Once An Arafat Man (book review)

Tass Saada’s story reads like a screenplay for an upcoming movie! Once An Arafat Man is such a page-turner, that I could hardly put it down.

In a nutshell, Tass’s story is this: He was born in the Gaza Strip, but his family had to relocate to Saudi Arabia due to the turbulence in Gaza. The Saudi government, like many Arabic governments, talked about supporting the Palestinians, but they were more concerned about self-preservation; as a result, it was just talk and very little action. Tass became a disgruntled, disillusioned young man. As a  teenager, he had a chance to meet Yasser Arafat in Qatar and was enthralled with this dynamic Palestinian leader. So mesmerized, in fact, that Tass ran away from home to join Fatah with Arafat.

Once he was accepted into the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Tass was trained as a sniper. His mission: assassinate Jewish targets. He even served as Arafat’s personal chauffeur. But once again the unstable political and military conditions caused Fatah to pull out of Jordan and eventually Tass ended up fleeing to the United States of America.

Once in the US, he didn’t want to be forced to leave, so he married an American woman to get his green card. While working on his career, something Tass never expected happened: he became a Christian. As his friend Charlie was sharing with him from the Bible, Tass wrote:

Before I knew it, I was on my knees. I didn’t consciously decide to kneel; it just happened. I lost all awareness that Charlie was even in the room. A light came into my field of vision–a talking light….

The light said in an audible voice, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me….”

In this indescribable moment, I knew something else: the triune God existed—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I knew that God loved me. “Oh, Jesus, come into my life!” I blurted out. “Forgive me and be my Lord and Savior!” I felt as if a heavy load went flying off my shoulders. A sense of peace and joy rushed into my heart. The presence of God was so real it seemed I could almost reach out and touch it.

Thus began a new journey for Tass, one of reconciliation. His wife and children eventually accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior too. But Tass’s family back in Qatar is a different story: they denounced him as an infidel

Tass felt compelled to take the good news of Jesus back to his family and to the very leader he used to work for: Yassar Arafat. The story of how God opened doors of opportunity, and provided supernatural protection, and allowed for reconciliation to occur is amazing.

Read this book. You will be blessed by this incredible story!

I’m a Tyndale book reviewer.

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