Jean Sasson · 421 pages
Rating: (2.7K votes)
“When we look back, it becomes clear that the acts and accomplishments of human beings are the signatures of history. Human signatures have created an enormous chasm between the joyeous light of the age of the Renaissance to the dark shadow of September 11, 2001. Those of us living on that fateful day experienced the lower depths of mankind. As an author, avid reader, world traveler, and person of enormous curiosity, my life experiences have taught me that discord often erupts from a lack of knowledge and education. To discourage future dark moments, I believe we must nourish the minds of our young with learning that creates understanding between ethnic and religious groups. Perhaps understanding will lead to a marvelous day when we take a last fleeting look at violence so harmful to so many. I sincerely believe that nothing will further the cause of peace more than the education of our young. I would like for readers to know that a percentage of the profits from the sale of this book will be devoted to the cause of education.
May all roads lead to peace.”
“Saudi Arabia, and began having children, Osama bin Laden completed his high school education at the Al-Thager”
“I admit to a feeling of pride that my father had saved the day yet again, although I also thought that nothing would have been better for me personally than for the mullah to force my father's departure within the hour. Either way, I know now that nothing would have stopped my father from his Jihad. If he could not remain in Afghanistan, he would go to Pakistan. If Pakistan pulled the welcome mat, he would go to Yemen. If Yemen threw him out, he would journey to the middle of the most hostile desert where he would plot against the West. Violent Jihad was my father's life; nothing else really mattered. Nothing.”
“For that entire journey across the rough terrain of Afghanistan, I never stopped praying that everything of the world could be peaceful, that all lives might return to normal. I believe that wish is universal for every woman who is a mother.
For all the horrible happenings that have occurred since I left Afghanistan, I can only think and feel with my mother's heart. For every child lost, a mother's heart harbors the deepest pain. None can see our sons grow to men. None can see our daughters become mothers. No longer can we see the smiles on their faces, or wipe away their tears. My mother's heart feels the pain of every loss, weeping not only for my children, but for the lost children of every mother.”
“I am nothing like my father. While he prays for war, I pray for peace.
And now we go our separate ways, each believing that we are right.
My father has made his choice, and I have made mine.
I am, at last, my own man.
I can live with that.”
“During these years of loss and sorrow, I have had to reconcile myself to the truth about my father, Osama bin Laden. I know now that since the first day of the first battle against the Soviets in Afghanistan, my father has been killing other humans. He admitted as much to me, back in those days when I was his tea boy in Afghanistan. I often wonder if my father has killed so many times that the act of killing no longer brings him pleasure or pain. I am nothing like my father. While he prays for war, I pray for peace. And now we go our separate ways, each believing that we are right.”
“To discourage future dark moments, I believe we must nourish the minds of our young with learning that creates understanding between ethnic and religious groups.”
“I realized that sharing does not necessarily mean the giving of money or goods; there are times that the greatest gift is to set aside one’s own troubles and listen, to care about another’s heartache.”
“You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”
“Why harrow oneself by looking on the worst side?... Because it is sometimes necessary.”
“I watched him playing with the long blades of grass, weaving them into patterns as he hummed an unfamiliar song, a waltz.
"What are you doing?" I asked him.
"I'm letting you get used to the idea of me," he said idly. "I'm pretending to be harmless. Is it working?"
"Until you smile," (...)”
“Have I ever told you how beautiful you are?”
“You might’ve mentioned it once or twice before,”
“That’s right. I did mention it before. I remember telling you how amazing you are. I think we were in front of a mirror.”
“Does that sound familiar?”
“Um, yeah. That seems vaguely familiar.”
“Vaguely? Maybe I didn’t pound it into you hard enough.”
“Oh, I think you pounded it in plenty hard.”
“Maybe I should’ve taken the time to give you a good tongue-lashing, too, then.”
“Oh, I think the form of communication you used was very effective.”
“So it’s all coming back to you now?”
“Yes, it’s all coming back to me.”
“If you’re lying, I could sweat it out of you, you know.”
“I’m not lying. It’s etched into my memory. Permanently.”
“Maybe we should revisit it, just so you’re clear on everything we discussed. I want to make sure it’s in there. Nice and deep. So you never forget it.”
“I doubt there’s anything you could do to get it in there any deeper.”
“Oh, I can think of one or two things. The only way we’ll know for sure, though, is to try. And I don’t know about you, but I’m committed to this. Invested. And I’m nothing if not thorough.”
“Two hugs. Both I can’t get out of my mind. One was so quick I’m not even sure it happened, and the other was… Amazing. Incredible. Confusing. How can someone get so much from a hug?”
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