Friday, July 2, 2010

Son of Hamas

Denise is the book purchaser for the House of James and when she recommends a book, it is well worth paying attention. She told me that the following was this year's favorite read..

Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef

"It seems as though each day we receive news from the Middle bombs, death, fighting over a tiny strip of land, poverty, war...the list is long. Often I have found myself wondering why these people cannot come to some kind of agreement and stop fighting, their children are growing up in war zones for crying out loud. We argue about the politics and we send peacekeeping troops but few of us have been able to penetrate this world we do not understand.

It is a well known fact that I love biographies. They offer insight to places I may never get to go otherwise. Sometimes they are filled with encouragement, sometimes they offer us a different perspective. Son of Hamas has helped me gain insight and understanding to a world I have not understood.

The story of Mosab Hassan Yousef is easily one of the best I have ever read! An amazing story of a young boy who grew up understanding conflict and violence, a boy who was closely tied to the deadly terrorist group Hamas, a boy who is really no different than any of us. As I read, I began to understand some of the conflict that Yousef endured while growing up. The violence he endured in his every day life was horrific and yet once he got home his family was a loving and close knit unit. I was touched by the fact that never once did he have a bad thing to say about his parents, he obviously loves and respects them very much.

I could not concisely tell of what happens in his life but he weaves a story that is difficult to put down. As the son of one of the 7 original Hamas leaders, he was groomed to one day take over. Eventually he had to make the agonizing choice of "betraying" his family by being involved with both Israeli and Palestinian governments in order to protect his family. His life is filled with strife and difficult decisions as he struggles with the outcomes of his political activities. It is a shocking tale of a man who rejected his violent destiny and found the love of Jesus that would change his life. In this amazing book you will learn about the world's most dangerous terrorist group, the role Yousef played, the choices he made and how he wants to bring peace to the Middle East with the mandate of "love your enemies". This book has changed how I view the conflicts and the way I pray for the nation of Israel and Palestine." -Denise

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