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From Beirut to Jerusalem

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  536 ratings  ·  94 reviews
This is the story of Dr Ang Swee Chai, a Penang-born orthopaedic surgeon, and her flight to war-torn Lebanon in 1982 to treat the wounded and dying. This new edition, twenty years after the Zionist terrorism in Shabra and Shatila which killed thousands of Palestinian civilians, is a tribute to the ongoing struggle against Zionist occupation in the Holy Lands.
Paperback, 346 pages
Published July 20th 2007 by Islamic Book Trust (first published 1989)
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Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An honest - at times touching, at times horrifying - eyewitness account by a Christian British-Singaporean woman surgeon on the Sabra and Shatila massacres and what followed them. A heavy read, but also an amazing, amazing, amazing book that gives you hope - there are still some good people out there.

"I am not an Arab, nor am I a Muslim. I am not a European, and I have neither the difficulty of living with the guilt of Nazism, nor the responsibility for the British Mandate in Palestine. For me,
Syed Fathi
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sad, angry, depressed, hopeful, were few of the thousands of emotions aroused reading ‘From Beirut to Jerusalem’, a memoir by Ang Swee Chai. Through her passion, love, perseverance, bravery, and determination, the world is indeed greatly indebted for her work both as a doctor and also as a witness to the massacre suffered by Palestinian refugee in Sabra-Shatila during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Her maternal grandfather was a conservative and traditionalist, he believed that an educa
Heart-wrenching. If you read and you don't feel a thing, then something must have gone really wrong with either your head or your heart.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
Simply put, I don't like books pretending to tell history while they are full of lies and political views.
If you want to know the truth about what happened in Sabra and Shatila, simply go to wikipedia.
The "zionists" did not murder all those people, the Lebanese did. To be more accurate, it was the Christian Lebanese who murdered all those people as revenge for the assassination of their leader who became the president of Lebanon.
Muhammad Faez
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Even if the newspapers won't print our story, it will still be written: it will be written with the blood of our martyrs.

Tariq RAfique
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all my followers on facebook
Recommended to Tariq by: No one. I have met and admired Dr. Ang Swee Chai
As most of its readers - bar one from ironically South Africa who seeks to defend the racist apartheid and cruel fanatic regime of Israel - I found this book a totally truthful and accurate depiction of what was an indefensible slaughter of men women and children in Sabra Chatilla by the Falangists, a 'christian' militia aided and abetted by Ariel Sharon's IDF - another brutal and cowardly army which dropped cluster, white phosphorus, and 'vacuum' bombs on civilian areas and on palestinian run h ...more
Khaled Talib
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Like the good doctor, I am a Singapore citizen, so this book is refreshing. However, it is a sad memoir. It will open your eyes and declutter the prejudiced mind.
Zeina Baghdadi
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A life changing
Judith Huang
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-not-owned
This incredible memoir about a Singaporean exile who became a champion for the Palestinians after serving as a war doctor in the conflict zone is one of the most inspiring accounts of resilience, idealism and renewal as well as faith in action. Ang Swee Chai really should be our first Nobel laureate. #singlit #singlitftw #bookreview #bookcover #bookstagram #judreads #whatareyoureadingsg @readingnationsg
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Singaporeans looking for a hero
Recommended to Letitia by: Choon Hwee
Utterly inspirational. Dr. Ang, a.k.a. "Doctora Swee" is intelligent, precise, humble, and a person of great compassion (both for the Palestinians and for the Israelis, and the Lebanese and Syrians and everyone caught in between). She’s done so much for the Palestinians, she even received the Star of Palestine from Yasser Arafat. It’s a transformative, universal story because Dr. Ang went into the conflict with no political preconceptions – in fact, she believes God called her to it – and ended ...more
My friend told me about how she met Dr. Ang Swee Chai accidentally in toilet without knowing who she really is. At that time, she already past 50 and has been famous for her charity works and bravery in helping people especially in Palestine. Reading her book is like reading what's been kept deep in her heart. Intense and personal but you can sense the sincerity of hers via this. I am glad and proud that she is part malaysian and still consider herself one. I cried most when she described Shatil ...more
Annisa Anindita
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me this book was amazing! Totally amazing!

The condition of my brothers and sisters in Palestine, Lebanon were just headlines before I read this book. After reading this book, I keep questioning how on earth could something so cruel happen in this world?

This book gave me a great picture of how Palestinians had to live their lives. I totally admire the women in this book. How they were all brave, smart, and kind-hearted.

Totally a must read book for girls, women, muslims, peace-lovers... This
Helga Soenimanggar
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
dr. Ang lee,, you are the inspiration to make good will and make me thingking what i can do for people and make them feel their not lonely and still have people that care about them. good book of the doctor in Beirut,Lebanon in the civil war area, how the medic people fighting to rescue live and while outside of hospital building people hunting to killed more people. ironic of war. and childrens more suffered than us in that situation. can you imagine you need to rescue somebody but with limited ...more
Fray Close
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was such a hard book I have ever read. I wanted to know the story of Sabra and Shatila, it isn't something that we learn about here. I ended up finding this book. This is the most heartfelt empathetic story, it isn't about numbers and statistics, it's about people with names and families. I had panic attacks through it, my gut wrenched. I can't recommend this book enough. It should still be in print, I don't understand why it isn't. Even an ebook version would be good.
I ever hear about Lebanon before but after I read this book, I really realise how cruel they destroy lebanon, and what is that for? nothing......But I admire the struggle of Swee Ang Chai, Lebanon and Palestina people, the destroyed but they rise again and again...Salute swee Ang Chai for what did you done
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have listen to story on wars, see the photo of wars.

