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Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror,…
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Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue,… (2010)

by Mosab Hassan Yousef

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4791921,531 (3.95)16
  1. 00
    In the Land of Invisible Women by Qanta Ahmed (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: A view of Islam from a woman who grew up in a Muslim family in the West. She describes her difficult experiences as a woman in Saudi Arabia. Unlike Yousef, she does not find hate and violence in the Koran. Instead she finds love and tolerance, which she hopes will influence policy in the more restrictive Islamic countries.… (more)
  2. 00
    Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: This book has a similar view of Islam as Son of Hamas, so it does not balance, but is also a very intense perspective of life in a culture that does not permit diverse thought.
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I have now read this book twice. This is the updated version with additional content at the end. It is a similar book to Once an Arafat Man although I had serious concerns about some of the content of the latter.

Son of Hamas gives itself away in the title. It is the true story of the son of one of the main leaders of Hamas, a terrorist group in Palestine. The author relates his childhood years--growing up surrounded by violence and war. He also documents his own activities as a teenager. Somehow (and this is the part I found difficult to grasp) he ends up being recruited as a spy for Shin Bet, an Israeli group. He then spends the next decade in that role effectively acting as a traitor to his family and his own people before seeking asylum in America...

Despite being the son of a Hamas leader, the author seems to be biased against Hamas from an early age. He documents a lot of violent incidents resulting in deaths and they always seem to be instigated by Hamas or triggered by something Hamas does. In contrast, Israel are represented as the "good guys" in the whole situation rarely taking advantage or killing when they have opportunities. I'm just not sure I can believe that this is how things actually were.

The author becomes a Christian which may or may not have influenced his decision to join Shin Bet. He is a little vague about this aspect and embraces Islam and Christianity simultaneously for a while before deciding which he believes is true. He remains non-denominational which is fine. But he places a stronger emphasis on this than I felt was necessary as if he is in a special category of Christians all by himself.

That was probably the thing I struggled with the most in this book. The way the author elevates himself and his role as a spy. He constantly talks about the number of lives he saved and seems to be present at every major event and incident throughout the history of the middle east conflict. Again, that seems highly unlikely as surely Shin Bet had other spies!?

Having said all that, this is a good read. The writing is not spectacular but the story is interesting and enough of it is factual to make the historical background worth reading. I think maybe the author has just exaggerated his role or used creative licence or maybe he had a different agenda. I would like to believe his conversion was genuine and lasted. I know there are some who believe his conversion was all to do with his asylum claim but I don't subscribe to this...it just wouldn't be worth the risk and the loss of his family and friends in Palestine...

There is no bad language or sexual content. There is violence and some descriptions of torture but it is bearable. You may enjoy this book if you have an interest in the ongoing conflict in the middle east. ( )
  sparkleandchico | Jun 2, 2017 |
One of the best reads this year. After reading this, I feel there is still hope for peace in the Middle East. The sad part is, Mosab had to go through so much misery before he attained that level of self-realization and moved up the ladder to the next rung onto the next higher plane of thinking and hence the right path. A few more Mosabs and Middle-East peace is virtually guaranteed.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
One of the best reads this year. After reading this, I feel there is still hope for peace in the Middle East. The sad part is, Mosab had to go through so much misery before he attained that level of self-realization and moved up the ladder to the next rung onto the next higher plane of thinking and hence the right path. A few more Mosabs and Middle-East peace is virtually guaranteed.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
Gripping true account! Mosab Hassan Yousef is the son of a beloved Hamas leader in Palestine. He is being groomed to someday take his father's place, but is arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and tricked into becoming an Israeli collaborator. He has a dangerous double life as a member of the Hamas inner circle and an Israeli spy, but comes to realize that the goal of Hamas is not peaceful settlement or negotiation, but the total destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. The reader gets an insight into the many factions at play in the Arab-Israel conflict. While Israel has the upper hand, both sides use cruel and brutal tactic because they are fighting for their existence. One day while in Jerusalem, Mosab meets a British tourist who invites him to attend a Bible-study class. He goes out of curiosity and discovers a whole new ethic in the teachings of Jesus. Mosab finds himself becoming gradually converted and decides he can no longer lead a double life that supports the continuing cycle of killing and hatred. After embracing Christianity, at great personal cost, he is left no choice but to apply for political asylum in the United States. ( )
  fredheid | Feb 11, 2015 |
09/11/14 Son of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef, 2011. This is not literature, but the story is amazing! More than anything, I learned that the violence coming from the Middle East is not monolithic, it is a pure chaos of faction against faction and ultimately against us. As I have stated in my own, The Fifth Prophet, “religion is fundamentally evil, and God does not approve.” Yousef says, “our enemies are ideas.” He has found a solution that works for him and I wish him well; he is a brave man. Unfortunately, I don’t see much hope for the rest of us in this book. ( )
  drardavis | Sep 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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To my beloved father and my wounded family
To the victims of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
To every human life my Lord has saved


To my family, I am very proud of you; only my God can understand what you have been through. I realize that what I have done has caused another deep wound that might not heal in this life and that you may have to live with its shame forever.

I could have been a hero and made my people proud of me. I knew what kind of hero they were looking for: a fighter who dedicated his life and family to the cause of a nation. Even if I was killed, they would have told my story for generations to come and been proud of me forever, but in reality, I would not have been much of a hero.

Instead, I became a traitor in the eyes of my people. Although I once brought pride to you, I now bring you only shame. Although I was once the royal prince, I am now a stranger in a foreign country fighting against the enemy of loneliness and darkness.

I know you see me as a traitor; please understand it was not you I chose to betray, but your understanding of what it means to be a hero. When Middle Eastern nations--Jews and Arabs alike--start to understand some of what I understand, only then will there be peace. And if my Lord was rejected for saving the world from the punishment of hell, I don't mind being a reject!

I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that I am not afraid. And now I want to give you something that has helped me to survive so far: all the guilt and shame I have carried for all these years is a small price to pay if it saves even one innocent human life.

How many people appreciate what I have done? Not so many. But that's okay. I believed in what I did and I still believe, which is my only fuel for this long journey. Every drop of innocent blood that has been saved gives me hope to carry on to the last day.

I paid, you paid, and yet the bills of war and peace continue to come. God be with us all and give us what we need to carry this heavy weight.

With love,

Your son
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Peace in the Middle East has been the holy grail of diplomats, prime ministers, and presidents for more than five decades.
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The oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding member of Hamas and its most popular leader, reveals new information about the world's most dangerous terrorist organization and unveils the truth about his own role, his agonizing separation from family and homeland, the dangerous decision to make his newfound faith public, and his belief that the Christian mandate to "love your enemies" is the only way to peace in the Middle East.… (more)

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