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Date palms have existed for at least 50 million years and have been a food staple of the Middle East for thousands of years. In Miriam’s time, the Egyptians ate the fruits and made wine from them. The Romans used the fronds in processions to symbolize victory and grew the trees in their peristyle gardens.

In THE DEADLIEST LIE, Miriam remarks on the beauty of the date palms in her courtyard:

During the day, “date palms splash shade on the marble fountain in the center and the wrought-iron chaise lounges around it.” And in the evening, “the moon begins its climb through the tangled net of evening stars while the date palms sweep the delicate light into long shadows.”

Some things haven’t changed since Miriam’s time. Egypt is still the leading grower of date palms in the world.

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