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Peace for a Palestinian

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Sahar Qumsiyeh was born to loving Christian parents in Beit Sahour, a town on the hills next to Bethlehem. Growing up in a country torn apart by political and religious upheaval, Sahar struggled with feelings of hopelessness and anger as she watched schoolmates, friends, and loved ones be persecuted, tormented, and even killed.As a young adult, Sahar received a scholarship Sahar Qumsiyeh was born to loving Christian parents in Beit Sahour, a town on the hills next to Bethlehem. Growing up in a country torn apart by political and religious upheaval, Sahar struggled with feelings of hopelessness and anger as she watched schoolmates, friends, and loved ones be persecuted, tormented, and even killed.As a young adult, Sahar received a scholarship to a university in a place called Utah and, acting on an incredible desire to further her education, traveled to the United States. While attending Brigham Young University, Sahar was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, with no previous intentions of changing religions, she was baptized months later.But staying faithful and true to her new relationship with the Savior was immediately put to the test when Sahar returned home to Palestine. Attending the branch in Jerusalem, where she served as Relief Society president, meant hours of travel, risk of being arrested, and enduring harassment from Israeli soldiers at checkpoints, often only to be denied entrance to the city.In Peace for a Palestinian, Sahar Qumsiyeh shares her experience as a Christian Palestinian who desperately searched for peace for her and her family, only to find that her true peace lies not in external resolution but in her personal willingness to follow the Savior. As she explains, "We may still live in a place with barriers, checkpoints, and restrictions, but we can feel liberated by His Atonement."


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Sahar Qumsiyeh was born to loving Christian parents in Beit Sahour, a town on the hills next to Bethlehem. Growing up in a country torn apart by political and religious upheaval, Sahar struggled with feelings of hopelessness and anger as she watched schoolmates, friends, and loved ones be persecuted, tormented, and even killed.As a young adult, Sahar received a scholarship Sahar Qumsiyeh was born to loving Christian parents in Beit Sahour, a town on the hills next to Bethlehem. Growing up in a country torn apart by political and religious upheaval, Sahar struggled with feelings of hopelessness and anger as she watched schoolmates, friends, and loved ones be persecuted, tormented, and even killed.As a young adult, Sahar received a scholarship to a university in a place called Utah and, acting on an incredible desire to further her education, traveled to the United States. While attending Brigham Young University, Sahar was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, with no previous intentions of changing religions, she was baptized months later.But staying faithful and true to her new relationship with the Savior was immediately put to the test when Sahar returned home to Palestine. Attending the branch in Jerusalem, where she served as Relief Society president, meant hours of travel, risk of being arrested, and enduring harassment from Israeli soldiers at checkpoints, often only to be denied entrance to the city.In Peace for a Palestinian, Sahar Qumsiyeh shares her experience as a Christian Palestinian who desperately searched for peace for her and her family, only to find that her true peace lies not in external resolution but in her personal willingness to follow the Savior. As she explains, "We may still live in a place with barriers, checkpoints, and restrictions, but we can feel liberated by His Atonement."

