Tass had quite an early indoctrination into terrorism, having been brought up in the Muslim faith. His miraculous story in how he was able to come to the US, and his life was completely changed when he found Christ through a relationship with a man who took an interest in him. His true friend, Charlie Sharp, has had a great impact on many young people through his ministry at Heartland, here in N. E. Missouri.
This book was very enlightening, because it helped me understand the powerful influence and cultural mindset of the Middle East. We need to really pray for these people, as they have been forbidden to consider any other god, especially Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior , at the risk of persecution, and threats of even death from their own families, as the author had to endure. It's a miraculous story of God's intervention into the life of a once spiteful (toward Christians and Jews, especially) man, whose life was turned around, as was his family's...great reading.
"Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life" is a fascinating read. As the title indicates, this is a true story of a former Fatah fighter. Tass Saada was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza strip. His parents left their land in Israel at the encouragement of the neighboring Muslim countries. After the failure of the 1948 war, they (with many others) were displaced. He grew up in Saudi Arabia and later Qatar.
Saada, like many young frustrated Palestinians, grew to respect Yasir Arafat and his rhetoric about Palestinians standing up for their rights. He fled from his home and joined the movement in its infancy. As a teenager he became a sniper and fought in many terrorist skirmishes.
Eventually his father's influence brought him back out of the Fatah, just before Black September's chaos, and he wound up ultimately in America. There for many years he succeeded in business and lived the American dream, with its money, prestige and also its sinful vices. Then he met Jesus, and the rest is history!
His story of conversion is amazing, and the transformation in his life and family is dramatic. God had his hand on this man and eventually he became the founder of Hope for Ishmael a non-profit organization that aims to reconcile Jews and Muslims, and that also aids the many Palestinians caught in the crossfire of the Middle-East conflict. God took Tass from being a one-time chauffeur to Arafat, and allowed him to share the Gospel with the Muslim leader in the final years of his life.
Saada's story is a celebration of God's grace. Along the way, Saada has some wise Gospel words to speak about the Middle-East conflict. He finds the Bible's honorable treatment of Hagar and Ishmael to have special significance in our understanding of this conflict. He also stresses God's promise in Ez. 47: 21-23 that "the aliens [foreigners] who have settled among you and who have children... along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel." (NIV)
His story will also challenge you to see God's hand at work in your own life. This book will open your heart to the suffering of the Middle-East and give hope! I highly recommend this quick read. May Jesus be exalted in the Middle East!
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Some books are just confrontational. You know how some books make you realize that assumptions you have had are not correct or that they are wounding to people? Some books confront ideas that you have long had or make you see the other side of the issue.Once An Arafat Man has been one of those books for me. It is subtitled the True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life yep, not exactly light reading.However it is a fascinating book. Because of Tass Saada, I no longer see things the way I did before. While I now understand even better what a confusing mess it is in the Middle East, I also have to say that Once An Arafat Man left me feeling more hopeful at the end. It also showed me one of the ways that God is working in that mess.God worked a miracle in Tass Saadas heart and now God is using Tass to do more work.