Archive for the ‘peace’ Category

A “Review” of the Book ‘Once An Arafat Man’ by Tass Saada

March 31, 2010
Article Title: A “Review” of the Book ‘Once An Arafat Man’ by Tass Saada
Submitted by:Craig Lock

Category/Key words: Books, good books, ‘Once An Arafat Man’, Tass Saada, ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’, Craig Lock
Craig’s new blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is available at: http://www.myspace.com/writercraig and http://craiglock.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-blogs

Publishing Guidelines:
If published, please acknowledge the writer and source. All my other articles and extracts from my various writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
*
A “Review” of the Book ‘Once An Arafat Man’ by Tass Saada
Submitter’s Note:
Craig is currently “working” on his latest manuscript – a “novel”, but a true story of transformation … from hatred to love in the cauldron of the Middle East titled ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bond’s of Love’. In his research of the plot, he came across the inspiring story of Tass Saada on the internet  and see that Saada’s  book ‘Once An Arafat Man’ (as well as his ministry) has generated some  controversy with his claims (hardly surprising!). I’ll share these reviews (and perhaps stimulate some interesting debate about the book , especially regarding Tass Saada’s beliefs and claims) and do some further investigation and research, as well as more writing on my story.
ABOUT THE AUTHORs:
Tass Saada is a former Muslim and a co-founder of ‘Hope for Ishmael’. Hope for Ishmael is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reconcile Arabs and Jews to God and each other through the gospel of Christ. Saada was born in 1951 in the Gaza strip, and grew up in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He was a PLO sniper and militant fighter. He worked directly for Arafat. In America, he converted to Christianity.
ONE PERSON’S REVIEW (very “religious”):

“In a world where violence has become the daily norm, in which terrorism strikes moment by moment around the world, Jesus Christ is still transforming lives, saving souls and calling people from everywhere to Himself. Once an Arafat Man is the story of one such miracle, Taysir Abu Saada (Tass). This man was raised in the Muslim faith and served as a Fatah sniper trained to kill his Jewish enemy. Through a series of very unusual, and yes, providential appointments, God saved the soul of Tass Saada. Even more wonderful, Tass’ entire family was made a new creation in Christ, and Tass and his wife Karen have been called to minister to the Muslim people in Gaza – the place of his birth.
In my opinion, this book in one of the most powerful testimonies of God’s amazing grace and the miraculous changes His forgiveness makes in the life of a believer. I know I will be praying for Tass Saada – that he will continue to reach many more people for Christ. This is an amazing, encouraging book, and I highly recommend it to everyone!!”

# The first chapter of the book is available at the above web site.


*  *
For “balance”, here is another (secular) perspective on Tass Saada’s book…
Born again in the USA
The strange tale of a Muslim

“As Israeli attacks kill hundreds in Gaza and echo across the world, perhaps pushing another generation of Palestinians towards Islamist extremism, many might wish for a dose of what transformed Tass Saada.

Saada was once a sniper for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), assigned to assassinate prominent Israelis on several occasions. He fought in the 1968 battle of Karameh and passionately hated all Jews. Now he preaches peace and acceptance, works to set up kindergartens in Gaza and the West Bank, and takes part in projects to get ordinary Palestinians and Israelis to speak to each other.

What changed Saada, however, will to some seem less palatable. He is now a Christian missionary. Subscribing to an American brand of evangelical Protestantism, he says he has visions and premonitions, and hears the voice of God. In Once an Arafat Man, released in Britain this week, he tells the story of his violent past, and his introduction to Christianity through his friend Charlie in 1993:

‘Before I knew it, I was on my knees … I lost all awareness that Charlie was even in the room. A light came into my field of vision – a talking light … The light said in an audible tone, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.’ I didn’t know at that moment that these words were a repetition of what Jesus said during the Last Supper. As far as I was concerned, they were a message from Jesus solely to me.’