30 review for Peace for a Palestinian

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Gassin

    Wow! My heart both ached and rejoiced with Sahar as she took me through her life’s journey being a Christian in her native country Palestine. Her courage and strength to become a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, despite knowing the consequences that decision would entail, were especially moving. I was amazed at the challenges she had to endure crossing multiple check points in order to attend church each Sabbath, and her faith and dedication to live the gospel no matter Wow! My heart both ached and rejoiced with Sahar as she took me through her life’s journey being a Christian in her native country Palestine. Her courage and strength to become a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, despite knowing the consequences that decision would entail, were especially moving. I was amazed at the challenges she had to endure crossing multiple check points in order to attend church each Sabbath, and her faith and dedication to live the gospel no matter the ramifications inspired me to fortify my own. I have always felt gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy here in the United States, but now I am painfully aware of times I have naively taken those freedoms for granted. Truly an enlightening, inspiring, faith-filled book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    It's hard to review a book based on someone's personal experience. My criticism of this is mainly based on technical problems. I found the continuity of the story very disruptive. The author went back and forth in time at a jarring rate without any sort of transition. It made the book difficult to read. I also felt like the story suffered from show don't tell. There needed to be more emotion and also a better description of the boarder issues, why the wall was built in the first place, etc. I en It's hard to review a book based on someone's personal experience. My criticism of this is mainly based on technical problems. I found the continuity of the story very disruptive. The author went back and forth in time at a jarring rate without any sort of transition. It made the book difficult to read. I also felt like the story suffered from show don't tell. There needed to be more emotion and also a better description of the boarder issues, why the wall was built in the first place, etc. I enjoyed reading her conversion story. Having lived in the Holy Land, I recognize that there are definitely issues on both sides of the Palentinian/Israeli conflict. The author portrayed her obvious support for the Palestinians and while she wrote a compelling narrative describing her experiences, I felt like she did a disservice to herself by not really explaining more beyond having trouble at the boarder and a few incidents with Israeli soldiers. She also doesn't honestly criticize her own side. When traveling in the West Bank my student bus was frequently assaulted by rocks. I was also whipped with a bicycle tire by a group of Palestinian children as I was walking by with my friends presumably because I am an American. Both sides are at fault and while I appreciate this author's attempt to explain the Palestinian side, I agree with her that unless both sides learn to love each other, forgive, and live together in peace, there will never be peace in the Holy Land. I do appreciate her bringing to light many of the problems and issues she has faced as a Palestinian and liked hearing her POV.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cami

    This book helped me understand the Palestinian story better, and I really tried to imagine all the checkpoints and detours and troubles she described. After awhile though, the chapters all sounded the same and tried too hard to be instructive.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    About 11 years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Holy Land, and I learned that what the media tells us about the situation is not only one-sided, but it is blind to so many things. I have talked to a Palestinian who had to pay over $10,000 for a permit to build a house for his family on land that he owned in Jerusalem, and the permit only allowed him to build a house that was 800 square feet in size. So he built a second story and the Israelis almost bull-dozed his house. Instead, they fin About 11 years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Holy Land, and I learned that what the media tells us about the situation is not only one-sided, but it is blind to so many things. I have talked to a Palestinian who had to pay over $10,000 for a permit to build a house for his family on land that he owned in Jerusalem, and the permit only allowed him to build a house that was 800 square feet in size. So he built a second story and the Israelis almost bull-dozed his house. Instead, they fined him more tens of thousands of dollars and required him to obtain another permit for the second story. And he works as a tour guide. I have seen the wall around Bethlehem that is over 20 feet high. I stood right next to it and looked up and saw how it looms over the town. I have been through the Bethlehem checkpoint and seen the long lines of Palestinians hoping to leave Bethlehem for the day to go to work or to the hospital or on other simple errands. I have seen what was left (at that time) of the "Shepherds Fields" outside of Bethlehem, and the Israeli settlements being built to cover those fields, on land owned by Palestinians, but without their permission. I have no idea if there is any "Shepherd's Fields" left at all now. The Israelis are attempting to gather "Israel" in the world's way, and that way is by war and oppression and contention and suffering. For all that I saw with my own eyes those years ago, I had no idea how bad it really has been and is in Palestine. This book provides an account of how it looks on the other side, the side our media doesn't tell us much about. This is an amazing story of how peace can only be found by following The Way of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I highly recommend it. More people need to know what is happening in His Holy Land.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I wanted to review two books that I failed to put on Goodreads when I read them. The first one is this book by Sahar Qumsiyeh. She is a friend of mine I met while living in Jerusalem. It is the story of her life living in Palestine and her conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I highly recommend it for those who want to be inspired and uplifted and gain a small bit of knowledge about Palestinians living in Israel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    So inspiring. What an amazing woman. It took me a while to finish but each time I read I was inspired. I often forget how blessed I am, the freedoms to worship, feel safe and travel at will can become casual to us because they are so inherent. This story helps to point out there are so many places in this world where these freedoms have been taken away.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Linda F

