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Customer Reviews for Random House, Inc Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East

Random House, Inc Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East

Traveling to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Beirut, Damascus, and Jerusalem, best-selling author Dekker and Middle East expert Medearis sat down with Islamic leaders and terrorists to talk about fundamental Christian questions, including "Who is my neighbor?" and "Is it really possible to love my enemy?" They were surprised by the answers---and you will be, too! 288 pages, hardcover from Doubleday.
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Customer Reviews for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Review 1 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic Read!

Date:September 20, 2013
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EKParsons
Location:Orwell, NY
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ted and Carl take the readers on a journey through the Middle East in search of the good Samaritan. Can enemies truly love each other as Jesus commanded? Can we put aside our differences in politics, religion, lifestyle and background long enough to see each other as real people, people who laugh and cry, work hard for their families, and hold tightly to what they cherish? This is not a book about politics, religion, right or wrong. Rather, it's a diary of sorts, a log of their travels through this often misunderstood part of the world. I also read it as a call to every man and woman to examine themselves - if we were to stumble upon an enemy of the United States, our enemy, near death, in need of care, would we show compassion and love, or would we walk away, ignoring the needs of a dying man?
Eileen K Parsons, author, "The First Rose of Summer"
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Review 2 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 24, 2012
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MissEm
Location:Colorado
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book was definitely eye-opening and I would highly recommend it.
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Review 3 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:May 31, 2010
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JD3
As a big fan of Dekker's fiction, I thought I'd read this non fiction account of his travels in the middle east. Or, should I say, his account of Arab apologists airing their disagreements with "Zionists" and "Bush" and the "American Government" Oh, we love the American people, the terrorists tell Dekker, who says he is Canadian. "It's their government and the Zionists we don't like." Since unlike the dictatorships in the middle East, Americans and Israel actually vote for their leaders, I guess we vote for evil Jew lovers and Arab haters. Dekker and Medearis go as far as to distance themselves from the term "Christian". If they are so ashamed of being labeled Christians and westerners, perhaps we shouldn't buy their books. Oh, and the book isn't all non-fiction. The story about Nicole is a made up parable that would never actually occur as written, but what do I know, I'm an evil Christian Zionist.
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Review 4 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:January 29, 2010
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Emily
Tea with Hezbollah is a fresh new perspective on the conflict in the Middle East. It is not a book about politics or military agenda, it is in fact far from that. This book takes you right into the homes and lives of many middle eastern leaders that have never been heard from before and finds out who they are, not as religious and militant leaders, but who they are as people. As fathers and husbands, as grandfathers and as friends. We learn what makes them laugh, what makes them cry. They share their frustrations and their fears.I appreciated that the interviews are shared in this book as direct conversation, written down exactly as they were recorded. They are done this way so that there is no mis-interpretation and nothing can be taken out of context. However, the book is not a dry account of interviews. The interview pieces are surrounded with story. Author Ted Dekker recounts his travels through the Middle East with his friend Carl Medearis in a way that is honest, fearful and at times quite funny. He intertwines stories of characters they meet along the way and leaves you with a sense that you almost understand and are a part of his amazing journey and experience.I would recommend this book to all Americans as a fresh new perspective on the conflicts in the Middle East. It will leave you wondering how to answer the question that Ted asked each of his interviewees, "Jesus said Love your neighbor as yourself and love your enemies. What does that mean to you?"This book was provided to me for review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.
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Review 5 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:January 29, 2010
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Kristen H.
I have thoroughly enjoyed Tea with Hezbollah and have found it interesting, thought-provoking, and entertaining. The whole concept of interviewing our "enemies" was unique, and the responses of the various Muslim clergy and laypeople were insightful. I appreciated what I believe was the authors' intention to help us to see the humanity on both sides of the conflict. I must confess that the information that I know about the conflicts in the Middle East is rather one-sided. So I have definitely been thinking about how I should filter information from all the different sources like the media, government, and religious leaders. The book tells the story of the authors' journey without really sharing their opinions, and Dekker admitted that he was pulled in different directions depending on who he was talking to and where he was. I can definitely see his point.One thing that I have found troubling is the author's contention that the greatest teaching of Jesus was to love your neighbor. He does mention that the greatest commandment is to love God and that is followed by loving your neighbor, but that still leaves a gaping hole in the teachings of Christ. The Muslims all talked about how we could live in unity and peace since we were worshiping the same God. They said that Jesus was a great prophet and that they believe in following His teachings. But they're neglecting some crucial teachings of Christ. What about "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6 ? What about His death, burial, and resurrection? We can't have unity with Muslims over these issues because they reject Christ as the Son of God and deny His resurrection. This book was provided to me by the publisher to review.
