Madinat al-Muslimeen Community
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Apr 18, 2014 06:46 AM

News:

All the world's a dars.




Pages: [1]   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Just Released: Son of Mountains by Yassin Aref - Book Reviews  (Read 5031 times)
Faizah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
Faizah has no influence :(
Posts: 365



« on: Mar 10, 2008 01:00 AM »


As salaamu alaikum

I just picked up my copy of this new book written by a local man who was convicted of a crime that even the evidence didn't support that he was involved in.  The paranoia that exists in this post 9/11 society is disgusting; but I've always felt that way because the impact it has had either directly or indirectly on the lives of so many is just sooo wrong.  It has created economic hardship for some, caused the involuntary separation of some families, created an atmosphere of distrust and disunity not only among the general population but I strongly believe has even crept its way into the Muslim community and of course has made it even more difficult for people to get married as the pool of candidates is decreased and the rift of disunity grows wider.

While sitting at the book launch party I started reading out of excitement (I know so rude of me to be in a roomful of people reading) but the book was much anticipated.  To understand what another person has gone through in their lifetime -- how it taught values, courage and hard work -- to only have dreams dashed and stolen because of other people's fears, insecurities and determination to be right.

Too bad I have to go to work tomorrow because I could surely stay up all night reading it.

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah
sofia
Sis
Full Member
*

Reputation Power: 8
sofia has no influence :(
Posts: 106


Ya Muqallib Al-Quloob thabbit quloobana ala deenik


« Reply #1 on: Mar 10, 2008 05:22 PM »

As-salaamu alaykum,

One of my students is the author's son...so I got a sneak preview.   Lips Sealed   purplehijabisis
I believe Arref wrote the book mainly to give his children a glimpse of Kurdish and personal history.
Heartbreaking, really, but his son is finishing it now, may Allah strengthen him and his family.

-Sofia

"My Lord! Increase me in knowledge." (Qur'aan 20.114)
"Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (23:109)
"And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves..."(3:10)
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #2 on: Mar 11, 2008 03:44 AM »

Assalaam Alaikum,

If you would like to buy a copy of the book I can get one for you and send it to you too InshaAllah.

-- Jannah

================================================================
SON OF MOUNTAINS,
YASSIN AREF’S MEMOIR / AUTOBIOGRAPHY,
HAS BEEN PUBLISHED!





Son of Mountains
My Life as a Kurd and a Terror Suspect
by Yassin Aref


After production expenses, all proceeds from sales will go to the Aref Children’s Fund, to benefit the author’s four children.

Sometimes they put innocent men in prison. Yassin Aref is one of those men.

Son of Mountains tells a story in prose and poetry that is much more than just Yassin’s side of his arrest, conviction, and imprisonment. It’s the story of a UN refugee who sought peace and freedom for himself and his family in America, and found just the opposite. It’s the story of a two-time immigrant who has struggled all his life just to survive. And it’s the autobiography of an Iraqi Kurd––a “son of mountains”––who grew up in poverty under the rule of Saddam Hussein, and who writes that “I have the whole of Kurdistan and all of my people with me in my tiny cell at the jail.”

Yassin wrote Son of Mountains in five months at the Rensselaer County Jail in Troy, New York between his conviction in October 2006 and his sentencing one year ago, on March 8, 2007. Because English is his third language, two members of his legal team, Stephen Downs and Kathy Manley, and a professional editor, Jeanne Finley, worked with
Yassin over the past year to edit and assemble the book.

Yassin was born to illiterate farming parents in 1970 in Hashazini, a village in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. However, his was a famous family; his grandfather and uncle had been Muslim imams (religious leaders) loved and respected by thousands. As a teenager, he sympathized with the Kurdish peshmerga (freedom fighters) and risked his life opposing the dictator’s genocide against the Kurds.

In 1995, Yassin married and made the wrenching decision to leave his beloved Kurdistan for Syria. Although he worked full-time to support his growing family, he managed to graduate from Abu Noor University in Damascus with a degree in Islamic studies. But Kurds had no freedom or rights in Syria, and in 1999 the stateless family was given refugee status by the UN and sent to Albany, New York to begin a new life in America. An immigrant once more, Yassin worked at several low-paying, often temporary jobs until he was appointed imam of Masjid as-Salam (House of Peace), a small Albany mosque. The 2004 FBI raid on the mosque and Yassin’s arrest, which was nationally reported as a victory in the “war on terror,” and his trial and conviction in 2006, tore his family, the mosque, the community, and the city apart.