    I really enjoyed this book, which opened my eyes to the suffering of those who have lived through the continuing Jewish - Palestinian conflict. I enjoyed how the book was divided into descriptive chapters to give order to the happenings of her life, although that writing style did create a lot of repetition in the story. She also ended each chapter with a testimony of her faith and how it got her through her challenges. Her first three chapters were nurture, identity and despair, which gave the I really enjoyed this book, which opened my eyes to the suffering of those who have lived through the continuing Jewish - Palestinian conflict. I enjoyed how the book was divided into descriptive chapters to give order to the happenings of her life, although that writing style did create a lot of repetition in the story. She also ended each chapter with a testimony of her faith and how it got her through her challenges. Her first three chapters were nurture, identity and despair, which gave the history of her family and the difficulties of seeing friends murdered. Next were legacy, transformation, gathered, and charity. She reminded us that spiritual gatherings (and believing in Christ) come before a physical gathering. In her faith, hope, and light chapters, she showed how her personal faith and peace helped her see the small miracles as she tried to attend church in areas she was not allowed to enter, and how going to school in Turkey was a trial that brought hidden miracles and blessings. Obedience, devotion, trust, gratitude and peace were her final chapters, where she documented the role she was able to play in getting small groups of LDS church members in Palestinian areas, and quitting a prominent job in order to go on a mission. She reconciled her feeling that peace can never be attained in her country, but that people live joyfully when they have the Savior's peace in their lives. She said that in the Arabic bible, the words of the angel at the birth of the Savior were instead of "And on earth peace, good will toward mem," it literally means "on earth peace, joy be in the people." I loved that the peace and joy are in us, not necessarily around us. I hope that reading this book helped me recognize that the right solutions are not always what we think or are told, but that God loves all his children, and all his children will be blessed for their faith in the Savior.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John

    A first hand account of a Palestinian Christian woman and her journey of faith, courage and love as she relies on the Savior to help her live her faith and find personal peace in a world of conflict. I was impressed by the faith she showed thru many trials and experiences. Her experience of learning to love her enemies is an example we can all learn from. I think the perspective she shares of the many roadblocks, checkpoints, searches, obstacles, border walls, Israeli aggressions, etc. can reall A first hand account of a Palestinian Christian woman and her journey of faith, courage and love as she relies on the Savior to help her live her faith and find personal peace in a world of conflict. I was impressed by the faith she showed thru many trials and experiences. Her experience of learning to love her enemies is an example we can all learn from. I think the perspective she shares of the many roadblocks, checkpoints, searches, obstacles, border walls, Israeli aggressions, etc. can really help an outsider (like me) understand a bit more of the situation in Israel/Palestine for someone on the "other" side of the wall. I think that perspective is critical and important and I'm glad I've read her story. That said, this book should be read and understood as a very one-sided view. She does little to actually help an outsider understand the nuances of the conflict or any background to it. She talks about Israel building the border wall many times and the burden that causes to Palestinians, but she never mentions WHY Israel might be building a wall. Same for the checkpoints and searches - we see the burden they cause but there is no mention of the attacks and conflicts that are the motivation for the extra security that Israel has felt important to impose. It is sad and heart-breaking to read of the attacks by Israel into Palestinian areas and the homes destroyed, but no discussion about whether these reprisals are actually justified or not. I know the intent of her book was not to dive into these issues, but without some context and understanding the perspective portrayed is very lopsided and a reader should be aware of that going in.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tami Allen