Like many episodes in his life, Saada’s conversion reads like a fable, polished after the fact (possibly by his co-writer, Dean Merrill). But even if we take it as a given that he experienced – at least in his own terms – a genuine revelation, it remains to be asked what can be gained from the book by readers to whom Jesus has not chosen to appear in a ball of light?

The omissions in Saada’s story can be more interesting than what it includes. Brought up in a privileged Palestinian refugee family, he became a teenage tearaway who crashed three luxury cars in Doha in a day. After his time in the PLO, he was a successful restauranteur. Yet we gain little insight into the likeable but disturbed wide-boy it seems he once was. Rather, we read a succession of neat, somewhat childlike Sunday-school tales.

More glaring still is the absence of a voice for Saada’s American wife, Karen. Saada tells us he married her to get a green card, confessed this to her, hid his past in the PLO, was repeatedly unfaithful, and then announced one day he had become a Christian and would spend the next few months travelling around the country in a van, ministering to passers-by. The unbelievably forbearing Karen joins him in his new religious ecstasy, and is prepared to follow him even to Gaza, where she mostly stays indoors because she doesn’t speak the language. It’s difficult not to think Jesus has offered Karen something of a raw deal.
Saada takes a wilfully naive approach to Karen’s forbearance, which at times seems to verge on masochism. Likewise, his approach to international politics – which he bravely launches into at the finish with his own “roadmap to reconciliation”. It’s important, he tells us, to stop ‘majoring in rejection’. Simple, really.

Perhaps the most engaging, and for a British reader the oddest, part of Saada’s narrative is his dissection of the Old Testament and its implications for the modern Palestinian. For him, Palestinians have suffered with their ancestor Ishmael – Abraham’s son by a servant, pushed aside in favour of Isaac, his son with his wife Sarah. For Saada, the solution is not to throw aside ancient tribal grudges, but to painstakingly interpret the Old Testament in a manner which awards both Ishmael (Palestine) and Isaac (Israel) their paternal rights in this ‘family feud’. His reinterpretation chimes with the sense of ancient history that informs both Palestinian and Israeli anger.

But in this sense, despite his tales of revelation, Saada’s conversion seems like a switch of loyalty from the Arabic to the American/Israeli tribe. Post-epiphany, he travels around warning Americans of the ‘dangers of Islam’, appearing – understandably, given his violent background – to equate Islam with Islamism. He verges on becoming the Islamic equivalent of the self-hating Jew:

To help the cause of Allah by misleading an infidel is seen as perfectly noble. Thus, Arab leaders are infamous for duplicity with Israel and the western nations. In fact, they even practice it within themselves.
It’s hard to know which rings less true, Saada’s wide-eyed take on politicians lying or his choice to ignore the phenomenon across the entire non-Arab world. But in many ways he seems keen to see his new universe in black and white. To reconcile himself with the spectre of his former friend and great hero, Yasser Arafat, Saada even suggests that Arafat underwent Christian conversion before his death.
Once a ferocious personality, Saada replaced a midlife crisis with a discovery of peace; his life turned from destruction to creation. He has undoubtedly found in himself a new respect for humanity, even the Muslims he is now tempted to hate. But it is hard to know what his book can offer to those who seek to follow in these footsteps – particularly those for whom Bible-quoting apparitions fail to appear on demand.”
Judith Evans
Shared by craig lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”)
“To claim men like Osama Bin Laden represent mainstream Islam is a ridiculous as alleging Christianity is represented by the likes of Radovan Karadzic. As congregations, communities and nations, we must join hands to fight the cancer of terrorism. Terrorist bombs don’t discriminate on the base of race or religion.”
– Irfan Yusuf, a Sydney (Australia) lawyer, currently writing a book titled “Once Were Radicals”
“Change can only happen when you change the hearts and minds of those who oppose you.”
– Exiled Chinese Muslim leader Rebiya Kadeer
About the submitter:
Craig is a “questioning passionate for moderation”. In his various writings, Craig strives to attempt to break down, in some small way, social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through trying to plant ‘tiny seeds of hope’ through sharing ideas and principles to attempt to build ‘bridges of reconciliation’. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us.
Craig’s new manuscripts ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’ on which he’s currently “working” are set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. “Passionate stories of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially God’s love for the world.”
http://www.craiglockbooks.com http://www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html
The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at
http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.myspace.com/writercraig
“When the world is filled with love, people’s hearts are overflowing with hope.”
– craig
“Together, one mind, one heart at a time… let’s see how many souls, how many lives can be turned, permanently changed from hatred to love. Change YOUR world and you help change THE world… for the better”
Don’t worry about the world ending today…
it’s already tomorrow in “little, scenic and tranquil” New Zealand

