Is it really possible to love one’s enemies?
That’s the question that sparked a fascinating and, at times, terrifying journey into the heart of the Middle East during the summer of 2008. It was a trip that began in Egypt, passed beneath the steel and glass high rises of Saudi Arabia, then wound through the bullet- pocked alleyways of Beirut and dusty streets of Damascus, before ending at the cradle of the world’s three major religions: Jerusalem. Tea with Hezbollah combines nail-biting narrative with the texture of rich historical background, as readers join novelist Ted Dekker and his co-author and Middle East expert, Carl Medearis, on a hair-raising journey. They are with them in every rocky cab ride, late-night border crossing, and back-room conversation as they sit down one-on-one with some of the most notorious leaders of the Arab world. These candid discussions with leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas, with muftis, sheikhs, and ayatollahs, with Osama bin Laden’s brothers, reveal these men to be real people with emotions, fears, and hopes of their own. Along the way, Dekker and Medearis discover surprising answers and even more surprising questions that they could not have anticipated—questions that lead straight to the heart of Middle Eastern conflict.
Let me start right off by saying that I'm not a religious person, yet I am a person with faith. I believe in God and Jesus, but I don't consider myself a mainstream Christian. In fact, I'd rather not affiliate myself with any religion. Why you may ask? For some reason people seem to think that one religion is better than another. As if any of the religions don't have blood on their hands? What I believe in is this: love, respect for others, understanding, forgiving, acceptance, and making an effort every day to follow Jesus' teaching- Love your enemies. I've learned through reading this fantastic book that to love your enemy is just as hard today as it was over 2000 years ago. Dekker and Medearis take a journey into the heart of the Muslim faith and meet with people that are at the center of conflicts in their respective countries. They meet with the bin Laden brothers in Saudi Arabia, Sheik Nabil Qaouk of Hezbollah, a Bedouin Prince, Sheik Fadlallah-voice of Hezbollah, Hamas, a Samaritan, and Sami Awad (who moved me quite literally to tears). They didn't write this book to tout one religion over another, but instead to give you, the reader, the information you may need to start making wiser choices about who the terrorist really are and that as a whole, if we, the people of this great world, could come together in mutual respect and love, that maybe we could make violence a thing of the past. But the only way to achieve that is by knowledge, reading, questioning, and educating YOURSELF!!
I could go on and on about this book...it makes for great discussions. My husband can't wait to read it. He's listened patiently as I've stopped and read excerpts to him so that we could talk about these issues. So I will leave you with some affirmations that have come to me personally after reading this.
- I need to educate myself in regards to other religions and beliefs. That means tomorrow when I get to school I'm going to check out our book on the Muslim faith.
- I need to quit believing everything I see or hear on mainstream media. There is always an agenda people....always!
- I need to question what our leaders tell us. Believe it or not, we don't always get the "real" story.
- I need to live my life daily without hatred and to try understand my fellow human without judging them.
I was sent an extra copy for a giveaway. So please indicate in your comment if you would like the opportunity to win this book!!! Entries will close on January 31, 12:00 am!
This book was provided for review by the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
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