Son of Mountains is divided into five parts, each subdivided by chapters and stories. The book runs chronologically, beginning in Iraqi Kurdistan with stories of Yassin’s family, childhood, young adulthood, and marriage, all set against the backdrop of the oppression of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Yassin describes surviving the Anfal operation (the Kurdish genocide) in 1988–1989; fleeing with other Kurds to Iran in 1991 when the Iraqi army once again pursued them; and witnessing Kurdistan’s subsequent economic, political, and social ruin.

 The story then moves to Syria, where Yassin and his family spent four years in exile; to America and Albany, where, after 9/11, “the walls could see and hear” to the Rensselaer County Jail, where Yassin lived for eighteen months from 2004 to 2006 and wrote stories about his experiences and his fellow inmates; to “Beyond the Walls,” a short compilation on such topics as the teachings of Islam, human rights, Martin Luther King, social justice, the tragedy of Iraq, the dream of Kurdish independence, and the rule of law in America.

    The book concludes with an outspoken essay by volunteer lawyer Stephen Downs that details how the government’s case against Yassin was not a sting but a frame-up, with lives, families, and Constitutional rights sacrificed to America’s post-9/11 climate of fear.

By the end of this extraordinary memoir, filled with the peaceful, practical morality of Islam as well as Yassin’s lively humor, the reader will understand why he is no terrorist, and how grave an injustice has been done.
Memoir/autobiography


Publication date: March 10, 2008
544 pages, paperback, photographs and photo insert ISBN: 978-1-933994-30-7 First edition of 750 copies, printed by The Troy Book Makers
Price: $27.00

Where to purchase Son of Mountains after March 10, 2008:
Book House, Stuyvesant Plaza, Western Avenue and Fuller Road, Albany, New York or order online at http://www.bhny.com
 
Market Block Books, Third and River Streets, Troy, New York or order online at http://www.marketblockbooks.com
         
The Bookloft, Barrington Plaza, Route 7, Great Barrington, Massachusetts or order online at http://www.thebookloft.com
 
Open Door Bookstore, 128 Jay Street, Schenectady, New York (in-store sales only)
 
Order online through The Troy Book Makers at http://www.tbmbooks.com
 
Order online through Amazon.com Shops: http://www.amazon.com/shops/sandave3 Search on “Son of Mountains”
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #3 on: Mar 12, 2008 04:15 AM »

Convicted in terror sting, Aref tells his story in book
Gazette Reporter

Just two weeks before his appeal is scheduled to be heard in federal court
in Manhattan, Yassin Aref’s memoir was released Monday, in which he tells
the story of his life as a Kurd from northern Iraq, recounts his
conviction on charges of supporting terrorism, and proclaims his
innocence.

Aref, a Muslim cleric, wrote his memoirs in five months while he was in
the Rensselaer County Jail after he was convicted in October 2006 in a
terrorist plot.

Aref and co-defendant Mohammed Hossain were arrested in an FBI sting
operation in Albany and each was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
Aref is serving his sentence at the Communication Management Unit of the
federal prison at Terre Haute, Ind.

Aref’s attorney, Kathy Manley, who helped Aref get the book published,
said Monday the appeal is based on lack of evidence, warrantless
wiretapping during the trial and a violation of the Sixth Amendment.
She also said that during the trial, the judge told jurors there was good
reason the government decided to target Aref and the jury was therefore
afraid to acquit him.

Manley, along with attorney Stephen Downs and Jeanne Finley, worked with
Aref during the past year to edit and publish "Son of Mountains, My Life
as a Kurd and a Terror Suspect." It was unveiled during a news conference
Monday at the Masjid As-Salam mosque on Central Avenue.
Finley, a member of the Muslim Solidarity Committee, who edited the book,
said Aref is not just an author, and "Son of Mountains" is not just
another memoir. It is the story of a life in Kurdistan, Syria, Albany and
then in prison.

"A life we in comfortable America can hardly imagine,’ she said.
She described Aref as a peaceful Kurd from Iraq. "Looking back on this
process, which took a year, I think we editors can say the main reason he
wrote it is that he still trusted Americans enough that they would read it
and get some benefit from it — his way of saying ‘I hope you like this.’ "
She said fiction put Aref in prison and "Son of Mountains" is not fiction,
but his life. "It’s the other story, the true story, the story that wasn’t
told in the media or in his trial. This time no one made up character line
plot or code words."

