Erica in Cairo

Erica is a junior majoring in art history in Meadows School of the Arts and international studies in Dedman College, with a minor in Italian. She also is a Hatton W. Sumners Scholar. In fall 2010, Erica will be taking classes in Egyptology and Middle Eastern studies at the American University in Cairo with SMU-in-Cairo. She hopes to learn as much Arabic as possible while traveling throughout the region.

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‘Son of Hamas’ book review

Israel and Palestine are like quicksand; every discussion results in little more than a feeling of utter hopelessness and a sense of immense disorientation. Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef has either stabilized the ground somewhat or cast out a sturdy vine to which one can cling, for the perspective is absolutely one of a kind. I’ll let his website give you a brief biography:

“Since he was a small boy, Mosab Hassan Yousef has had an inside view of the deadly terrorist group Hamas. The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, young Mosab assisted his father for years in his political activities while being groomed to assume his legacy, politics, status … and power. But everything changed when Mosab turned away from terror and violence, and embraced instead the teachings of another famous Middle East leader. In Son of Hamas, Mosab Yousef – now called “Joseph” – reveals new information about the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization and unveils the truth about his own role, his agonizing separation from family and homeland, the dangerous decision to make his newfound faith public, and his belief that the Christian mandate to “love your enemies” is the only way to peace in the Middle East.”

If reading about the son of a Hamas founder who chose work for Israel and converted to Christianity doesn’t interest you, I don’t know what will. Son of Hamas is one of the most moving, interesting, and enlightening books I have ever encountered, clearing up much of the Middle East that I have never understood in a clear and relatable manner – you need not be an expert on the Middle East or even have a great interest in the area to be enthralled by the book. Though I obviously have not been able to vet the man personally, from what I have read the book seems to be sincere and accurate. In a world so greatly affected by Middle Eastern affairs, Son of Hamas should be required reading.

* If you are interested in seeing Yousef’s take on current events, the website to his blog is: http://sonofhamas.wordpress.com/

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