From FOJ Emily Hauser
For those in the DC area:
Bethesda Jewish Congregation/Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church event with Jen Marlowe
The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker – Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe, co-authors
April 29, 7 pm
6601 Bradley Blvd
As a young Palestinian boy, Sami Al Jundi had one ambition: to help overthrow the Israeli occupation. When a bomb that he was building with friends exploded prematurely, killing one of the teenagers, Al Jundi was sentenced to ten years in Israeli prison. It was while there, unexpectedly, that ideas about nonviolence and reconciliation first took root and changed the course of his battle forever.
THE HOUR OF SUNLIGHT: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker (Nation Books), is Al Jundi’s story of self-discovery, groundbreaking activism, and a tireless struggle for peace, co-authored with American Jewish writer and social justice activist Jen Marlowe.
Recent news reports out of the region have been increasingly discouraging: Negotiations are stalled, and the possibilities for co-existence have never been farther away.
Yet the story of a Palestinian bomb-maker-turned-peace-activist shows just how far people can move, if they choose.
Born to a family of Palestinian refugees in the Old City of Jerusalem, Sami was five years old when Israeli soldiers took over his home after the 1967 war. In moving detail Sami describes how these and other realities of his early years caused his radicalization.
Ironically, it was in an Israeli jail that his personal transformation began: Sami was welcomed into a highly organized, democratic community of prisoners who required that members of their cell read and engage in political discourse on topics ranging from global revolutions to Russian literature. It was here that Sami discovered the works of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sami left prison still determined to fight for his people —but with a very different notion of how to undertake that struggle. He discovered the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence, and later co-founded the Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence. He has kept his faith in reconciliation alive through the most difficult times, remaining determined to inspire a new generation to follow the path of peace and nonviolence.
Co-author Jen Marlowe has known Sami for 13 years, and played a crucial role in his decision to tell the world his story. At a time when the peace process has been stuck, their collaboration is an example of Palestinian and Jewish partnership. Marlowe will read from Sami’s book and discuss his work, answering questions and engaging with the audience on what nonviolent activists like Sami have to offer in the face of on-going Israeli-Palestinian stalemate.
THE HOUR OF SUNLIGHT offers a perspective sorely missing from the media’s portrayal of Palestinians. Marked by honesty, humor, pain, and, ultimately, compassion for all Palestinians and Israelis, THE HOUR OF SUNLIGHT charts an inspiring journey of perseverance and personal transformation. In so doing it illuminates the Palestinian experience through the story of one man’s impassioned struggle for peace with justice.
From FOJ Emily Hauser