Federal prosecutors painted a far different picture during the trial in
2006 and say Aref was targeted for the FBI investigation after his contact
information was found at three suspected terrorist camps in Iraq. He was
acquitted of 20 of the 30 counts against him, but he was convicted of
conspiring to launder $50,000 for a government informant, who he believed
had sold a surface-to-air missile to the Jaish-e Mohammed terrorist group
for an attack on a Pakistani official in New York City, which formed the
heart of the government’s case.

At the trial, a videotape of the informant showed Hossain but not Aref
what he said was the missile and its shoulder-held launcher.
In reality there was no missile, it was a fabrication as part of the sting
operation.

Federal prosecutors said after the conviction that Aref and Hossain were
"provided a choice" and that they’d expect most American citizens to step
away and contact the authorities, but Aref and Hossain didn’t.
Shamshad Ahmad, president of Masjid As-Salam, said Monday the release of
Aref’s book was an exciting but sad occasion. He said Aref was imam of the
mosque and a revered member of the community.
Transgressions occurred against Aref and Hossain and against the Muslim
community, the mosque, the society of this country and U.S. Constitution,
he said.

Muslims are part of this country, this society. "We are here to live, we
are not terrorists. We are normal, regular people — perhaps better than
any other people in this society. We want to contribute to this society
and take the benefit from this society and want our children to grow
here."

In his book Aref writes: " As God is my witness, I assure you and all of
the American people that I did nothing against them, and I had no will or
intention to harm them in any way. I came to this country only for my
children’s future — God bless you all, and God bless this country."
An Iraqi Kurd, Aref grew up in poverty under the rule of Saddam Hussein,
and said in his book: "I have the whole of Kurdistan and all of my people
with me in my tiny cell at the jail."

"I have always looked at my pen as my weapon. I consider myself a
peshmerga," he writes, using the Kurdish word for "one who faces death," a
Kurdish soldier, "but I fight my battles with my pen."
Aref’s appeal will be heard by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New
York City on March 24.

The Muslim Solidarity Committee, which formed in October 2006 to help
support Aref and Hossain, their families and the Muslim community, will be
sending a bus to New York for its members for the March 24 hearing.
Aref’s book is available for sale at Book House in Albany; Market Block
Books in Troy; The Book Loft in Great Barrington, Mass.; and Open Door
Bookstore in Schenectady.

It can also be ordered online through The Troy Book Makers, the printing
company in Troy that designed and printed 750 copies of the first edition.
After expenses, all proceeds from sales will go to the Aref Children’s
Fund to benefit Aref’s four young children.
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #4 on: Mar 12, 2008 04:36 AM »

Here is a link to the excellent story WAMC played today about
Yassin's book.

You need QuickTime to play it.

Click this link!
http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-684859.mp3

or, try this link:
http://publicbroadcasting.net/wamc/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1241914

Its really good!
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #5 on: Mar 16, 2008 10:35 AM »

salam,

I started reading the book last night and I'm just so amazed. I read some of the original chapters right after they were written and remember being similarly affected. It's not fancy stylized fiction like the kite runner, but it is just as compelling if not more so for being completely real. I wouldn't have thought an immigrant imam could be such a good writer, and yes even though the english was heavily edited, he is a good writer and has a definite soul of a poet. He starts out with anecdotes and stories from his childhood in Kurdistan. Sometimes one is so amusing you just laugh at the end like you just read a good Hodja story. Then sometimes you read one and you just don't know what to do except cry. I defy anyone to read this book and not cry at least once. What can we say about the age we live in where men like this are locked up and write such painful, touching autobiographies from behind prison walls?

Well this is just a note to encourage you to get the book for yourself and read it. I'll review the whole thing when I'm done inshaAllah.
Faizah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
Faizah has no influence :(
Posts: 365



« Reply #6 on: Mar 16, 2008 02:20 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

I'm just about finished reading.  Cry just once you say?  Not possible to shed tears only once.  I agree, it is a must read.  The lessons and values that come through as well serve to put one's own life into a different perspective.

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah
Faizah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
Faizah has no influence :(
Posts: 365



« Reply #7 on: Mar 16, 2008 04:56 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

Just an update; I'm now finished reading the book.  Time now to collect my thoughts for my own review.  Locally, people plan to gather in early April for a discussion on it.

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #8 on: Mar 19, 2008 09:48 AM »

Salaam,

Some people were asking me about the prices so here they are:

The book is $27 (US money). This may seem like a lot for people who don't regularly buy books, but this is a good price for a paperback that is 500 pages! Also the money does go to the children who have no source of support right now. The book weighs maybe 3 or 4 pounds? so I'd say it'd be like maybe $3-5 to send it around the US and $10 to send to the UK?? If you can send me a check or I think I still have paypal? I'll send it to you inshaAllah.

