An extraordinary story, never before told: The intimate, behind-the-scenes life of an American boy raised by his terrorist father - the man who planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
What is it like to grow up with a terrorist in your home? Zak Ebrahim was only seven years old when, on November 5, 1990, his father El-Sayed Nosair shot and killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League. While in prison, Nosair helped plan the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In one of his infamous video messages, Osama bin Laden urged the world to "Remember El-Sayed Nosair."
For Zak Ebrahim, a childhood amongst terrorism was all he knew. After his father's incarceration, his family moved often, and as the perpetual new kid in class, he faced constant teasing and exclusion. Yet, though his radicalized father and uncles modeled fanatical beliefs, to Ebrahim something never felt right. To the shy, awkward boy, something about the hateful feelings just felt unnatural.
In this audiobook, Ebrahim dispels the myth that terrorism is a foregone conclusion for people trained to hate. Based on his own remarkable journey, he shows that hate is always a choice - but so is tolerance. Though Ebrahim was subjected to a violent, intolerant ideology throughout his childhood, he did not become radicalized. Ebrahim argues that people conditioned to be terrorists are actually well positioned to combat terrorism, because of their ability to bring seemingly incompatible ideologies together in conversation and advocate in the fight for peace. Ebrahim argues that everyone, regardless of their upbringing or circumstances, can learn to tap into their inherent empathy and embrace tolerance over hatred. His unique, urgent message is fresh, groundbreaking, and essential to the current discussion about terrorism.
©2014 Zak Ebrahim. All rights reserved. (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
Zak's story is heartbreaking. I am glad to have heard it. The families of the terrorists - as in this case anyway, are completely innocent yet they suffer immensely. In the end, Zak's decision to reject hate and accept others is healing to his own soul and a wonderful example for the rest of us.
All of us at one time or another have wondered, how could someone be so heartless has to be a terrorist. This man had a close-up view and a strong understanding which he rejected. His worked for peace is courageous and heartfelt. Chapter 11 is ominous and reflects some of the fear mongering in our country today. We should take note and take heed.
I first heard Zee's TED talk (that essentially served as an introduction to this book) and felt like I needed more.
This title really struck a chord with me. Perhaps it's because I live in the Middle East and am familiar with the Islamic-based hatred at the core of this story. Or perhaps it's because I too feel the weariness underpinning the author's worldview.
It's a very powerful tale and told in a highly memorable way.
The only reason I'm not giving it five stars is that I feel it was too short and I still want to know more. Especially about the author's siblings: to what extent have they rejected their father? Are any still in touch with him? Are any of them still Muslims? Do any of them take a harder line with their mother more than Zee does?
I highly recommend this book and will be looking out for future works or talks by the author.
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