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.
To learn more about or purchase these books at RandomHouse.com:
Great thoughts Staci.ReplyDelete
And so true, the media is always telling one side of the story, but that is always the case in every country. We just have to think for ourselves too
I think the whole idea of the interviews is great, but then you think of Danny Pearl and it seems REALLY risky!ReplyDelete
On understanding Islam, I really liked No God But God by Reza Azlan, but it's not an easy read!
I would love to read this, please enter me.
nbmars AT yahoo DOT com
Your review makes me want to read this book, Staci. Please add my name to the giveaway. Thanks.ReplyDelete
What a great review! I just finished Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women and want to continue reading on the subject. Would love a chance to win this book!ReplyDelete
I would love to read this book and would love the chance to enter your giveaway. I am so interested in books about other cultures.ReplyDelete
Have you ever read From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedmann? That is the book in which I got my remedial lesson about the Middle East. It helped me understand things better.
You are so right about the mainstream news....it is sad that we have to be very wary of their reporting.
I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.ReplyDelete
This book does sound fascinating. I would love to be entered in your great giveaway! Thanks, Stacy. milou2ster(at)gmail.comReplyDelete
I love that you shared your faith with us. This post would fit right in with the Religious Freedom emphasis on Social Justice this month. I especially like your call for all of us to think for ourselves when it comes to the media and national issues. As I was reading your post I was shouting Yes! and Amen! Good job.ReplyDelete
Those are some great affirmations to remember Staci! Sometimes, we all need a little wake up call to remember not too judge people too quickly and based on things we may think we know. Great review!ReplyDelete
Oh I really enjoy Ted Decker and I have been curious about this book. Excellent review! I would love a chance to win this one too.ReplyDelete
journey through books @ gmail dot com
Oh, I'd love to win!ReplyDelete
I took an occassional class at the community college when I lived in DC. Always for fun. I took a world religion class because I knew so little about the other religions, except for Christianity. It totally changed my world view. Still a Christian though.
Sounds fascinating! Count me in!ReplyDelete
harvee44 at yahoo.com
Your thoughts on religion and faith are so great.
I am Catholic officially, but I don't subscribe to the belief that there is only one pathway to God.
I also think that people who do not educate themselves about religions, cultures, politics, new ideas, etc. are just puppets on a string. So many people are so adamant about their beliefs and these same people hardly even know why they believe what they believe or know of anything different.
I am glad that this book is opening people's eyes that the mainstream media is not the only place you should get your information. Like that song says, "When they own the information they can bend it all they want."
Great review. I need to pick this book up. Although I fear it will really get me on my soapbox. Look what just a review on it has done!
I would dearly love to hear this side of things. I really admire the things you spoke of as important to you. My husband would read this book too-but me first. :) Please enter me, I would love to have this book. Thank you.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful review, Staci. I can really tell how much this book got to you. I am definitely adding it to my list.ReplyDelete
This brought tears to my eyes:
"...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." I certainly hope the human race can do it. And do it soon.
what a great review--I love books that stimulate good conversation.ReplyDelete