Hitham Kayali: Inspiration behind Palolea

Hitham KayaliFounder and CEO Hitham Kayali explains the inspiration behind Palolea.

This ground-breaking company produces the finest olive leaf extract from the hills of Palestine, for use in nutritional supplements and beauty products all over the world.

Find out more about Palolea and opportunities for partnerships.

A few years ago I came across a bottle of olive leaf extract for the first time in European markets. I was intrigued to know more about it, and it was not difficult to discover the scientifically proven, immense and diverse health benefits that olive leaf extract contains.

I wondered why it wasn’t being produced in Palestine, where the olive sector forms an essential part of the Palestinian economy, and is central to local identity and culture.

Hitham Kayali weighs olive branches in PalestineHaving previously worked in the sector, specifically in exporting Palestinian olive oil, I got in touch with olive growers and asked what they did with leaves after pruning. In most cases, it turned out that they gathered them and had them burnt. In other cases the leaves would be left for cattle to feed on. The opportunity for a potentially great product became clear, and a vivid image of a valuable participatory economic prospect became my guiding goal.

Along the way I was greatly inspired and supported by the Middle Eastern Leadership Academy (MELA), a non governmental network of leaders from 13 Arab countries. MELA is founded on the belief that regional cooperation and cross-border exchanges are keys to a prosperous and vibrant Middle East.

Since then I and others in the network have worked to make the vision of a participatory economy a reality. We have determined how best to gather leaves and produce olive leaf extract and are developing effective routes to market and present the product.

We formed partnerships with farmers across the West Bank, conducted scientific research in Palestinian universities to ensure the best yield of olive leaf extract in quality and quantity, and established a unique extraction process and production line.”

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