I wish I could send them free to everyone because it is really worth it, but I hope some of you can buy it and perhaps share it with family and neighbors and mosque. I think the book is excellent for non-Muslims too. I plan to write a detailed review and include how the book was conceived and came into being, but I'm still recovering from reading it and perhaps too emotional -- and am way busy this week, but perhaps on the weekend!


Jazakallah khair,
wsalaam


Faizah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
Faizah has no influence :(
Posts: 365



« Reply #9 on: Mar 19, 2008 10:38 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

I wrote a review, more in the style of a "how it made me feel" style, rather than a point-by-point "cliff notes" style.  This review will shortly be posted on Amazon.com as there is a seller that has agreed to sell the book at list price and the review will also be posted on the website that has been set up for Yassin. 

I've included my review below. 

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah

~~~~~~~


"Son of Mountains" is a first hand account of Yassin Aref, through his eyes, his mind and his heart.  It is the story of triumph over tragedy, courage in the face of uncertainty, determination even when others felt there was no point.  Through not only the recollection of his life, but also through his poetry one cannot help but see that he is a gentle spirit that sought only to "be" and to "become" to the best of his abilities, availing himself of every positive opportunity that he was blessed to have. 
 
"Son of Mountains" is also a story that reflects the beauty that life can give without need for things but rather for people and an identity that is accepted not rejected. This is a story not only of one man, one family, but of a people.  A people who were denied the basic liberties that all others are afforded; a homeland, a country; a chance to peacefully exist.
 
Aref recounts his life growing up in conditions and situations that most of us cannot even imagine, yet he (and his people) are strong and wise.  He recounts his time in Syria as a struggling student and then as a family man who took his responsibilities to his family seriously and to heart and worried that perhaps he could have done more.  Yet his wife stood by him, encouraged him and never complained.  That speaks volumes to the quality character of the Kurdish people.  He recounts coming to America, the place often viewed by many as the "land of opportunity" and how his outlook and determination did not change even when the reality that the roads are not "paved with gold" was clear and how that too concerned him and left him wondering had he done what was best for his family.
 
Aref speaks of what happened that has landed him where he is now; in jail and far from the family he loves so dearly and that loves him.  Far from the community that has come to know and respect him.   How can doing one's job, fulfilling one's religious obligation, trying to care for one's family by his own accord, be a wrong thing?  How does that justify being followed, having his phone and home monitored?  What would lead anyone to believe that someone who had come through things that most of us will never know, throw the opportunity to start a new life in a new country away?  Do these things really happen in America, the only homeland I've ever known?  Clearly it does and that frightens me and should frighten anyone else of conscience and heart. 
 
Despite the wrongs done to him, Aref does not speak critically of the US - nor has he ever - but just wonders why.  Why him?  He wonders this not for himself so much, but rather to answer his children; for they, like him, are victims of this injustice. 
 
This book made me cry because my heart was breaking.  It was breaking over what Aref (and the Kurdish people) endured for no reason other than they were Kurdish.  How it seems that for so long the world turned its back on them and pretend that they didn't exist or that the situation wasn't what it really was.  The courage shown speaks so much about faith - true faith - that is not separated from one's character but is an integral part of it.  While the places may be different from what we know in the US, anyone that knows history knows that such harshness has been given to other groups before for the same "non reason", that they "weren't like everyone else" and therefore "less than". 
 
The arrest and conviction of Aref and Mohammed Hossain, not only victimized them and their families but victimized an entire community - the Muslims in Albany.  Sadly, theirs are not the only sad stories, nor are they the only victims.  In so many communities around the nation Muslim men have been accused, tried, convicted and separated from their families.  By extension their entire communities have been victimized and thus the entire Muslim community.  I ask again, is this really happening here?  In the only country I've ever known? 
 
The editors did an excellent job in formatting this book and consulted with Aref at every stage.  It is written so wonderfully that one can close their eyes and see the places he has seen.  I say that "Son of Mountains" is a "must read", not because  I live in Albany (although I do), nor because I'm Muslim (although I am), but simply because I'm a mother, a person with a heart, someone who recalls the stories of my own family and I'm an American and cannot let what has gone on here pass into history without being known.  Many of the negatives in the history of this nation have been treated this way and the results are still felt and it does not feel good. 