Article Title: A “Review” of the Book ‘Once An Arafat Man’ by Tass Saada
Submitted by:Craig Lock

Category/Key words: Books, good books, ‘Once An Arafat Man’, Tass Saada, ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’
Craig’s new blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is available at: http://www.myspace.com/writercraig and http://craiglock.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-blogs

Publishing Guidelines:
If published, please acknowledge the writer and source. All my other articles and extracts from my various writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.
*
A “Review” of the Book ‘Once An Arafat Man’ by Tass Saada
Submitter’s Note:
Craig is currently “working” on his latest manuscript – a “novel”, but a true story of transformation … from hatred to love in the cauldron of the Middle East titled ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bond’s of Love’. In his research of the plot, he came across the inspiring story of Tass Saada on the internet  and see that Saada’s  book ‘Once An Arafat Man’ (as well as his ministry) has generated some  controversy with his claims (hardly surprising!). I’ll share these reviews (and perhaps stimulate some interesting debate about the book , especially regarding Tass Saada’s beliefs and claims) and do some further investigation and research, as well as more writing on my story.
ABOUT THE AUTHORs:
Tass Saada is a former Muslim and a co-founder of ‘Hope for Ishmael’. Hope for Ishmael is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reconcile Arabs and Jews to God and each other through the gospel of Christ. Saada was born in 1951 in the Gaza strip, and grew up in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He was a PLO sniper and militant fighter. He worked directly for Arafat. In America, he converted to Christianity.
ONE PERSON’S REVIEW (very “religious”):

“In a world where violence has become the daily norm, in which terrorism strikes moment by moment around the world, Jesus Christ is still transforming lives, saving souls and calling people from everywhere to Himself. Once an Arafat Man is the story of one such miracle, Taysir Abu Saada (Tass). This man was raised in the Muslim faith and served as a Fatah sniper trained to kill his Jewish enemy. Through a series of very unusual, and yes, providential appointments, God saved the soul of Tass Saada. Even more wonderful, Tass’ entire family was made a new creation in Christ, and Tass and his wife Karen have been called to minister to the Muslim people in Gaza – the place of his birth.
In my opinion, this book in one of the most powerful testimonies of God’s amazing grace and the miraculous changes His forgiveness makes in the life of a believer. I know I will be praying for Tass Saada – that he will continue to reach many more people for Christ. This is an amazing, encouraging book, and I highly recommend it to everyone!!”

# The first chapter of the book is available at the above web site.


*  *
For “balance”, here is another (secular) perspective on Tass Saada’s book…
Born again in the USA
The strange tale of a Muslim

“As Israeli attacks kill hundreds in Gaza and echo across the world, perhaps pushing another generation of Palestinians towards Islamist extremism, many might wish for a dose of what transformed Tass Saada.

Saada was once a sniper for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), assigned to assassinate prominent Israelis on several occasions. He fought in the 1968 battle of Karameh and passionately hated all Jews. Now he preaches peace and acceptance, works to set up kindergartens in Gaza and the West Bank, and takes part in projects to get ordinary Palestinians and Israelis to speak to each other.