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Review 6 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 29, 2010
Ted Dekker, one of my favorite authors, takes an amazing journey to the Middle East in search of what the story of the Samaritan is all about. A book about learning to love embittered enemies, that could be Muslims and Christians, Israelis and Palestinians. or Republicans and Democrats.Some days I feel like my enemies are closer to home. . .husband, co-workers, neighbors, the driver in the other car during rush hour. Of course, they are not enemies, but I am commanded by God to love my neighbor, even if they are my enemies, as I love myself. Easier said than done, and this book will help you see that in order to love your enemy, you have to sit down and "have tea with them", get to know them to better understand them. You may be surprised that we're not that different at all.
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Review 7 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:January 26, 2010
I think the authors missed the point of Jesus' teachings. It wasn't that, if we're failing to "love our enemies," we should look to the enemies for answers because they understand how to do it better than we do. But that's how they took the "good Samaritan" parable."Tea with Hezbollah" was a travelogue of the Middle East (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Israel) filled with mundane sight-seeing, historical information about the area, & interviews with influential Muslims & commoners. Americans who only know what the newspapers or TV news says about the area will learn new information, but I found most of it rather superficial. Dekker put his experience in writing fiction into making this book an easy & exciting read.A short history was given for each area, but unfortunately I spotted a number of errors throughout these sections & some parts were highly speculative to the point of being unreliable.Most of the interviews were very short & superficial. Since the authors felt that all war & conflict would disappear if we knew "the enemy" on a personal level, the interviews focused on what made the person laugh, what their favorite movie was, etc. So a reader learns a lot about their personal tastes, a couple sentences per interview about what Muslims think about Americans, & a couple sentences about how Muslims view Jesus and Mary.The authors constantly criticized Christianity. They stated their faith in God but referred to Jesus as a man, a great teacher, and lumped him in with Martin Luther King & Gandhi. They don't like being called Christians, & Dekker seemed to view organized religion (including Christianity) as the cause of all war & conflict.I don't recommend this book if you're looking for a deeper understanding of what it means to love your enemy. They never find an answer. And there are better books on understanding of the conflict in the Middle East.This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
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Review 8 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:January 26, 2010
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Michelle Smith
Did I want to read a true story about two men embarking on a frequently dangerous journey through the Middle East in search of a fresh understanding of the Good Samaritan parable and the answer to the Middle East conflict? A tale filled with all the culture of the region, plus hair-raising adventure and intrigue? While attempting to grasp the heart of the complex political issues affecting this region along the way? Absolutely!An American-born expert on Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations, Carl Medearis, and his friend Ted Dekker revealed a Middle East as I have never seen it on the news. Medearis uses his Arab connections to set up the unprecedented interviews with many leaders of the region--muftis, sheiks, ayatollahs, Hezbollah, Hamas, bin Laden's brothers and more. Actual interview transcripts are included throughout this book and shed some light on the humanity of those they interviewed, including those we might normally consider terrorists. Carefully interwoven within the main story of their journey is a tale of a different kind, of a young woman named Nicole and her search for answers. The story telling was gripping and compellingly written.Dekker and Medearis have set out to capture a region's culture and explain a bit of its history along the way. This they do well. I saw something of the essential humanity of Middle Easterners while I learned that their culture is indeed so different from mine that I often cannot understand their humor. Yet I see their humanity. Even so, the authors' subtle conclusions seemed somewhat inadequate to me, and the interviews so similar I wondered whether the interviewees spoke with complete veracity or simply wanted to project a specific image for Westerners. Perhaps not. I am still reflecting over this book, and I suspect that if you give this book a chance then you will, too. This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah.
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Review 9 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 26, 2010
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Jamie Driggers
Have you ever read something just knowing all the while that it will profoundly change your thinking for years to come? Twice, twice in the last six months I have done so. The first was Scared (Tom Davis) . The second was Tea With Hezbollah. I love to read and learn about different cultures. I do appreciate looking at things from a different perspective. And sometimes when you look at different cultures from a different perspective, and your eyes are opened to things you've never even considered...wow. I'll admit, there were moments when I read things and they flat made me mad. The misconceptions others have about us. Dumping wheat into the ocean since oil prices are high? I'm sorry, I'm related to wheat farmers and THAT is absurd....I know we have some misconceptions also. I just hate when misconception heaps on top of misconception and causes such strife. But far beyond the whole Muslim/Arab leader misconception conversation and the search for truth (and dodging answers like pros, man) I was profoundly struck by the message of love. You know, it's hard to conceive of loving your enemy when it's ridiculously hard to love your neighbor. Shoot, it's hard to love your brother sometimes. It's as they said, "The situation is complex...It's almost as if humanity, being enraged by the outrageous teaching of love, killed the teacher (Jesus) and then went on to wage war against all who set foot on the land where he walked."So. What a book. One I expected to be fiction. Struggled to want to read once I knew it was not. And finally couldn't put down. And walked away changed. For the better, I hope.
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Review 10 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 26, 2010
Carl and Ted were in a cafe three years ago when Carl wondered what our nations "enemies" thought of Jesus' teaching to love your enemies. It took a year to talk Ted into the trip, a year to plan the trip and a year to write the book. With the influence of a wealthy Saudi they traveled to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria. As Dekker notes, this is not a book about Middle Eastern politics; it's a book about learning to love embittered enemies. Through interviews and conversations they found out what others thought of the term "Christian." They found what Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Samaritans have in common. While they all worship the God of Abraham, none practice the teachings of Jesus (yes, including Christians). This book has good insight into the heart of the common Muslim and what he thinks about life and Americans. This book is definitely worth the read. This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
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Review 11 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:January 25, 2010
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Robin
This is the story of a 2 week trip through the Middle East involving meetings with high-level leaders of groups and militia that we would consider enemies of our country in every way. Mr. Dekker and Mr. Medearis desired to interview these men and ask them questions that would help their readers "get to know" them on a more personal level. The premise was that if we could see each other as just "people" and not "enemies" perhaps we would find it easier to practice Jesus' greatest command - Love your neighbor as yourself. Fascinating idea. Fascinating book. Mr. Dekker repeatedly states in the book that he was not interested in debating politics or religion. Personally, I don't think he batted 100% on that statement. I felt that he ventured into a bit of unnecessary criticism of America. However, I do believe overall he tried to be honest and I do believe that his quest was a genuine endeavor.The book was an easy read and hard to put down. It made me think about things that made me uncomfortable. It stretched my thinking. .I have always believed that the century's old struggle over a piece of land no bigger than the state of Rhode Island has much more to do with spiritual warfare than it has to do with the never ending fight between the people who inhabit the earth. This is bigger than anything humanity is capable of solving. This is more than we can comprehend. The spiritual battle is not going to be resolved until the day the trumpet sounds. I don't think we can really expect the physical battle to stop before then either.I started reading this book certain I would not like it. I am proud of my country and proud to be an American and I worried this book was going to bash America - which is so popular these days. I ended up feeling glad that I read it. As I said earlier, it stretched my thinking and gave me new ideas to consider. I am begging my husband to read it so we can discuss it. This is the kind of book that needs to be discussed.
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Review 12 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:January 25, 2010
Ever since 9/11 woke me up to the very real dangers we face, I have been more and more fascinated and frightened of the Middle East. Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis are two brave souls for going where I would not want to go and sharing their experiences with us. From the very first page of this book, I was drawn in. Now, I am still reading it, but I have been intrigued and amazed by the experiences these authors have written about. I will add more to my review once I have finished this book, but I can say already that this book is a must read. There are a lot of books written about the Middle East, but Tea with Hezbollah is by far a most interesting and personal book that really makes me feel like I am there. Im glad Im not there, but Im also glad there are brave people who are willing to go and report back about their experiences. This is a fantastic and educational book and I highly recommend it.
