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Tyndale House Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life

As a PLO sniper and Arafat's chauffeur, Saada was a Muslim immersed in anti-Israeli activity. But when he reached middle age, he moved to America, began a family---and became a Christian! You'll be enthralled by his prophetic conversion and subsequent encounters with Arafat, his teaching about Arabs and Ishmael, and his hope for reconciliation through Jesus. 250 pages, hardcover from Tyndale.
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4.8
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(14 Reviews) 14
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Customer Reviews for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Review 1 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fascinating Story of Hope

Date:May 23, 2011
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Bob Hayton
Location:St. Paul, MN
Age:25-34
Gender:male
"Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life" is a fascinating read. As the title indicates, this is a true story of a former Fatah fighter. Tass Saada was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza strip. His parents left their land in Israel at the encouragement of the neighboring Muslim countries. After the failure of the 1948 war, they (with many others) were displaced. He grew up in Saudi Arabia and later Qatar.
Saada, like many young frustrated Palestinians, grew to respect Yasir Arafat and his rhetoric about Palestinians standing up for their rights. He fled from his home and joined the movement in its infancy. As a teenager he became a sniper and fought in many terrorist skirmishes.
Eventually his father's influence brought him back out of the Fatah, just before Black September's chaos, and he wound up ultimately in America. There for many years he succeeded in business and lived the American dream, with its money, prestige and also its sinful vices. Then he met Jesus, and the rest is history!
His story of conversion is amazing, and the transformation in his life and family is dramatic. God had his hand on this man and eventually he became the founder of Hope for Ishmael a non-profit organization that aims to reconcile Jews and Muslims, and that also aids the many Palestinians caught in the crossfire of the Middle-East conflict. God took Tass from being a one-time chauffeur to Arafat, and allowed him to share the Gospel with the Muslim leader in the final years of his life.
Saada's story is a celebration of God's grace. Along the way, Saada has some wise Gospel words to speak about the Middle-East conflict. He finds the Bible's honorable treatment of Hagar and Ishmael to have special significance in our understanding of this conflict. He also stresses God's promise in Ez. 47: 21-23 that "the aliens [foreigners] who have settled among you and who have children... along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel." (NIV)
His story will also challenge you to see God's hand at work in your own life. This book will open your heart to the suffering of the Middle-East and give hope! I highly recommend this quick read. May Jesus be exalted in the Middle East!
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Tyndale House Publishers for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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Review 2 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 21, 2010
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Debbie from Different Time Different Place
"Once an Arafat Man" is a well-written memoir about a man who was born a Muslim in Palestine in 1951, who grew up hating Jews, killed both Jews and Christians, but then later became a Christian and worked to bring reconciliation between Arabs and Jews. It's a fast-paced story that kept my interest from beginning to end.He described how his family became refugees, why they were moved to Saudi Arabia, what life was like there for Palestinan refugees, how he learned to hate Jews, how he met Yasser Arafa and later came to join the PLO, what he did in the PLO, how his parents tricked him to get him out of the PLO, why he went to America and what he did there, how and why he converted to Christianity, how his family reacted to his conversion, and how he made peace with his family as well as with Jews. Having read quite a bit on the conflict in the Middle East, I thought he did a good job showing both sides of the issue, though he didn't go in-depth.Overall, I'd highly recommend this interesting and well-written book to those who are interested in the Jew-Arab conflict in the Middle East or to those interested in what it's like for a Muslim to convert to another religion.
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Review 3 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 18, 2010
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Christi S
Some books are just confrontational. You know how some books make you realize that assumptions you have had are not correct or that they are wounding to people? Some books confront ideas that you have long had or make you see the other side of the issue.Once An Arafat Man has been one of those books for me. It is subtitled the True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life yep, not exactly light reading.However it is a fascinating book. Because of Tass Saada, I no longer see things the way I did before. While I now understand even better what a confusing mess it is in the Middle East, I also have to say that Once An Arafat Man left me feeling more hopeful at the end. It also showed me one of the ways that God is working in that mess.God worked a miracle in Tass Saadas heart and now God is using Tass to do more work.
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Review 4 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:January 15, 2010
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wjcollier3.wordpress.com
Tass Saada was a terrorist. Trained by Fatah as a sniper, Saada rose to the level of personal driver for Yasser Arafat. Saada tells his story as, I am sure, only he can tell it. He was born a Palestinian Arab in the Gaza Strip. At a young age he joined Fatah to help remove Israel from former Palestinian land, land he saw as belonging to his people. At the age of 22, after living life as a trouble-maker, Tass immigrated to the United States. He got married as a ploy to get his permanent resident status, then fell in love with the woman he married. He worked many years in the restaurant business, achieving some real success. One of his regular customers, who became a friend, introduced Tass to Jesus Christ and Tass became a Christian. He remained in the restaurant business for some time then felt God leading him into ministry. His vision is to reconcile Jews and Arabs based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. Saada has gone on to found a humanitarian ministry called Hope for Ishmael.I found this book to be an easy, but not always comfortable, read. The first part is devoted to Saadas lifestyle of hatred and anger. He describes in enough detail some of the violent acts he committed. The second section of the book is about his conversion and growth into the founder and leader of a ministry. It is a joy and blessing to come alongside Saada as his heart breaks to lead Jews and Muslim Arabs to Christ. the third section of the book is devoted to the idea that peace in the Middle East will not be found in politics or diplomacy. It will only be found in the reconciling power of God through Jesus Christ. This was an interesting book that I would recommend. Anyone with even a remote interest in world affairs, especially the Middle East, would enjoy and appreciate Once an Arafat Man. I was provided a copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers for review purposes.