    What an incredible story by an amazing woman of faith! We had the opportunity to meet the author, Sahar when we were visiting the Holy Land, and we were so impressed with her. I couldn't wait to get my copy of the book to read more about her. The story of her conversion, and her struggle to be able to live her religion and attend church in Jerusalem as a Palestinian Mormon is nothing less than miraculous. She literally had to put her life in God's hands at times to do something as simple as atte What an incredible story by an amazing woman of faith! We had the opportunity to meet the author, Sahar when we were visiting the Holy Land, and we were so impressed with her. I couldn't wait to get my copy of the book to read more about her. The story of her conversion, and her struggle to be able to live her religion and attend church in Jerusalem as a Palestinian Mormon is nothing less than miraculous. She literally had to put her life in God's hands at times to do something as simple as attending sacrament meeting. Many other times she was turned away by Israeli soldiers who wouldn't let her through checkpoints even though Jerusalem was literally the country she was born in--she wasn't allowed to enter. I was fascinated by her description of what life is like for Palestinians living in Bethlehem, and the difficulties they face on a daily basis. I learned a lot about the struggle they face without a true homeland. I especially love the way that Sahar was able to find peace amid the many conflicts and war that surrounded her, and how she was able to forgive the soldiers who had been so unkind to her on more than a few occasions. It truly takes a Christlike person to be able to not only forgive, but love your enemies and those that persecute you. Sahar is that type of person! I'm so grateful she wrote this book and shared her story. It's an amazing story of faith, hope, love, redemption, and forgiveness.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Janette

    Aside from the author's religious conversion to the LDS faith, this was one of the most one-sided diatribes I've ever had the displeasure of reading. I had been interested in a Palestinian convert's perspective, but her near endless whinging about Israel while neatly glossing over Palestinian crimes made me deeply angry. Most of the book was an ongoing litany of complaints against Israel with virtually no acknowledgement of Palestine's shared responsibility for fanning the flames of conflict. It Aside from the author's religious conversion to the LDS faith, this was one of the most one-sided diatribes I've ever had the displeasure of reading. I had been interested in a Palestinian convert's perspective, but her near endless whinging about Israel while neatly glossing over Palestinian crimes made me deeply angry. Most of the book was an ongoing litany of complaints against Israel with virtually no acknowledgement of Palestine's shared responsibility for fanning the flames of conflict. It was so lopsided and thoroughly dishonest that it was just beyond nauseating. Frankly, the only good thing about this travesty of a book was when it was finally over. What a dreadful waste of time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Sahar Qumsiyeh was born in April 1971 in Jerusalem. She is a Palestinian and loves the city of her birth, but because of the unrest in Israel and her being a Palestinian her parents did not claim Jerusalem as the place of her birth. I was also born in 1971 so as I listened to her tell her story I couldn't help but recall the Jerusalem that I remember when I went at the age of 19, and the Jerusalem that she would have remembered when she was 19. For her the young men and women with the guns that Sahar Qumsiyeh was born in April 1971 in Jerusalem. She is a Palestinian and loves the city of her birth, but because of the unrest in Israel and her being a Palestinian her parents did not claim Jerusalem as the place of her birth. I was also born in 1971 so as I listened to her tell her story I couldn't help but recall the Jerusalem that I remember when I went at the age of 19, and the Jerusalem that she would have remembered when she was 19. For her the young men and women with the guns that patrolled the areas were people that had shot and killed friends. They were the enemy. She did not like to see them. For me during the months that I lived in Jerusalem during a Study Abroad, the men and women with guns were people that would protect me. I have pictures of me with them, smiling. Sahar and I, the same age but such different experiences. Sahar went to Brigham Young University on a scholarship. I can't help but wonder if she was there too at the same time I was. My guess would be yes! After some time at BYU Sahar, against her parents and family wishes, took the discussions from missionaries at BYU and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It has been years since I have been to Israel, but I can see from this book how things have changed. There were no check points, no wall around Bethlehem. It did not take me 3 hours to get from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. I loved reading this book! I couldn't help but want to return to Jerusalem and see how things have changed, but also to remember how I felt and how Sahar also feels, so close to the Savior there. It is a magical place and I can see, even with all the hardships that Sahar continues to experience living there, why she stays. I was so impressed with Sahar's strength and strong testimony. She is a light that shines!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    Sahar Qumsiyeh was born to loving Christian parents in Beit Sahour, a town on the hills next to Bethlehem. Growing up in a country torn apart by political and religious upheaval, Sahar struggled with feelings of hopelessness and anger as she watched schoolmates, friends, and loved ones be persecuted, tormented, and even killed. As a young adult, Sahar received a scholarship to a university in a place called Utah and, acting on an incredible desire to further her education, traveled to the United Sahar Qumsiyeh was born to loving Christian parents in Beit Sahour, a town on the hills next to Bethlehem. Growing up in a country torn apart by political and religious upheaval, Sahar struggled with feelings of hopelessness and anger as she watched schoolmates, friends, and loved ones be persecuted, tormented, and even killed. As a young adult, Sahar received a scholarship to a university in a place called Utah and, acting on an incredible desire to further her education, traveled to the United States. While attending Brigham Young University, Sahar was introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, with no previous intentions of changing religions, she was baptized months later. But staying faithful and true to her new relationship with the Savior was immediately put to the test when Sahar returned home to Palestine. Attending the branch in Jerusalem, where she served as Relief Society president, meant hours of travel, risk of being arrested, and enduring harassment from Israeli soldiers at checkpoints, often only to be denied entrance to the city. In Peace for a Palestinian, Sahar Qumsiyeh shares her experience as a Christian Palestinian who desperately searched for peace for her and her family, only to find that her true peace lies not in external resolution but in her personal willingness to follow the Savior. As she explains, "We may still live in a place with barriers, checkpoints, and restrictions, but we can feel liberated by His Atonement." This book was interesting since I have visited some of the areas where it is set and because the Isreal/Palestinian conflict is of interest. I most enjoyed the descriptions of difficulties endured and how the author came to find peace within herself, although not within her country.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amandalynn

