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This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women


This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women Cover




Finding the Strength to Fight Our Fears

Terry Ahwal

I believe in ?ghting fear.
When I was eleven years old and living under the Israeli occupation, I took a chance and after curfew I ran to visit my grandmother who lived two blocks away from us. On the road I had to hide under a truck to avoid soldiers who were coming my way. For twenty minutes I lay there in utter fear watching their boots walk back and forth in front of the truck. My heart was pounding so fast and loud that I was afraid one of the soldiers would hear it and I would be killed instantly.
To calm myself, I started begging God to take mercyon me and save me from these men and their guns. I remembered the words of my mother after Israeli soldiers beat my father. She told us to put our fear and anger aside and pray for the poor soldiers, who were also afraid because they were away from their homes in Israel.
I began to feel bad for the soldiers. I wondered: Where do they sleep and are they afraid of little children like me? What kind of food do they eat? Do they have big or small families? Their voices began to remind me of my neighbors. My fear dissipated a bit as I pictured the soldiers as people I knew. Although my twenty minutes under the truck seemed like an eternity, I believe that shedding my fear literally saved my life.
Thirty- six years later I look around and see another kind of devastation created by fear. I saw the collapse of my city, Detroit, when so many white people ?ed the city out of fear. After 9/11, the Arab and Muslim communities segregated themselves because of the level of suspicion directed at them from others. Fear of association because of ethnicity led many to retreat within themselves and their community. They stopped socializing with non- Arab/ Muslim colleagues and neighbors. Once again, we allow differences to separate us because of fear.
When I was hiding under that truck, if my terror had made me lose control and I had started to cry, the jittery soldiers might have pulled the trigger because of their own fears. Thank God I lived to wonder about this. I understood as a child that fear can be deadly.
I believe it is fear we should be ?ghting, not the “other.” We all belong to the same human tribe; that kinship supersedes our differences. We are all soldiers patrolling the road, and were all little children hiding under the truck.
Terry Ahwal was born in the West Bank city of Ramallah, and now lives with her family near Detroit. She is development director for the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, and teaches classes in nonviolent communication at Madonna University. Ahwal said her husbands family is Jewish and that Thanksgiving in their house hold is a mix of Jews and Arabs coming together with no uneasiness.

Excerpted from This I Believe II by Jay Allison.

Copyright © 2009 by by Jay Allison.

Published in July 2009 by Henry Holt and Company.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Product Details

Allison, Jay
Henry Holt & Company
Gediman, Dan
Botein, Emily
Atwan, Robert
ison, Jay
Sullivan, John Jeremiah
Jay, Allison
Strayed, Cheryl
Dan Gediman
Gediman, Dan
Motivational & Inspirational
Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Personal growth
Inspiration & Personal Growth
Self-Help : General
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Best American
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.00 x 5.25 in

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Product details 272 pages Henry Holt and Co. - English 9780805090895 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Featuring contributions from 80 Americans--from the famous to the unknown--this series of insightful observations completes the thought that the book's title introduces. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they arrive at their own personal beliefs but also how they share them with others.
"Synopsis" by , A new collection of inspiring personal philosophies from another noteworthy group of people

This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventyfive essayists ranging from famous to previously unknown completing the thought that begins the book's

"Synopsis" by ,

Pulphead author John Jeremiah Sullivan, "among the best young non-fiction writers in English"  (The New York Times), picks the year's best essays selected from hundereds of magazines, journals, and websites.

"Synopsis" by , A collection of the year's best essays culled from periodicals.
"Synopsis" by , Selected and introduced by Cheryl Strayed, the New York Times best-selling author of Wild and the writer of the celebrated column “Dear Sugar,” this collection is a treasure trove of fine writing and thought-provoking essays.
"Synopsis" by , “A creature from an alternative universe . . . wanting to understand what is on the American mind should rush to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of this distinguished anthology . . . Exhilarating.” — Publishers Weekly

The Best American Essays 2014 is selected and introduced by John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of  the critically acclaimed essay collection Pulphead. The New York Times placed Sullivan “among the best young nonfiction writers in English” and the New York Times Book Review heralded Pulphead as “the best, and most important, collection of magazine writing since Wallaces A Supposedly Fun Thing Ill Never Do Again.”

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