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Review 13 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 25, 2010
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Jennifer Guyer
To be honest, though the concept of this book was intriguing enough to entice me to sign up for this blog tour, I wasn't sure how I would do with this book. Ted Dekker is not an author that I read. His genre is not my cup of tea (no pun intended). And the Middle East? Terrorists? I just wasn't sure. But, in the end, it was not a problem. I had no trouble with it. It was a very interesting book and easy to get into. I really enjoyed reading it. I think Ted was more scared than me! In fact my only complaint in the beginning was that I thought he over did the "are we crazy to be doing this" just a little. I mean, I know it was dangerous, but how many times did he have to say it.This book reminded me a bit of Three Cups of Tea. In searching out what we consider out biggest enemies to discuss Jesus's command to love our neighbors/enemies, they allowed us to get to know our enemies in order to love them more. It was eye opening to read their interviews and hear their thoughts. It helped personify these groups and give more understanding.I took this book as a challenge. Do we love our enemies? Do we even love our neighbors? What does it mean to be a Christian, a follower of Christ? Do we represent Christ properly? Do we love and obey him? This book is part travelogue of a very interesting part of our world. Rich in history and complex backgrounds. Part parable, part religious education, part humanitarian effort to help us get to know our enemies our neighbors in the Middle East. Shoot, our neighbors all around us. There are Muslims, Jews, Christians all around us. Do we love them as we should? As Christ does?
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Review 14 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:January 25, 2010
Would you like to sit at a table with your enemies having tea? Maybe speak about the Good Samaritan and loving your enemies? Jesus calls us to love our enemies and this is where Tea with Hezbollah takes us, right across the table from our enemies. Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis take us on a ride to the Middle East, facing fears, asking questions about life and the beliefs of others. There are many misconceptions about the people of the Middle East, just as they too have misconceptions about us. This book reveals the true feelings of others and how much we are all really alike and desire the same things. They sat with enemies, some we know and many who are not the headliners and asked these men questions about Jesus, about the Samaritan, their faith, how they feel about us in America, what their favorites are, what their hobbies are and what their hopes are. In the midst of their conversations we find the heart of the story, Nicole. Although the book takes us through the streets of the Middle East, it includes a heartfelt story about this woman and her life. Can you imagine sitting down with those from Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muftis, the Sheiks and Ayatollahs? To have tea with someone is a closeness we do not often do with our enemies. What if we let all the preconceived ideas go, opened our hearts to one another and sought real peace? This book opened my eyes to seeing a new light through the lives of those people countries away. This book takes you right into the turmoil of the Middle East, and shares things you would least expect. This book does not share the gospel in the hopes that I thought it would. But it does give us a look into the hearts of others and how misconceptions lead us to travel in wrong directions. I have enjoyed reading this book as it gives us all a picture of just being honest and sharing can take us a long way to living as Jesus would have us. This book was a gift from Multnomah WaterBrook Press for its review.
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Review 15 for Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table--Our Journey Through the Middle East
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:January 24, 2010
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Ronnica
Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies' Table, Our Journey through the Middle East is Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis's account of their trip to the Middle East in 2008. They were in search of one thing: to find out if it's possible to love your enemies, as illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan.Dekker and Medearis are able to sit down with leaders and everyday folks, all who are known for their anti-American stand. Several of the transcripts are laid out for us in part or in whole. Along with these interactions and Dekker's observations of his own uneasiness on this trip, is the story of Nicole.Nicole's story is the heart of the book--and I believe--should have been a book itself. Nicole is a college-aged girl who finds out that her father isn't who she thinks he is, but her mother's mysterious lover from her days in Lebanon. While I thought the rest of the book was just so-so, I couldn't wait to get to another chapter of Nicole's story.I've read several books on the Middle East, some that are in similar memoir style. To me, this one simply does not stack up. It's choppy and repetitive: most of the interviews have similar questions. It seems like it might have been better to have compiled them, or at least done something more than give the transcriptions. And as a Christian, I felt like Ted Dekker could have done more to highlight the hope of the Gospel for the peoples in the Middle East.If you're interested in a memoir on the Middle East, I still highly recommend From Beirut to Jeruselem by Thomas Friedman. It may be a bit dated, but it still is incredibly relevant for the conflicts still going on today.I received a free review copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.
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