Son of Hamas {Book Review}

My family, I am very proud of you; only my God can understand what you have been through. I realize that what I have done has caused another deep wound that might not heal in this life and that you may have to live with its shame forever.

So begins Son of Hamas, an open story of a life filled with secrets, intrigue, and bloodshed.  Mosab Hassan Yousef is a prince among Palestinians, the son of one of the founders of Hamas. He draws upon his experiences within the occupied territories; from his father’s multiple imprisonments by the Israelis and PLO to buying weapons himself to kill the Israelis. The book spans a decade, twisting and turning through imprisonments and torture before firmly rooting itself in espionage.

Tapped by the Shin Bet while imprisoned, Mosab agrees to work with them so he can double cross them and kill them. But he is unprepared for the kindness the secret organization show him; they protect him, give him money, and tell him to go to college. During this time, curiosity brings him to a Bible study and he is introduced to the radical teachings of Jesus. His sworn enemies become his friends and he is forced to keep thriving in a world turned upside-down.

Through his journey, Mosab grapples what it means to love his enemies. For him, it changes everything.  The book is a fascinating journey into the Israel-Palestinian conflict, identifying some of the key players and the ideology that motivates them. It’s also a spiritual coming-of-age story when Mosab decides to follow Jesus, even though it may mean his own death.

Even though the book is published, Mosab’s story is not yet over. He’s still alive and he’s still a wanted man. His story challenges me. More than other writings. It’s easy to write about hard things when there are no consequences for them. It’s altogether different when you know that you are condemning yourself. His emotions are real, raw, not just words on a page written while dreaming up an alternate life and sipping a beer. His scars come from prison beatings. As a Christian, I applaud his bravery and choice to follow Jesus. As a flawed human, I can’t imagine how hard it was for him.

I’m interested in finding out what happens to Mosab down the road.  Where the next chapter of his story will take him. If he ever reconciles with his family. But like many true life stories, it may take years to find out. Excellent, excellent read.

One Response to “Son of Hamas {Book Review}”
  1. Ruthe Dymek says:

    Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking your feeds too now, Thanks.

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