    I listened to this book over the summer driving up to campus. I really enjoyed it it really is 4 1/2 stars I can’t quite give it 5 stars because some of it was repetitive. The author is also the one reading the book and I LOVED that she read the scripture at the beginning of each chapter in Arabic it was beautiful. I am in awe of what she would go through just to attend Church. If she can go through that I can suck up the unbearable heat for the 20 minutes it takes to get to and then from the ch I listened to this book over the summer driving up to campus. I really enjoyed it it really is 4 1/2 stars I can’t quite give it 5 stars because some of it was repetitive. The author is also the one reading the book and I LOVED that she read the scripture at the beginning of each chapter in Arabic it was beautiful. I am in awe of what she would go through just to attend Church. If she can go through that I can suck up the unbearable heat for the 20 minutes it takes to get to and then from the church building or the scramble of getting my kids together to get there. She has had to endure and observe a lot for one person. This was fascinating to learn more of what happens in Palestine. I was aware of the unrest and that there has always been a political struggle but this really simplified it to understand. The boundaries and divisions that go up at the whim of the Israeli government and how those impact all that are in that region are so hard to understand and grasp because it denies so many the ability to work go to school and see family. This is an amazing story of endurance and love for the gospel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Autobiography of a Palestinian Christian who joined the LDS Church after coming to BYU on scholarship. She details the difficulties of day-to-day life in her homeland (5 miles from Jerusalem) with curfews, checkpoints, hunger, soldiers, tear gas, etc. She tells how she came to find peace through the Gospel, despite living in a war zone. Because the story is told from her perspective, everything is Israel's fault. No mention at all of the PLO's choice to spend money on terrorism instead of taking Autobiography of a Palestinian Christian who joined the LDS Church after coming to BYU on scholarship. She details the difficulties of day-to-day life in her homeland (5 miles from Jerusalem) with curfews, checkpoints, hunger, soldiers, tear gas, etc. She tells how she came to find peace through the Gospel, despite living in a war zone. Because the story is told from her perspective, everything is Israel's fault. No mention at all of the PLO's choice to spend money on terrorism instead of taking care of their people. When she did mention an Arab suicide bomber blowing up a bus, she nearly excused his actions by talking about how angry he was. But other than the very one-sided look at the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, I appreciated learning about her life experiences and persistence in the face of hardship (e.g. risking getting shot on her way to church after Palestinians had been told not to leave their homes; she's determined to fulfill her calling so she heads out anyway!). Inspirational book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    What is life like on the other side of the fence? Especially if it has life and death consequences. I’m not voicing that I’m pro or con any group caught up in the political tangle of the Middle East. This is a fascinating true story on one woman’s experiences. She has a birth certificate from Israel. Carries a Palestinian passport. Not in her control is fact she grew up on the border of Palestine. Her honest writing helped me understand that not all issues are black and white. She and many other What is life like on the other side of the fence? Especially if it has life and death consequences. I’m not voicing that I’m pro or con any group caught up in the political tangle of the Middle East. This is a fascinating true story on one woman’s experiences. She has a birth certificate from Israel. Carries a Palestinian passport. Not in her control is fact she grew up on the border of Palestine. Her honest writing helped me understand that not all issues are black and white. She and many others were able to cross the border into Jerusalem and Bethlehem to give tours and attend Church. Yet they never knew if they’d be arrested or shot. I can’t imagine living like this. Brave and courageous don’t come close to expressing how confidently she lived her quiet life doing what she believed would be a purposeful life. Today she is precariously hanging onto a successful career as a college professor in the US. What an inspiring life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This was an eye-opening book for me to read. It was educational to read about the middle Eastern conflicts from her perspective. Of course, each side has its biases, but it was so interesting to hear about growing up in Palestine and the challenges she faced. It is almost hard to believe that daily life for so many people means living surrounded by soldiers and gunfire, the violent death of family and friends, destruction of homes and buildings, and spending literally hours going through multipl This was an eye-opening book for me to read. It was educational to read about the middle Eastern conflicts from her perspective. Of course, each side has its biases, but it was so interesting to hear about growing up in Palestine and the challenges she faced. It is almost hard to believe that daily life for so many people means living surrounded by soldiers and gunfire, the violent death of family and friends, destruction of homes and buildings, and spending literally hours going through multiple checkpoints just to take care of normal activities, such as going to work or church or a doctor. Even after reading this, I have a hard time comprehending what that would really mean and how different my life would be. I take so much for granted. I also appreciated her perspective on issues of faith and religion, and how they helped her to get through so many of the challenges in her life. This was a worthwhile read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    DeNae Richey