What changed Saada, however, will to some seem less palatable. He is now a Christian missionary. Subscribing to an American brand of evangelical Protestantism, he says he has visions and premonitions, and hears the voice of God. In Once an Arafat Man, released in Britain this week, he tells the story of his violent past, and his introduction to Christianity through his friend Charlie in 1993:

‘Before I knew it, I was on my knees … I lost all awareness that Charlie was even in the room. A light came into my field of vision – a talking light … The light said in an audible tone, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.’ I didn’t know at that moment that these words were a repetition of what Jesus said during the Last Supper. As far as I was concerned, they were a message from Jesus solely to me.’

Like many episodes in his life, Saada’s conversion reads like a fable, polished after the fact (possibly by his co-writer, Dean Merrill). But even if we take it as a given that he experienced – at least in his own terms – a genuine revelation, it remains to be asked what can be gained from the book by readers to whom Jesus has not chosen to appear in a ball of light?

The omissions in Saada’s story can be more interesting than what it includes. Brought up in a privileged Palestinian refugee family, he became a teenage tearaway who crashed three luxury cars in Doha in a day. After his time in the PLO, he was a successful restauranteur. Yet we gain little insight into the likeable but disturbed wide-boy it seems he once was. Rather, we read a succession of neat, somewhat childlike Sunday-school tales.

More glaring still is the absence of a voice for Saada’s American wife, Karen. Saada tells us he married her to get a green card, confessed this to her, hid his past in the PLO, was repeatedly unfaithful, and then announced one day he had become a Christian and would spend the next few months travelling around the country in a van, ministering to passers-by. The unbelievably forbearing Karen joins him in his new religious ecstasy, and is prepared to follow him even to Gaza, where she mostly stays indoors because she doesn’t speak the language. It’s difficult not to think Jesus has offered Karen something of a raw deal.
Saada takes a wilfully naive approach to Karen’s forbearance, which at times seems to verge on masochism. Likewise, his approach to international politics – which he bravely launches into at the finish with his own “roadmap to reconciliation”. It’s important, he tells us, to stop ‘majoring in rejection’. Simple, really.

Perhaps the most engaging, and for a British reader the oddest, part of Saada’s narrative is his dissection of the Old Testament and its implications for the modern Palestinian. For him, Palestinians have suffered with their ancestor Ishmael – Abraham’s son by a servant, pushed aside in favour of Isaac, his son with his wife Sarah. For Saada, the solution is not to throw aside ancient tribal grudges, but to painstakingly interpret the Old Testament in a manner which awards both Ishmael (Palestine) and Isaac (Israel) their paternal rights in this ‘family feud’. His reinterpretation chimes with the sense of ancient history that informs both Palestinian and Israeli anger.

But in this sense, despite his tales of revelation, Saada’s conversion seems like a switch of loyalty from the Arabic to the American/Israeli tribe. Post-epiphany, he travels around warning Americans of the ‘dangers of Islam’, appearing – understandably, given his violent background – to equate Islam with Islamism. He verges on becoming the Islamic equivalent of the self-hating Jew:

To help the cause of Allah by misleading an infidel is seen as perfectly noble. Thus, Arab leaders are infamous for duplicity with Israel and the western nations. In fact, they even practice it within themselves.
It’s hard to know which rings less true, Saada’s wide-eyed take on politicians lying or his choice to ignore the phenomenon across the entire non-Arab world. But in many ways he seems keen to see his new universe in black and white. To reconcile himself with the spectre of his former friend and great hero, Yasser Arafat, Saada even suggests that Arafat underwent Christian conversion before his death.
Once a ferocious personality, Saada replaced a midlife crisis with a discovery of peace; his life turned from destruction to creation. He has undoubtedly found in himself a new respect for humanity, even the Muslims he is now tempted to hate. But it is hard to know what his book can offer to those who seek to follow in these footsteps – particularly those for whom Bible-quoting apparitions fail to appear on demand.”
Judith Evans
Shared by craig lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”)
“To claim men like Osama Bin Laden represent mainstream Islam is a ridiculous as alleging Christianity is represented by the likes of Radovan Karadzic. As congregations, communities and nations, we must join hands to fight the cancer of terrorism. Terrorist bombs don’t discriminate on the base of race or religion.”
– Irfan Yusuf, a Sydney (Australia) lawyer, currently writing a book titled “Once Were Radicals”
“Change can only happen when you change the hearts and minds of those who oppose you.”
– Exiled Chinese Muslim leader Rebiya Kadeer
About the submitter:
Craig is a “questioning passionate for moderation”. In his various writings, Craig strives to attempt to break down, in some small way, social, cultural, religious and economic barriers through trying to plant ‘tiny seeds of hope’ through sharing ideas and principles to attempt to build ‘bridges of reconciliation’. He believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share is way more important than what divides us.
Craig’s new manuscripts ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’ on which he’s currently “working” are set in the Middle East: To attempt to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. In these works, hope and love strive for expression, even amongst the despair and the darkness… and ultimately triumph. “Passionate stories of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially God’s love for the world.”

