Is it really possible to love one's enemies? That's the question that sparked a fascinating and, at times, terrifying journey into the heart of the Middle East during the summer of 2008. It was a trip that began in Egypt, passed beneath the steel-and-glass high-rises of Saudi Arabia, then wound through the bullet-pocked alleyways of Beirut and dusty streets of Damascus, before ending at the cradle of the world's three major religions: Jerusalem.
Tea with Hezbollah combines nail-biting narrative with the texture of rich historical background, as listeners join novelist Ted Dekker and his coauthor, Middle East expert Carl Medearis, on a hair-raising journey. They are with them in every rocky cab ride, late-night border crossing, and back-room conversation as they sit down one-on-one with some of the most notorious leaders of the Arab world. These candid discussions with leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas; with muftis, sheikhs, and ayatollahs; and with Osama bin Laden's brothers reveal these men to be real people with emotions, fears, and hopes of their own. Along the way, Dekker and Medearis discover surprising answers and even more surprising questions that they could not have anticipated - questions that lead straight to the heart of Middle Eastern conflict.
©2010 Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis; (P)2010 Tantor
A transplanted Englishman, I spend my time on biography, history and military books. I appreciate good English and good narration.
I enjoyed this book, even though I had to get used to that uniquely American style which seeks to ensure that the reader/listener understands every minute fact; this can destroy texture, priority and emphasis.
Did it need two books to get the point across? Probably not. Did it become a little too self confirming in the repetition of the similar questions, similar predictable answers by Islamic interviewees...all exaggertaed by the narrator's style which used the same 'voice' for each interview? Sure. But it did give a new perpsective...it was a fascinating journey...the accees to forbidden 'supposed terrorists' quite astonishing...and the fundamental unfairness of their situation confirmed indelibly.
I had trouble working out 4 or 5 stars; long windedness made it 3.
This is a very interesting look into a world that I have never walked it. The author just lets the folks that they interview speak their mind and tries to ask similar questions to differient parties to try to get an "apples and apples interview". It is an interesteing concept. Medearis and Dekker give minimum commentary and don't try to argue or disuade the other folks from thier views. It is interesting to hear about us from another set of eyes. I am not sure if the folks they interview are really speaking their mind or are they just using this book as a vehicle to convice us they really are not the enemy. Worth the read.
John - GJ Colorado
A good book if you are looking for an idea what the emotional trip through the Middle East is like. Not very good for information. The author talks more about how scared he is, then anything else. He comes across as a big sissy really. The interviews he conducts are all the same questions to each person and you see an obvious pattern just after a few interviews.
I enjoyed some of his side stories (especially the fictional one) more then the actual content of his book. I think a story about Carl's life (the author's partner throughout the book) would have made for a much more interesting story.
Didn't get any information about the region. All they provided was snippets of interviews with terrorists and their sympathizers where they allowed them to say whatever they wanted and portray themselves as hunky dory regular folks without any analysis to see if they were just saying what they thought people in the West would want to hear. Wish I could get the time I spent listening to this book back.
I would not try another of their books.
Spoiler Alert - A large part of it was fictional! I was furious when this was revealed at the end of the book.
I loved the individual interviews and personal quality of the questions. Very insightful.
Two Christian Arabists bumble thorough the Middle East, meet with terrorists and ask them what kind of toothpaste they use and what color their Mercedes are.
I enjoyed this Ted Dekker, Carl Medearis work so much. I have read and listened to many of Ted Dekker's works in the past and been pleased with the plots and storylines. This being a non-fiction work is just as intriguing as the tales that have been weaved and created. Tea With Hezbollah will keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next clandestine meeting.
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