An Improbable Friendship is the dual biography of Israeli Ruth Dayan, now 98, who was Moshe Dayan's wife for 37 years, and Palestinian journalist Raymonda Tawil, Yasser Arafat's mother-in-law, now 74. It reveals for the first time the two women's surprising and secret 40-year friendship and delivers the story of their extraordinary and turbulent lives growing up in a war-torn country.
Based on personal interviews, diaries, and journals drawn from both women - Ruth lives today in Tel Aviv, Raymonda in Malta - author Anthony David delivers a fast-paced, fascinating narrative that is a beautiful story of reconciliation and hope in a climate of endless conflict. By experiencing their stories and following their budding relationship, which began after the Six-Day War in 1967, we learn the behind-the-scenes, undisclosed history of the Middle East's most influential leaders from two prominent women on either side of the ongoing conflict.
An award-winning biographer and historian, Anthony David brings us the story of unexpected friendship while he discovers the true pasts of two outstanding women. Their story gives voice to Israelis and Palestinians caught in the Middle East conflict and holds a persistent faith in a future of peace.
©2015 Anthony David (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
It was a wonderful story, anyone would enjoy it, had the book been read by someone that took the time to learn how to pronounce the names of the characters and the places involved.
The story is a true tale of friendship that could heal the world.
I would have listened more closely and I would have corrected the narrator's mistakes in the narration before releasing the Audiobook to the public.
I regret the purchase of this book. Had this been my first audible book, it certainly would have been the LAST. The reader not only made mistakes in her narration in key parts of the book, but, was completely unable to pronounce many of the names and places. In fact, her pronunciation was so bad that it was almost impossible to understand who she was referring to, and where the events took place. Some of the names were pronounced a particular way in one chapter and then another way in a subsequent chapter. This Audible book also included a few very bad voice over edits. There are so many blunders that I will only give one laughable example; Denise Chamberlain pronounces the name “Simone de Beauvoir” as if this author and philosopher was Jacqueline (Bouvier) Kennedy Onassis’s sister (the narrator says Simone de Bouvier) I would like my money back, this Audible book was not in the realm of acceptable. The plethora of mistakes in narration were painful to hear.
An amazing tale of friendship, but also of struggle. The history behind the characters and events is as impartial as possible. I was fascinated by the insights that Ruth provides into the psyche of Moshe Dayan, and I was also equally fascinated by the view of Arafat that Raymonda gives us. Such complicated men who were similar in so many ways!
Though the story is about Ruth and Raymonda, Raymonda captures the reader's attention the most. And this is appropriate as Ruth contacted Anthony David to tell this Raymonda's story and to help Raymonda continue her mission, that of promoting peace and understanding between peoples, particularly Israelis and Palestinians. But Ruth plays a prominent part of the narrative, and provides a counterpoint to the Palestinian point of view.
I'm not sure you can describe scenes from a book like this as favorite. But there were some that were memorable. One was the poignant account of Raymonda returning to Acre to see the home she grew up in, which she assumed was now occupied by Jewish Israelis who claimed the various buildings abandoned by Arabs who fled for their lives during the conflict in 1948.
From the book: "It was only then that she realized that her childhood home had been turned into a museum of the bygone gilded 'Jewish life' in Acre. It wasn’t enough to steal the villa; the Israelis also stole her memories, her identity, her past. She followed the tourists like a phantom, silent and with her internal time bomb ticking away. On the whole, everything remained as it was, frozen in time: the spacious rooms furnished in the French style of the 1930s, chandeliers and mirrors with gilded golden frames of carved wooden flowers, the mirror itself spotted with age."
Yet she did not explode! But that experience helped me understand the reasons why the return of refugees is a major demand by Palestinians in peace negotiations. Something I had not really understood before.
This book is actually quite heartbreaking. Not so much for the personal tragedies that befell both Ruth and Raymonda, but because of the incredible lost opportunities for peace that Israeli leaders gave up through the years, especially right after 1967.
This book is, I believe, a fairly accurate retelling of certain historical events, as witnessed by Ruth and Raymonda from their respective points of view. The actors in this Israeli-Palestinian conflict are complex and both sides have acted in violence and bloodshed. Yet Moshe Dayan was not the blood-thirsty warmonger that many of Raymonda's friends and neighbors thought him to be. And Arafat was not the simple terrorist that Israel's government, especially Moshe Dayan and Ariel Sharon painted him out to be.This quote really stood out to me from near the end of the book: "Right-wing Israelis and the holy warriors of Hamas share the same fear: empathy."
The book serves a bit as a warning, I think, to what is yet to come in this conflict as the bloodshed is likely to worsen as Palestinians feel they have less and less to lose all the time. And the lessons in this book serve us well in America as tensions here rise over conflicts of race and ethnicity that empathy and humanization is essential. Indeed this is the mission of Raymonda Tawil, and also of Ruth Dayan.
Having Palestinian friends, I appreciate the accent that the narrator used when reading dialog spoken by Raymonda. I feel it captures accurately the accent and also the attitude and demeanor of Raymonda. I smiled the first time the accent was used in the narrative. Reminded me of dear friends.
This was my first audiobook. I will be listening to MANY MORE !!
The friendship that grew between these two amazing women gives me hope for our WORLD !!!! If these Women can "come together" for the good of their troubled country...it seems that ALL WORLD LEADERS can put their EGOS aside if they truly want WORLD PEACE !!!
I was "hooked" by the first conversation between the author & the 2 main characters !!
That is a tough one....AND I have listened to this book 2 times ! !
I had always been confused by the Wars in the Mid-East. The book gave me answers and the desire to understand even more the history behind all war !!!
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