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Once an Arafat Man


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Saada was a trusted assistant to Yasir Arafat in the late 1960s, soon after Fatah was established. His remarkable story is one of youthful violence and frustration; then he moved to the United States at age 23 to study engineering. He married an American woman, had a successful career in the restaurant business, and, in 1993, underwent a conversion to evangelical Christianity. He has written a moving personal story that will especially satisfy readers who believe in the transformative possibilities of America and the power of faith to alter lives. Saada's experience depicts well the unfortunate situation of the Palestinian diaspora in Arab countries and the circumstances culminating in the Jordanian-Palestinian violence of "Black September" 1970. Clearly, Saada intends to focus on the many circumstances that transformed his attitudes and activity after experiencing a miraculous religious conversion, culminating in his work in the West Bank and Gaza and his creation of "Hope Kindergarten" in the Gaza Strip. Perhaps the best part of his account is his reconciliation with Israelis and his role as a peacemaker. One's reaction to his proposals will likely depend on how one reacts to his life experiences as a whole. Recommended for large public libraries.-Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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