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  • Wind, hailstone and weeds, these are the 3 threats for palm trees growing outdoors.

    There is nothing you can do against wind and a hailstone.

    My Dad cultivates and export palm trees since 1978 and he always says that there is an important percentage of possibilities to suffer a hailstone at list once in a worklife.

    As for the wind, it's very uncomfortable to work outdoors on a windy day: most of the time you get headhache and your skin gets dry and it's not nice to walk through the nursery on a windy day.

    Weeds are horrible. They grow very fast and you have to treat the plant and to keep an eye, otherwise they grow and grow and it's a mess. Large supermarkets include on their contracts an specific clause: no yellow tips on the leaves, no weeds, no dirty on the palm tree' pots.

    Fortunately we have Fouzia fighting against weeds.

    Fouzia is married to Ahmed, the person in charge of the palm trees nursery that my family runs in Spain. Ahmed has being working with us for more than 10 years but when he came from Marocco with his old brother Mohammed, he left woman and three kids in Africa and could visit them only every couple of years.

    It took him a lot of work and burocracy to get the right to bring his family to Spain. He lost a lot of weight and spend whole nights outside, looking at the palm trees and looking at the sky and thinking about them and feeling worried about the future.

    In Summer 2010, Ahmed finally managed to bring the whole family here and now Ahmed has got a bit of a paunch and it's all thanks to Fouzia and the happiness of being together again.

    Fouzia doesn't speak Spanish yet, though I insist that it would be nice to learn the language so she can go to school an speak to their children's teachers and go to the bank or either to the doctor or just go to the park and chat a bit with a Spanish mum.

    Sometimes Ahmed invites me to drink a tea with them and he or either one of their children do the translation into Arab. But it's not necessary: Fouzia and I, we speak through the eyes and I know that she is a woman with a strong personality and a big heart and we understand each other speaking the language of the soul, which is international and has no room for lyes.

    You may think that Fouzia's work it's not important, but it is. Day to day she walks through the nursery and takes off the weeds and keeps an eye on them and I am sure that she speaks with the plants and this is one of the reasons that our palm trees look so green and beautiful.

    Furthermore, I like Fouzia having her own income and a job that allows her to keep on doing the things that are important for her tradition, like cooking for the family or taking care of the house or looking after the kids when they are back from school.
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