Olive Tree Donation from the Holy Land

Her Excellency Ms. Marie Antoinette Sedin, Ambassador of the State of Palestine, donated an olive tree from the Holy Land to the Botanical Garden of Szent István University on 3rd May 2018.

Several honourable guests accepted the invitation from H.E. Ms. Marie Antoinette Sedin and Rector Dr. János Tőzser  for Szent István University to welcome the Ambassadors of Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Azerbaijan and Angola and the representatives from the Saudi, Egyptian, Algerian and Kuwaiti Embassies.

Prior to the official program, Her Excellency had visited newly refurbished seminar room No.312, as the Palestinian Embassy had generously offered to equip it. The official donation ceremony  will be part of the International Opening Ceremony of the academic year 2018/19. The room will be named after Palestine.

The olive tree, a symbol of peace and longevity, was presented to our university to acknowledge acceptance of students from the Gaza Strip. In her welcome speech, Her Excellency emphasized the importance of the olive tree for Palestinians. This tree, indigenous to the eastern Mediterranean region, has been cultivated since 3000 B.C., even 2000-year old living specimens can be found there. Olives and olive oil are an essential part of Mediterranean cuisine; meals are unimaginable without them.   Her Excellency also encouraged the ambassadors  and  investors present to support the university through refurbishment of seminar rooms as well.

On behalf of Szent István University, Rector Dr. János Tőzsér and Vice-Rector Dr. István Szabó gave thanks for the donation. Rector Dr. János Tőzsér quoted SZIU’s motto - Cultivating knowledge and sustainability – and pointed out that the university is strongly committed to educate international students in accordance with it. Vice-Rector Dr. István Szabó introduced the giant wild pear tree of Gödöllő to the audience, which is one of the oldest and highest in Hungary. Still bearing fruit, the tree lives in the Botanical Garden of Gödöllő and won silver medals in the 2013 Tree of the Year Hungary and the 2014 Tree of the Year Europe competitions. According to legend,, Kossuth, the Regent-President of Hungary during the revolution of 1848–49, wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1849 under this tree.  It is called the tree of lovers as well, as Count Andrássy met and fell in love with Queen Sissy here.

The Botanical Garden of Szent István University has more than 50 years of history. It is the first agrobotanical garden in Hungary, with over 1400 native and non-native plants from distant continents, and a significant number of crop species.

The garden’s collections of bamboos, colorful lilies and wild roses are among the most varied in the country. Due to the unique forest association in the area, the garden has been a nature reserve since 2008.

The olive tree planting ended with  a picnic under the giant wild pear tree.