"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Tea With Hezbollah" - final pages

February 21 -- Notes from pages 175 - 216

Today we continued in Jerusalem and read a brief transcript of Ted and Carl's meeting with Abu Joudea, the keeper of the key of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He said Saladin had given to the key to the Muslims 840 years prior and it was the original key!

Next the men visited Sheik Ekrima Sa'id Sabri the former mufti of Jerusalem whose pulpit is the Al-Aqsa mosque atop the Temple Mount. There is a transcript from their visit.

The next chapter continued the story of Nicole and a Good Samaritan in Lebanon.

Chapter 15 was one of my favorites as the men spoke with two men in the West Bank. One, Chrisitian Palestinian Sami Awad greatly impressed me by his story of nonviolence and how he worked for his countrymen by peaceful protests and talking directly with Israeli soldiers. He truly is an example of one who loves his enemies and his neighbors. I told Samer that Sami Awad was one of few true followers of Christ who were living out the Spirit's teachings! Sami Awad believes "when Jesus talks about loving the enemy, he is talking about working to create something new. Creating a new identity through unity. When you have this new identity, the concept of 'the other' is completely eliminated. There is no Palestinian and there is no Israeli in this love." (pg. 195)

Later the men met a Hamas leader they called Mohammad in order to protect his identity. His interview was highly interesting as well and much more human-like than Sami Awad's. He answered questions about whether Jesus' teaching was valid and mentioned how "if the other part is not human, you will be forced to act as not a human being." (pg. 208) For sure I could relate to what he said. I am human.

The next chapter concluded the story they shared about Nicole and her "good Samaritan." We found out later why this story raised a number of cultural "red flags" with Samer. It was explained in the last chapter and Samer and I laughed at the reason why things that struck us odd, were in fact. For one thing, the Middle East is known to have some chivalry concerning women so what is reported happening to Nicole made even me wonder. Samer admitted he woke up thinking about some of Nicole's story particularly her mom's coming to America without seeming to have much thought of her family left at the refugee camp. He said no Middle Easterner would act like this. Indeed I recall times while reading that I would look at him and see him shaking his head in disbelief or appearing visibly shocked as the story unfolded.






February 22 -- Notes from pages 217 - 233

The final chapter found Carl and Ted traveling with an Orthodox Jew they referred to as Micah. Although an Israeli, this man realized Arabs acted as they did oftentimes because they were treated as animals. He often was criticized by his own people for being an "Arab lover," but this Jew really embodied the teachings of Jesus in a way that, honestly, quite impressed me.

I love what Ted concluded about his own self and how so many of us "use religion to serve their preferences rather than challenge them to do the right thing." (pg. 218)

"Micah" took them to visit one of the 700 Samaritans remaining and the book concludes with Carl and Ted sitting on a beach waiting to fly home to Denver. They were discussing what to share in the book and finally settled on "the truth."




So we finished the book and mostly enjoyed it. Samer said the one thing he did not like was Ted's constant mentioning of his fear. I totally agreed. I remember thinking while reading the book that Ted was an awfully fearful guy. Maybe his imagination makes him this way. But I have to say that Ted did not act on his fear and that is important. He walked by faith and had an exciting message to convey to the world. Samer spent some of the evening looking up reviews on Amazon and seemed pleased to see that many of those who wrote shared how reading this book gave them better understanding of Middle Easterners and a greater love for their "enemies." I believe God brought Ted and Carl together and gave them the idea to make this trip and report what they found. I am eager to see how He uses this book to reach a group of people who likely believed no westerner could survive having Tea With Hezbollah.

THE END






See notes from previous pages here

4 comments:

Wrestling With Religion said...

Sounds like an interesting book, thanks for sharing it!

I loved this part: "when Jesus talks about loving the enemy, he is talking about working to create something new. Creating a new identity through unity. When you have this new identity, the concept of 'the other' is completely eliminated. There is no Palestinian and there is no Israeli in this love."

That would be an antidote to a lot of problems in the world, I think.

Suroor said...

Thanks for this post, S.

The book seems interesting.

Susanne said...

WWR, yes, that's so true. :)

Suroor, thanks for reading my post. :)

Wafa' said...

I enjoyed reading all the post about this book. Very interesting one indeed.
Thanx for sharing dear :)