The Middle East and the country of Israel are roiled in a centuries-old struggle for self-determination and land. The following books explore that conflict.
The twelve women of Jerusalem (whether Christians, Jews, or Muslims) who are profiled in Making Their Own Peace
face the unique pressures of living in a city steeped in history and blood, resonant with revelation and absolutism, and needful of mutual respect. These women tell their stories of cooperation and support in their decisions not to wait for political negotiations to succeed in bringing their communities together but through the forging of their own ways to live and work in peace every day. They offer an inspiring message of hope in the midst of conflict.
In The Olive and the Tree
, educator Dr. Ruth Westheimer and documentary film-producer Gil Sedan uncover the secret world of the Druze, the peoples of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel, who are Arab in ethnic origin and Muslim by religious orientation, but maintain a different and secret identity in their various countries. Dr. Ruth concentrates on the world of the Israeli Druze, who have made a commitment as a minority within the minority to live within and fight for the state of Israel, itself a minority country in the Middle East. In
, Westheimer and Sedan explore the often hidden world of Bedouin women, members of a community facing challenges to its nomadic lifestyle within a country (Israel) that is often modern, and within a tribal society that is patriarchal and traditional. These women, as Westheimer and Sedan discover, our forging a new, hybrid identity as they chart a way to the future without losing contact with a treasured past.
For many years, Sister Mary Margaret Funk engaged in interfaith dialogue with American Muslims in the mid-West. In Islam Is...
, she reflects on the religion in which she has found startling similarities to her own deeply held Catholic practice and beliefs. The result is not only a beautifully clear exposition of Islam's central tenets but a call for the kind of deep attention and prayerful respect that allows peace to take root.
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