a_desert_rose
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 0
a_desert_rose has no influence :(
Posts: 310



« Reply #10 on: Mar 20, 2008 07:00 PM »


Jazakallah for that great review sis. Faizah.

Jannah: I'll PM you my details inshallah although I don't know how to use Paypal so it'll have to be a cheque.

I'm just gonna wait a few more days to see if amazon.co.uk have it

Wassalam,

a_desert_rose
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #11 on: Mar 22, 2008 06:14 AM »

wsalam,

They are selling it through Borders/Amazon now! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933994304/

A desert rose maybe you can send amazon UK this link and see if they can get it for u! The shipping would be wayy less right?

ws

BUY the book everyone and please read it and post your reviews!!!
Faizah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
Faizah has no influence :(
Posts: 365



« Reply #12 on: Mar 22, 2008 04:16 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

It's excellent that there's an additional Amazon seller.  The original printing I think was 750 copies.  It would be most excellent if a 2nd printing is needed.  Also as I understand it there is a Kurdish organization that will be posting information on the book which will certainly increase the information network on its publication. 

In hindsight I should have picked up 2 additional copies instead of 1.  I will be sending my extra copy to my Dad who is in Trnidad.  By having an additional copy I could then loan it out since I know a few people that want to read it.   I'm a bit reluctant to loan out my copy since it has a message from Yassin in it, as it was a gift.  The last time two times I loaned out books I never got them back and it's not always easy to replace items.

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah
Faizah
Sis
Sr. Member
*

Reputation Power: 3
Faizah has no influence :(
Posts: 365



« Reply #13 on: Mar 24, 2008 10:37 PM »

As salaamu alaikum

Just an update on shipping information.  The cost for first class mailing to Trinidad was $14.45.

As salaamu alaikum

Fa'izah
jannah
Administrator
Hero Member
*****

Reputation Power: 277
jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!jannah is awe-inspiring mA!
Posts: 7133


I heart the Madina


WWW
« Reply #14 on: Mar 31, 2008 07:07 AM »

Salam here's my review:

Son of Mountains
My Life as a Kurd and a Terror Suspect

A Review

By me

When I first heard about this book I thought it would be a detailed play-by-play of the cat and mouse game of the FBI versus the author and how he finally ended up in prison. Then I thought it might be a book about how our civil liberties are being eroded or perhaps about how Muslims are being stereotyped as terrorists and persecuted. 

Then, I started reading.

From the very first line of the book where the author introduces himself in the first person I was drawn in. And I wasn’t able to let go until I read the very last lines of his “jail stories” almost 500 pages later. I laughed at his amusing anecdotes and witty jokes. I imagined his childhood world complete with village characters. I was touched when he talked about sleeping in his mother’s lap under the Kurdish sun and cried when his father died. I was anxious for him to escape his war-torn life and felt idyllic with him when he worked as a gardener in a beautiful villa in Damascus. I attended his wedding and wanted to throw rice as he left for a new life as a newlywed. I was excited for him when he found out he was coming to the United States as part of a United Nations program for refugees. I laughed at his confusion over Albania and Albany and as he detailed his ‘coming to America’ encounters. Towards the very end of the book I was almost surprised when he was abruptly arrested and put in jail. I had almost forgotten what this book was about. 

The last chapter at the end includes a detailed report about the evidence and trial by one of his lawyers.

I did not think the author would be a good writer, but the editors have fine tuned the writing so it makes sense to English readers and it happens that his story is just so compelling you cannot help being engrossed.

I am very happy that this book has been written, because this is the story of one Muslim’s life at the beginning of this new century in our post 9-11 era. His story while of one man is the story of many Muslims across the world. But this is the first time an autobiography of this depth and length has been brought to publishing light in the English language.
 
It’s a book that is so powerful and detailed and emotional that I defy anyone to read it without coming to tears at least once. A book that I hope will one day be read in schools, like Anne Frank, as an example of the period we lived in, where persecution of Muslims while rampant is denied. A testimony to the times we live in where only history will show what injustice was done.

There are many others, of course. Countless stories of Muslims going through trials and tribulations. Innocent men being detained, locked up, tortured, harassed. Families torn apart. Police-state tactics, crimes being manufactured. Men being targeted and arrested before they have even committed a crime.

We have heard of Rendition’s Maher Arar, Brandon Mayfield, Sami al-Arain, James Yee. Now add Yassin Aref and read his autobiography.

*Son of Mountains is available via Amazon/Borders.





Pages: [1]   Go Up
Print
Jump to: