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This was a book that confirmed my impressions about blind hatred and how much damage it can do. I found it so sad that the family who were the "protagonists" of the story, that of Haj Ibrahim, were all victims of the hatred that they espoused and continued. One by one, the children died due to savagery on the part of their own people, not the Israelis. There were a number of references in the book to the fact that the Arabs really had very little problem with the "Jews" but had a lot of problems with their own people. The notion that one was raised from infancy to hate a people for no reason blew me away, though I have known for some time that this happens. It is like a family feud that is fuelled by nothing but a history of the feud itself. Many of the Arabs refused to take supplies offered by the Jews so as not to give them the impression that they needed them in order to survive. And yet, the Arabs in this story fed on hatred and it ultimately consumed them in both a spiritual and physical sense. There were very disturbing parts of this book but I feel it was probably fairly accurate. I am sure that there are people who would think that this book was biased. I do not think so. The Haj was a very good book and a sad story of a family self-destructing.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Haj in three words, what would they be?
What other book might you compare The Haj to and why?
Exodus tells about the plight of the Jewish people without a land
Haj is a story about the Arabs who have land they do not use or cultivate
The clash of the two cultures is heartbreaking
What does Neil Shah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Great! Very articulate - acting out the voices beautifully - one does not have to figure out who is talking because Neil Shah so easily takes on a different voice for each character- even the women. Wonderful Reader!
If you could rename The Haj, what would you call it?
Arab Assumptions and Chaos
4 of 4 people found this review helpful