli cripples Abbas, leaving him in chronic pain – and angry at the people who caused his disabilities. Abbas fills an important role in The Almond Tree providing a context for why some Palestinians choose a life of resistance, risking death, injury, torture and imprisonment. I have not written about abstract ideas in Palestinian families’ lives. They are facts of life that touch and have touched every family. Abbas is not a bad person. He’s a freedom fighter as opposed to Ahmed whose genius opened doors for him that were not available to Abbas. Ahmed chooses another path, partly out of a moral indebtedness to his father, and partly because he naturally possessed something that could act as a bridge between him and the world beyond his Palestinian village. Of the two brothers Abbas is much more dedicated to the cause of resistance and freeing his people. Ahmed is more concerned with his immediate family’s survival. None of them are bad and their relationship is crucial to the story.