Monday, January 25, 2010

Once an Arafat Man Blog Tour


Summary: "At age 17, Palestinian Tass Saada ran away to become a PLO sniper, onetime chauffeur for Yasser Arafat, and a Muslim immersed in anti-Israeli activity. As a man he moved to America, started a family, and eventually became a Christian. Then he risked retribution as he returned home to share his faith with his family and former boss. Once an Arafat Man is a story of the ultimate triumph of love over hatred, of reconciliation over divisions. It’s a story that can inspire us all to overcome the conflicts in our own lives."

Author Bio: "Tass Saada is a former Muslim and the founder of Hope for Ishmael, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reconcile Arabs and Jews. Born in 1951 in the Gaza Strip, Saada grew up in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He worked under Yasser Arafat as a Fatah fighter and sniper. Years after immigrating to America, he became a Christian."

My Thoughts:  This man's story brought me to tears more than once.  I believe it will continue to impact my heart for quite awhile to come. Once An Arafat Man was both eye-opening and heart-opening and is one book that I believe would be beneficial for all to read.   
 

He begins the story by sharing his life as a Palestinian refugee and the bitterness and anger that fueled him.  To be inside the mind and see through the eyes of a Palestinian Muslim was difficult at times, but allowed me to understand a different perspective.  The author makes no excuses for the atrocities he committed but does allow the reader to understand the excuses he made to himself at the time.  He then shares his experience in coming to the United States.  His perception of Americans at that time would be laughable it wasn't so heart-breaking.  He soon discovered his fear of violence from the US citizens was unfounded and he began to build a life here.  

This was all very interesting but the power of the story is found in the second half when God reached out to him in a way he could not deny.  The tears came fast and hard as I read of how God revealed Himself to this former sniper and offered forgiveness and hope for a new life.  My own faith was renewed with the reminder of the power and love of a living God.  My own heart was opened as God showed him that He is the God of Isaac and Ishmael.  Christ's sacrifice was not to build a new religion called Christianity but to bring all peoples to redemption.  Reconciliation is only to be found in Him.


Wow, powerful stuff.


Life did not suddenly become easy for this man but blessings did abound.  Through doubt and discouragement, God was with him- training him for what was to come.  He would walk with him as he returned once more to the Middle East, facing death and danger to offer hope.  His story ends with encouragement to the reader, encouragement that hope and reconciliation is possible in our lives.  After reading his story, that little germ of hope revived in my own heart.   


I'm not usually a fan of biographies but for some reason felt drawn to read this book.  I am so glad that I did.  I believe it can be life-changing.


*Disclosure: This book was provided at no cost by Tyndale, for review purposes.*
4/52


1 comment:

Debra said...

Wow, Lori, this sounds great. After the book I finished last week (Inside the Revolution by Joel Rosenberg), this sounds like something I really ought to read next.

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