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.
Here is a brief description of the book, via Amazon:
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 [Jesus]. 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.
Naturally, I have not vetted the man personally. From the research I have done on him, his book seems to be accurate and sincere, but I obviously cannot attest to its unwavering truth. Regardless, it is one of the most moving books I have read, and clears up much of the Middle East that I have never understood. The book describes every situation in a clear and relatable manner, not being written for academics or scholars, but for “regular” people with human emotions. You do not need to be an expert on the Middle East or even have a great interest in the area to find this book moving and fascinating. In a world so greatly affected by Middle Eastern affairs, Son of Hamas should be required reading.
Author’s note: I wrote the post above in 2010, when I studied abroad at The American University in Cairo for a semester.