    Sahar's story is a story within a story. Not only does she shed light on what the conflict in the Middle East is truly like for Palestinians and the great hardships there, but she shares her powerful story of how she has triumphed in overcoming the heaviness of living in such conditions. She has discovered and put into practice the way to live a life full of peace in a world that is so lacking in it, especially in the Middle East. The Savior and His gospel are the way to peace. Sahar tells her s Sahar's story is a story within a story. Not only does she shed light on what the conflict in the Middle East is truly like for Palestinians and the great hardships there, but she shares her powerful story of how she has triumphed in overcoming the heaviness of living in such conditions. She has discovered and put into practice the way to live a life full of peace in a world that is so lacking in it, especially in the Middle East. The Savior and His gospel are the way to peace. Sahar tells her story in an interesting way that keeps the reader focused on the principles of peace that she learned not just the tremendous trials that she endured. Most of us have not and may never have to live in such conditions but from Sahar’s story, we can all learn how to better live peaceably with the trials we face. I absolutely loved her story and was moved to tears many times not just because of what she had to endure but how she overcame it through the Savior, Jesus Christ.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amberlea

    Sahar was my Relief Society President in the Jerusalem Branch in 2010. Hearing her unparalleled story then was very touching to me, it has remained with me over the years. Reading her words now, both her experiences and testimony, in detail is something that will continue to inspire me. My understanding of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has increased; I wish more of the American and Mormon culture could see and understand this complex struggle. This book is one of faith, faith to love your ene Sahar was my Relief Society President in the Jerusalem Branch in 2010. Hearing her unparalleled story then was very touching to me, it has remained with me over the years. Reading her words now, both her experiences and testimony, in detail is something that will continue to inspire me. My understanding of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict has increased; I wish more of the American and Mormon culture could see and understand this complex struggle. This book is one of faith, faith to love your enemies, faith to follow promptings of the Holy Ghost, faith to live what you believe, faith in the Savior. It is only through Jesus Christ that all will find peace. What better message and testimony can be given?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Nordstrom