“When the world is filled with love, people’s hearts are overflowing with hope.”
– craig

And despite everything, trials, ordeals, love triumphs. It doesn’t matter what happens… love endures.

In these works, hope and love strive for expression, even amongst the despair and the darkness… and ultimately triumph
“Together, one mind, one heart at a time… let’s see how many souls, how many lives can be turned, permanently changed from hatred to love. Change YOUR world and you help change THE world… for the better”.
PPS: My fervent hope (and prayer) is that Hamas will eventually come to recognise Israels right to exist as an independant state, so that negotiations about negotiations for peace may eventually commence. And that stubborn Israeli hard-liners will also recognise the Palesinians right to a homeland.
May a passion for moderation ultimately prevail!

ONCE AN ARAFAT MAN

December 19, 2009

Biography Tass Saada was a former Muslim PLO Sniper who fought for Yasser Arafat following the ’67 War. After years of hating Jews, Tass’ life was transformed from bitterness and hatred, to love and respect. This transformation took place upon hearing the story of a loving God who redeemed people through His son Jesus Christ. Tass and his wife continue to share the love of God through humanitarian efforts that provide hope to the people of Gaza through other means apart from the violence and hatred that transfixes these people. Tass also has a heart to reach out to the Jewish people he once sought to kill through the scope of a sniper rifle. He continues to seek reconciliation. Through his recently released book, ‘Once an Arafat Man’, you can hear the story of how God transformed Tass’ heart along with hearing the perspective of a man who once worked personally for Yasser Arafat. Once an Arafat Man is available on Amazon.com and local bookstores everywhere. * ONCE AN ARAFAT MAN The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life The following article was sourced from http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2009/September/Fmr-Palestinian-Terrorist-Embraces-Jesus-Jews/ By Erick Stakelbeck CBN News Terrorism Analyst Thursday, October 01, 2009 Former Palestinian Terrorist Embraces Jesus, Jews In its push to establish a Palestinian state, the Obama administration is counting on the Palestinian party known as Fatah to be Israel’s partner for peace. But judging by a major conference held by the group in Bethlehem last month, President Obama’s vision is a long way from being fulfilled. In Bethlehem, Fatah leaders reaffirmed their commitment to what they call “armed resistance.” They refused to recognize Israel’s status as a Jewish state. Fatah, which rules the West Bank, also restated its desire to take control of eastern Jerusalem and make it the capital of a Palestinian state. Arafat Once His ‘Hero’ These rigid views sound all too familiar to Tass Saada. The Palestinian native ran away from home and joined the movement when he was just 17. “I joined the Fatah movement, basically, because (Yassar) Arafat was my hero,” Saada told CBN News. Israel’s resounding victory over the surrounding Arab nations in the Six Day War of 1967 devastated young Tass. He was soon drawn to the militant views of Fatah founder and Saada family friend, Yasser Arafat. “I used to sit right across from him and just stare at him, just mesmerized,” said Saada. “He was such a charismatic character.” Saada believed the Jews had stolen Palestinian land. He was determined to help Arafat and Fatah push Israel into the sea. “Our training was specialized, basically, in intense, marine-type fighting skills,” he recalled. “We used to call ourselves guerilla fighters, commando fighters.” Fatah’s “Butcher” Saada became a Fatah sniper, picking off and killing Israeli soldiers. His nickname was “Butcher.” “My job was to knock off whoever was the commander of the unit,” he said. Saada took part in bloody battles against the Israeli army. He even attempted to assassinate the Crown Prince of Jordan, who he saw as unfriendly to Palestinians. But his most prestigious job was as a personal driver for his hero: Arafat. “Everybody knows I was a fierce