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Review 5 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 5, 2010
Last week, my husband and I watched the movie, The Kingdom. It was a powerful and frightening movie. As I read the first part of this book, I put Tass's story in the context of what was in that movie to help me picture what he did and what life was like for him. The first half of the book is very easy to read, not too gory or bloody in its description. It isn't especially engaging writing, but the first half does convey the story of Tass's life well. The second half is really what makes this book worth reading. Particularly pg. 196-200. I appreciated Saada's description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as what he believes are the reasons behind it. I think it would be good for every Christian to read this part of the book. I think it would give us all great deal of compassion for the Palestinians and understanding.Last year, I read Jimmy Carter's second book about Palestine and Israel. It was very good (as was the first), but this book is different because it comes from an insider. Saada above all wants peace for all and truly wants to live out the Lord's command for us to Love One Another as God has loved us.
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Review 6 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 4, 2010
As I read this book I found myself in awe and saying a variety of things such as: "WOW" ~ "Lord, your mercy and grace overwhelm me" -OR- "Oh my gosh!" Once an Arafat Man is NOT my typical choice of books and even when I received it, I honestly thought it would go on the bottom of my review stack, but I felt the Lord calling me to this book. I am so very thankful! This book is by far my favorite of 2009! Taas Saada was a young man who whatever he set his mind to, he conquered. In his young age he was a very determined young boy who believed strongly in fighting for his people and was destined to be a leader no matter what the situation. This is a story of mercy, of grace, and an amazing look into the Life of a Muslim man and how the Lord can change that heart. You will see how a family can overcome many obstacles despite different belief systems and how the Lord can restore relationships despite the pain caused over many years.I strongly recommend this book on so many levels. It will encourage, inspire, and I must warn you~ You might not be able to put it down!! I know I couldn't.
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Review 7 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 16, 2009
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David Crick
This book was an awesome book! It shows how God totally can change around one man and use him for the Glory of God. I recommend it to anyone who has a interest in the Middle East.
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Review 8 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 3, 2009
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Rebecca
Once you start reading this book you will not put it down. It is an amazing testimony of how God changed a heart full of hate to a heart of forgiveness and love. I was so touched by Mr. Saada's testimony and how God is using him in the middle east that I personally went to visit his outreach ministry, stayed 12 days, and saw first hand how Jesus is using Mr. Saada and was blessed beyond belief. He and his wife were so hospitable. I encourage anyone visiting Israel to contact the Saada's for a tour of the Preschool or for partaking in an outreach, he can accommodate teams of around 30.
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Review 9 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 25, 2009
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Elaine Nicholas
I found this book to be well-written and fascinating to read. It was encouraging to learn how God is moving among the Arabs, and I applaud Mr. Saada's efforts to bring reconciliation between the Jews and Arabs.
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Review 10 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 27, 2009
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James Escott
Excellent true story of how Christ uses all things for the good of those who love Him and witnesses to the truth that no person is beyond redeemption.
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Review 11 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 7, 2008
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C. Palmer
In these days of continual bad news and a seemingly never ending cycle of threats and retaliation, "Once An Arafat Man" presents a story of hope. Its writing style is engaging and easy to read, but the message of redemption sinks deep. The central theme is not the ability of a man to pull himself out of his circumstances, but rather to lay down his life at the cross of Jesus and see reconciliation come where it would seem impossible. After reading this book you will have a deeper insight into both the political mindset of the Palestinian movement and a glimpse at the hope of peace that can come only through Jesus Christ. Highly recommended.
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Review 12 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:October 7, 2008
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Ethan Powell
Starting with his birth in the Gaza Strip, this book tells how Tass learned to hate and how he vented that hate. But then he is dramatically changed by God and learns to love and shows that love not only to his own people but to those he once hated. This book is not only an interesting story; it shows a glimpse of what the Middle East is like. What the people are like and how they think, which is very important to understand in the world today.
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Review 13 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:October 5, 2008
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Jen Quiverfullfamilycom
In his mid-forties Tass came to know Jesus as his Lord in a dramatic, instantaneous conversion experience, the likes of which Ive never read.While the first parts of the book read slowly, I was spellbound by the changes God worked in Saadas life following his new birth. I was able to see God reaching into this mans life, into his heart and changing him, dissolving his rage, kindling his love and igniting a passion to see Jews, Muslims, and Christians reconciled under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Once a highly trained guerilla under the command of Yasser Arafat, Saada transformed into a spiritual warrior under the command of God most high.After experiencing Gods radical grace and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus/Yasooa/Yeshua, a work was begun in Tass Saada. This work is broad, deep, and a part of it is expressed through this book. By reading of Gods work through the Holy Spirit in this mans life I was encouraged, educated and led to examine the scriptures pertaining to the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael in a new light.This vibrant, relevant understanding comes from the collision of Gods word with a life spent in service in the hot-spots: the Gaza Strip, the West Bank. Saada knows what hes talking about; hes been there, experienced life as a Palestinian refugee and returned as a believer in Christ to re-examine, to seek answers, to find a way.While Once an Arafat Man is vitally important reading for believers who are ignorant of the struggle over the Holy Land, anyone with a heart for peace in the Middle East should read Saadas work. The combination of first-hand experience, wisdom of years, and a new, reflective perspective provide illuminating insight and hope for the future.
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Review 14 for Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:September 15, 2008
My husband grabbed Once An Arafat Man from my to be read pile as soon as I received the book. Tass Saada and Dean Merrill tell a gripping and insightful story about how a Muslim on the inside of the PLO came to faith in Christ. Although more insight into the organization and belief system would have been appreciated, this novel was still an incredible read! It brought my husband to a greater understanding of Ishmaels contribution to the world as we know it today. I highly recommend this book!
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