    This is a book that would be of more interest to my mom. Sahar’s content is highly religious and faith promoting. The writing and writing style is simple; depth and connections are lacking. She shares personal stories, quotes prominent LDS figures and scripture—and stops there without going into additional thoughts and commentary. So there’s a richness to the text that’s missing. Not much background information is needed to understand her situation as her descriptions and the maps included are s This is a book that would be of more interest to my mom. Sahar’s content is highly religious and faith promoting. The writing and writing style is simple; depth and connections are lacking. She shares personal stories, quotes prominent LDS figures and scripture—and stops there without going into additional thoughts and commentary. So there’s a richness to the text that’s missing. Not much background information is needed to understand her situation as her descriptions and the maps included are sufficient. Read if you need a gentle paradigm shift to start humanizing the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and questioning the Zionist mentality, and/or want to read a personal account of how faith sustained someone through life’s challenges.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aneesa

    Have had this on my to-read list for quite a while, with a lot of interest in Palestine and the Middle East due to my family history. I found it a well written journal style account. There is a *lot* of Church doctrine and testimony dispersed throughout, as well as several accounts of times when she felt her life was guided by God. Sahar is endearing and I'd like to meet her in person after reading her story. I was impressed with her candor and perspective (which is from the side of Palestine--i Have had this on my to-read list for quite a while, with a lot of interest in Palestine and the Middle East due to my family history. I found it a well written journal style account. There is a *lot* of Church doctrine and testimony dispersed throughout, as well as several accounts of times when she felt her life was guided by God. Sahar is endearing and I'd like to meet her in person after reading her story. I was impressed with her candor and perspective (which is from the side of Palestine--if you want an Israeli perspective or a two-sided version this is not the book for you). It was also a good beginner guide to Palestinian life for someone who is as clueless as I am. :) My mother will love this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Overall I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it. The narrative itself felt disconnected at times as the author shared stories based on topic, not necessarily chronologically. This book was a good reminder to be open to knowing both sides of a conflict and how to find peace amid conflict and turmoil in our own lives. True peace comes only from the Prince of Peace, and I admired the author's faith. There are many examples in the book of walking by faith and trusting in God, knowing that He can Overall I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it. The narrative itself felt disconnected at times as the author shared stories based on topic, not necessarily chronologically. This book was a good reminder to be open to knowing both sides of a conflict and how to find peace amid conflict and turmoil in our own lives. True peace comes only from the Prince of Peace, and I admired the author's faith. There are many examples in the book of walking by faith and trusting in God, knowing that He can see the whole picture while we usually cannot. The author is someone who has led an incredible, difficult, and interesting life. I am glad she wrote about it, and I am glad I read about it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian Berrett

    A very interesting read. Uplifting in many respects and sad in others. I appreciate the sacrifices and dangers the author made to simply attend church services. It pains me to read of the conflicts that have existed in that land for thousands of years. I’ve visited the lands of Israel and Palestine and have spoken to many of the people on both sides of the conflict. Both sides have complaints and both sides must strive for peace so people can live in harmony with each other regardless of race, f A very interesting read. Uplifting in many respects and sad in others. I appreciate the sacrifices and dangers the author made to simply attend church services. It pains me to read of the conflicts that have existed in that land for thousands of years. I’ve visited the lands of Israel and Palestine and have spoken to many of the people on both sides of the conflict. Both sides have complaints and both sides must strive for peace so people can live in harmony with each other regardless of race, faith, or other beliefs. I believe most people in the world are good people and are just trying to live in peace and provide for their families.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This story is such a beautiful, heart-wrenching tale. I love books, a memoir in this case, that make my understanding of a situation broader and deeper. Sahar’s life in Palestine shows the burdens and struggles she experienced growing up in the Holy Land and helped me have more compassion for her people. The conflict in this area of the world is complex, with atrocities committed by both sides, but Sahar’s beautiful words make the unrest personal and her beautiful experience finding love toward This story is such a beautiful, heart-wrenching tale. I love books, a memoir in this case, that make my understanding of a situation broader and deeper. Sahar’s life in Palestine shows the burdens and struggles she experienced growing up in the Holy Land and helped me have more compassion for her people. The conflict in this area of the world is complex, with atrocities committed by both sides, but Sahar’s beautiful words make the unrest personal and her beautiful experience finding love toward those who have oppressed her and peace through the Savior will strengthen readers in their own struggles.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sheridan

