The Fox Hunt by: Mohammed Al Samawi | Book Review

The Fox Hunt
By: Mohammed Al Samawi
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Religion, War,  Politics, Non-Western
Rating: 4.5 stars
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Publisher: William Marrow
Synopsis:

A young man’s moving story of war, friendship, and hope in which he recounts his harrowing escape from a brutal civil war in Yemen with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West.

Born in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.

Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.

Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.

The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

 

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Where Do I Get My Books From, You Ask…?

Hiya:

So, it occurred to me the other day (perusing through all of the e-Books on my tablet) and really realized that I have quiet a few books. Not including the ton I have on my bookshelf.

This fact made me really happy because for once the amount of fictional reading material I owned out numbered the non-fiction, informational and academic based material I have.

Likewise, I thought it’d be fun to share a list of places that I get my books from, besides signing up to participate in book blog tours, being gifted books by authors themselves and being asked to review material.

My Top Three Places To Buy Physical Copies Of Books:

1) Amazon

2) B&N

 

 

 

3) Thriftbooks

 

There is also of course the public library, but I live in a tiny suburban township. Which does have it’s own public library, but it’s slim pickings. I also know that B&N can be pretty pricey, but I remember when I asked for a B&N gift card for my birthday last year, I was able to get 7 books with the 50$ given to me.

How? You might be wondering. (I don’t. I’m not presuming to know what you’re thinking or that you’re thinking at all reading this.) Well, I waited a good month (haha, not even kidding) until B&N was having a big sale and went in to grab a few of the books I was waiting to buy and voilà.

The point is, book shopping at B&N is possible, if you’re patient enough. But for those who aren’t (which I am sometimes—or not? In this context) there are other options like Amazon or Thriftbooks.

What I love about Thriftbooks is that they offer older titles as well as several new ones, if you know when to look. Now, for those who do not know, Thriftbooks is a site that allows you to buy used books based on your preference of the book’s physical condition.

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A Writer’s Update–Protect The Writers’ Realm At All Costs

Hello Readers,

Just another Writer Update here, which will be brief. I have a number of tasks to get back to but I wanted to post this up date because it is centered on one of the main things I have been struggling with the last two weeks—my scheduled writing hour blocks. Yes, I do have a valid enough reason for the lag in my schedule (birthday weekend +sister’s graduation + Mother’s Day) but I drive a hard bargain when it comes to my writing schedule and to any novice writer who comes across this post I think it is important that you do as well.

The Importance of Boundaries & Space When You Commit to Writing: The Writers’ Realm

On any given day, friends, family and the rest, will demand your time and attention. As they simultaneously disrespect, disregard and dispute with you over the relativity of you (as a writer,) needing to take or have x amount of time to write in silence and be on your own to formulate your thoughts, or enter that special Writers’ Realm space that we writers enter where our styles and stories materialize. And this space, my friends, is important. This space is vital. This space means the world, the universe and the next galaxy over times two. Sounds a bit over the top? Well, it’s not.

“Why?” You Might Ask. 

Because, these snippets of time help us writers to better our craft, our voices and our developments as creative, mystical creatures and I do mean mystical creatures. I’m always astonished by how much work I get done when I’m in that writers’ zone at the eleventh hour on a personal piece or an assigned piece that took ten (or so) hours of not-so-good-and-often-really-bad writing before I stumble upon an overflowing stream of creative gold. Like the Writers’ Realm, I am sure the same can be said for other like-minded creative individuals who prosper and evolve when they are able to enter their creative spaces, or Fortresses of Solitude when working.

The reason I bring up the importance of the Writers’ Realm is because I had the misfortune of falling into the toxic, near fatal trap of letting the outside world not only steal me away, but keep me away from my own writer’s realm two weeks ago during my birthday weekend. As a result, it set a portion of my scheduled blog posts off by two weeks, and boy has it had a cumbersome affect.

Closing Thoughts:

I love writing; I always have and the fact that I missed my personal deadlines because I permitted others to steal my writing time is disconcerting. I am quiet literally in the middle of the final week for my Masters program, with a list of (awesome) books to review coming up and a spec script to outline and now I have to add post catch up to that list. It may sound like a lot to try to paddle through, but it retrospect it isn’t, or it wasn’t if I did not lose that time.

Developing an active practice to write everyday has been proven to aid writers to write; like a steady flow of water that trickles down from a mountain side you—hmm, I feel a manifesto coming on, which is my cue to wrap up my ramblings. 🙂 My overall point is, do not let any outside forces take you or keep you from your writer’s realm.

A few new creative updates for you though, a new installment for The Protector Series, Declan is now live and can be found on my Medium profile. And although this flash fiction pieces are episodic, be sure to check out the other two installments, Bella and Carmen as well. In the last two weeks, I have started reading three of my ARCs books, the full list is here, and all three have been off to such an exciting start. I cannot wait to share more with you all after I have finished them. Keep your eyes peeled for book reviews down the road ;-), but until next time, as always:

Stay creative,

Gia.