This books give war a different meaning. a depth meaning. that war is not just a word. there is so much things about war, there is so much death,suffering and misery.

Youngsters should read this book, so when they heard of dispute, they know what it can end like, and hopefully motivated to have no war.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
it's written in such that makes every1 touched
(sad + sympathy=empathy).There are depicted how the ppl cope with their lives after the israelis invade their's writen from the first prsn pt. of view~Dr.Ang Swee Chai..a singaporean doctor..
Rion Patria
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a doctor that fight with palestine people during the Israel invasion. The story is very touching. The doctor told us the spirit, effort and worries that comes during the war. This books open our eyes what really happen during the war.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An awesome exposure to the first hand experiences of a volunteer doctor working in the Palestinian camps during the masacres of Sabre and Shatilla and the ensuing sectarian violence that gripped the country.
Michael     Budiman
Sep 22, 2010 is currently reading it
Dr. Ang Swee Chai, is one of human being with big dedication and loyalty for her career and profession. I just cant imagine that must what happen in this land and how brace she was. Inspiring and Strong women.
❀ Hana
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I just wish someone had warned me before - you'll be depressed, and your heart will be broken so many times as you dwell deeper into this book. Nevertheless, I would like to thank you Dr Swee Chai Ang, for this book, written by a truly remarkable woman.
Zuhria Husna
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book raises my awarness about humanism issues that happen right under my nose. Dr. Ang Swee Chai wakes me up that in helping people who are oppressed cannot be limited by different national, religious, or racial backgrounds. As human beings we have to help others no matter what.
Kinjal Palande
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most heart wrenching story..just like dr. Swee said we as the part of first world countries are the most ignorant and forgetful people...and there is absolutely no excuse for negligence...Palestinian history might be written by blood but I hope their future is filled with light ..
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nangis bacanya..
t i n a
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: liz, Sarah, Angela, Kathleen
keep optimist, under control even in very difficult conditions.Forgiveness even to your enemy
Rony Zakaria
Jul 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
A brave experience of Dr. Swee telling us about the cruelty of war. She wrote about her experience in Lebanon when she voluntereed in a medical team during the war.
Nor Haniza
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Read this book 2 years ago. Thanks to Dr Ang for sharing the experience. Feels like going to Palestine ... to help what I can.
Barukisu (Balqis)
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
I've read several pages, it seems like i want to know about this book more, what it's going to tell me... is creeping inside me... here i go....
tough experience during hard times..
Oct 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sudah-dibaca
very inspiring story, how could the world still remains ignorant about the issue until now
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Let's talk books, shall we? As you can imagine, Goodreads editors are voracious readers and there's nothing we like more than talking shop. Seriou...
16 likes · 6 comments
“Mereka punya sebuah mimpi. Dan aku berbagi mimpi itu dengan mereka: mimpi tentang sebuah dunia yang tampak jelas di tengah-tengah semburan gas air mata dan reruntuhan yang berasap di kamp-kamp pengungsi. Sebuah dunia tempat seorang bocah sebelas tahun tak perlu belajar cara menggunakan sepucuk kalashnikov atau mesin peluncur roket untuk membela keluarganya. Sebuah dunia yang damai, adil, dan aman, tempat aku tak perlu mengatakan kepada seorang anak, "Pergilah ke sekolah," hanya untuk mengetahui bahwa sekolahnya telah dibom, atau mengatakan kepada seorang gadis, "Bantulah ibumu menyiapkan makan malam," hanya untuk melihatnya kembali kepadaku dan mengatakan bahwa ibu dan keluarganya telah dibunuh. Sebuah dunia tempat kami tak perlu lagi takut terkubur hidup-hidup di dalam puing-puing. Sebuah dunia tempat aku tak perlu lagi memperbaiki bagian-bagian tubuh yang patah hanya untuk melihatnya dipatahkan lagi, atau memeluk tubuh remuk seorang bocah dengan tanganku dan bertanya, "Mengapa?" atau mendengar orang-orang bertanya, "Berapa lama lagi?" Sebuah dunia tanpa penjara, tanpa penyiksaan, tanpa rasa sakit, tanpa kelaparan, dan tanpa kartu-kartu identitas pengungsi, tempat aku dapat berteduh di rumahku sendiri dan mendengarkan nyanyian ibuku seraya menutup mata di penghujung hari. Tempat itu adalah mimpi kami, Jerusalem kami.” 2 likes
“When the Japanese invaded, informers said mother was an important member of the resistance. She was taken in, badly tortured and never confessed. Her life was spared because the Japanese interrogators could not believe a woman could have held such a key role.

When her children were grown-up, mother would tell us, ‘It’s not as bad as it sounds. The first time, you’re scared you’ll give away your friends. But there comes a point when you pass out. Once that happens, you cannot feel pain anymore. Once you have learnt that, you can beat your torturers.”
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