    Remarkable book written by a remarkable woman. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Sahar Qumsiyeh, during my first trip to Jerusalem in the fall of 2000 and knew a little of her story, but this book really opened my eyes to what she went through, daily, and over extended periods of time, just to live her religion (AND just to live). Her example of faith, hope, and charity is truly inspiring and I am humbled and filled with gratitude for the freedoms I take for granted and enjoy daily. I HI Remarkable book written by a remarkable woman. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Sahar Qumsiyeh, during my first trip to Jerusalem in the fall of 2000 and knew a little of her story, but this book really opened my eyes to what she went through, daily, and over extended periods of time, just to live her religion (AND just to live). Her example of faith, hope, and charity is truly inspiring and I am humbled and filled with gratitude for the freedoms I take for granted and enjoy daily. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    So impressed with her faith in God and Jesus Christ..and how that faith helped her to find peace amidst all her difficulties living an LDS christian life in Palestine. I find it hard some days to go 5 minutes to church, and she would travel 4 hours. I love how she saw the Lord's hand in the miracles. Recognition of those miracles, and not just giving it to luck, is so important. Her stories of life in Palestine, and what they have to live with, broke my heart. The Lord has definitely been with S So impressed with her faith in God and Jesus Christ..and how that faith helped her to find peace amidst all her difficulties living an LDS christian life in Palestine. I find it hard some days to go 5 minutes to church, and she would travel 4 hours. I love how she saw the Lord's hand in the miracles. Recognition of those miracles, and not just giving it to luck, is so important. Her stories of life in Palestine, and what they have to live with, broke my heart. The Lord has definitely been with Sahar.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Eloquently written, this uplifting true story of peace and hope will touch your heart and make you cry! I met Sahar in Bethlehem at Shepherds Field where she told us a small part of her story in person, so I ran to the bookstore the day it came out and started reading it in my car before leaving the parking lot. This beautiful book, amply dotted with pictures, will make you think differently about how to obtain peace in the midst of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I loved this book—the true story of Sahar Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian woman. It was interesting to read her viewpoint, as I have always thought the Palestinians were wrong and Israel is right. It all comes down to, we are all children of a Heavenly Father and He loves us. There will not be peace on Earth until Christ comes again, but she shares how she found peace in the midst of conflict. She is now a math professor at BYU-Idaho. This is a G-rated book that will make anyone feel good.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This is one amazing woman! This is a fascinating account of her challenges, struggles, growth, and development of faith. Her love for her native country is evident, and she does not disregard the persecutions and injustices towards her people, yet she has come to understand that each and every one of us is valuable in the sight of God and that peace in this world comes internally, no matter what our circumstances.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Holly Casos

    I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the struggles of the author who is Palestinian and LDS. I felt her faith and her fears and frustrations. It taught me to be more compassionate toward people on both sides of the conflict in Israel/Palestine and to be grateful for the many blessings I have been given—and not to take them for granted.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenee

    This book was more than I bargained for! It was an eye-opening, humbling experience to read about Ms. Qumsiyeh life. She is truly a courageous woman, and her ability to find peace is inspiring! And I am/was guilty for having a huge misconception about this particular region of the world. My heart bleeds for the many innocent people churned into the turmoil there...

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