driver,” said Saada. “And so when it came a time and need for Arafat to be transported from one area of Jordan to the other, they called me to do that.” Life in the United States Saada eventually made his way to the United States to attend school. By that point, he had given up on waging violent jihad, but he still hated Jews. He became a successful restaurant manager, married an American woman and had two children. But he was miserable – living a fast lifestyle of mistresses and booze. Until a longtime friend told him about Jesus Christ. “He put the Bible in the middle, between the two of us. And I just got scared and I jumped away from the Bible,” Saada recounted. “I said, ‘I cannot touch that! It’s got the name of God, the word of God in it!’ He said, ‘So you believe this is the word of God?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ “Why did I say ‘yes,’ when we as Muslims don’t really believe that the Bible is valid as the word of God?” He says he momentarily lost consciousness at that point. “The next thing I know, I’m on my knees with my hands lifted up, inviting Jesus. And the rest is history.” Loving the Jew When Tass told his Muslim family back in the Middle East of his conversion, his brother vowed to kill him. In the meantime, his Christian friend threw him for yet another loop. “He said ‘Tass, to have the peace that I have, you must love the Jew.'” remembered Saada. “I literally froze, turned around and looked at Charlie. Charlie knew how much I hated Jews.” But Saada soon got past that lifelong hatred. He developed close friendships with Jews and began to look at Israel in a brand new light. His book, Once an Arafat Man recounts his transformation. “I don’t believe in the two-state solution,” Saada told CBN News. “I don’t believe in that. Because I believe that land belongs to the Jews. It doesn’t belong to us.” “But, on the other hand,” he continued. “I believe that we have the right to live in that land, as is recorded in the Book of Ezekiel, where the Lord redivided the land among the Israelites and told them to give the foreigners living among them an equal share of the land.” Seeds of Hope Today, Saada spends much of his time in the West Bank and Gaza, helping provide modern necessities to Palestinians through his charitable organization, Seeds of Hope. He says Muslims in the Middle East are turning to Christ in record numbers. “Millions of Muslims around the earth–especially the Arabs in Saudi Arabia, in Qatar,” Saada marveled. “In all these 12 nations of Ishmael, all of these nations, there is so much conversion in that land.” That’s why Saada is confident that peace will one day come to the region–the kind of peace that politicians can never bring. *Originally published September 3, 2009 Shared by craig lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”) Submitters’s Note: Craig is studying the teachings of different religions, as he researches and writes his latest novels ‘A New Dawn’ and ‘From Seeds of Hate to the Bonds of Love’, which are set in the Middle East. In these manuscripts he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in attempting to build tiny bridges in an ever more dangerous, tubulent and uncertain world. Passionate stories of inspiration: hope, faith, peace and especially love for the world. The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html http://www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.myspace.com/writercraig All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – mine! PPS: Craig’s new blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is available at: http://craiglock.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php?page=my-blogs and http://www.myspace.com/writercraig “When the world is filled with love, people’s hearts are overflowing with hope.” – craig –

PPS: My fervent hope (and prayer) is that Hamas will eventually come to recognise Israels right to exist as an independant state, so that negotiations about negotiations for peace may eventually commence. And that stubborn Israeli hard-liners will also recognise the Palesinians right to a homeland.
May a passion for moderation ultimately prevail!