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Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life
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Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  481 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
At age 17, Palestinian Tass Saada ran away to become a PLO sniper, onetime chauffeur for Yasser Arafat, and a Muslim immersed in anti-Israeli activity. As a man he moved to America, started a family, and eventually became a Christian. Then he risked retribution as he returned home to share his faith with his family and former boss. Once an Arafat Man is a story of the ulti ...more
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Published October 1st 2008 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 10th 2008)
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Natalie Vellacott
On the face of it this seems to be a miraculous story of redemption--a Muslim Palestinian refuge Fatah fighter becomes a Christian and his life is dramatically changed. Well that is what happens and his conversion seems genuine, proven by the test of time.

However, I was disturbed by the details of the many murders he committed and the fact that he didn't face justice (prison) for them. I realise it was a war situation but some of these people were shot in cold blood. The Bible offers forgiveness
Marja Meijers
Sep 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, okay... I admit, I am fascinated by these testimonies of former terrorists who finally kneel before Jesus and are totally transformed. It gives me hope that ANYTHING can happen in the Middle East. It starts with peace in the heart of men...

This book is an absolute wonderful testimony of what happens when God touches a man's heart... it is a good read, with lots of interesting information about the moslim faith and Middle East culture. Great read, highly recommended!
Aaron Shields
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an awesome story of how amazing God is. Crazy how far Tass came from killing Jews to boldly proclaiming Jesus as Lord in Gaza, and witnessing to Arafat after killing for him. Wow
Dec 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I feel quite ambivalent about this book. The story of the author's life before his conversion is very interesting, and it is remarkable how he was able to change so much after leading a violent, selfish, and dissipated life for so long. However, the extremely evangelical descriptions of Tass's conversion experiences made me squirm. I am uncomfortable with his mention of "the prayer of salvation" - I consider such prayers rather shamanistic - and with his frequent references to God's will, as if ...more
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
"Once an Arafat Man" is a well-written memoir about a man who was born a Muslim in Palestine in 1951, who grew up hating Jews, killed both Jews and Christians, but then later became a Christian and worked to bring reconciliation between Arabs and Jews. It's a fast-paced story that kept my interest from beginning to end.

He described how his family became refugees, why they were moved to Saudi Arabia, what life was like there for Palestinan refugees, how he learned to hate Jews, how he met Yasser
Feb 02, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I misjudged this book from its cover. I am not one who enjoys stories of "born-again" whateveritis. As a result, had to plod through the latter section of the book which had the author kneeling/crying/praying virtually every page... Not my cup of tea...
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Cran
Taysir Saada was born to refugee parents in a Refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. According to the author his parents were asked by the Arab Governments at the time to move from their house aand orange orchards in Jaffo and come back when the Arab armies were victorious. They ended up loosing.His father had bee in the orange business with a Jewish Partner who offered to shelter him when the war started. The father chose Gaza strip. Life in the refugee camp was horrible Tass was born in a tent with i ...more
Bob Hayton
Jan 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life is a fascinating read. As the title indicates, this is a true story of a former Fatah fighter. Tass Saada was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Gaza strip. His parents left their land in Israel at the encouragement of the neighboring Muslim countries. After the failure of the 1948 war, they (with many others) were displaced. He grew up in Saudi Arabia and later Qatar.

Saada, like many young frustrated Palestinians, gr
S.B. Lerner
Oct 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating story of a former PLO sniper who worked directly with Arafat at one point, and then came to the US, became a restaurant entrepreneur, and ultimately underwent conversion to Christianity. It isn't often you hear first hand from a former terrorist about life in the trenches, and the book is worth reading for that alone.
His acclimation to America was also interesting, kind of a self-made man story repeated by thousands of immigrants and always impressive.
Towards the middle-latter par
Lisa Poust
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that makes you contemplate how you live your faith....

After hearing Mr Saada on Focus on the Family I wanted to know more about his life & how he came to Christ. I had heard of Muslims coming to Christ through dreams and Mr. Saada confirmed this and even gave his own rationale as to why God speaks to them this way. His complete about face upon becoming a follower of Jesus Christ with a complete change of heart toward the Jewish people is something that can only be possible with the ch
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an easy read. I found myself very intrigue from the start of the book. Tass depicts his life as a PLO sniper. By keeping an open mind to his lifestyle of killing Israelis, Jews, and even Christians, I was taken back by the magnitude of his life. As a sinner myself, I couldn't help but be disgusted by his wrongdoings. By the Grace of God, Tass found Jesus. He realized that Jesus in the "the way, the Truth, and the life." He was not only forgiven, but God used Tass to change the live ...more
Cody Kerekffy
This is a very amazing and truly inspiring, I highly recommend it. It shows this idea of that we all can change with a little faith. As a christian I understand this. I believe the reason that people aren't open to God is because people are scare and afraid that they are not good enough, not perfect enough, or worthy or something like that. There is one part in the book that I personally love and respect is when Tass is so dedicated in telling his story of christ with others that he slept and tr ...more
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, biog-memoir, 2009
Though the writing is simple, the story is fascinating. This is the true story of Tass Saada, a former PLO sniper who came to faith in Christ. This book is full of amazing, even miraculous, stories (which I won't spoil for you by telling about them.)

Tass now works for a humanitarian organization whose mission it is reconcile the sons of Isaac and the sons of Ishmael.

An interesting and fun read. But the best part for me was the 18th chapter which offered a refreshing biblical look at the current
Tracy Tennant
I like the book because it showed how a person could turn from hate to love, from error to truth, and from a disregard of human life to compassion for others. Author Tass Saada details his life in a destructive ideology and how his life was transformed by the redeeming power of Jesus Christ. Once an "Arafat man," Tass is now a "Jesus man" helping poor and needy children of all faiths in the Middle East, providing them with an education in a safe and loving environment. I thought the book was eng ...more
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author, once a sniper and driver for Arafat and radical Palestinian muslim, came to know Christ as Lord and along with his wife established Hope for Ishmael which endeavors to bring reconciliation between Jews and Arabs. He has a heart for Palestinians. When he first read the Bible he was surprised to learn some history about Arabs. The change in this man's life could have only been accomplished by God. In the beginning of the book he hates and shoots Jews but after his conversion he comes t ...more
Brian John Karcher
Tass has devoted his life to perhaps the biggest, ugliest and deadliest conflict of our time: the Arab-Jew conflict. Tass writes: “I believe that if there were a political answer for this awful deadlock, some bright statesman or scholar would have thought of it by now.” (chapter 18)

Here is the “peace plan like no other” that Tass proposes. I find it based solidly on the gospel of Jesus Christ and deeply moving. I see his Arab-Jew struggle for peace as a model for anyone dealing with division be
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book provides great insight into the root of the struggles and the ongoing hostilities between the Palestinians and Israel. The best aspect of the book is the author's reminder that Jews, Christians and Muslims are spiritual cousins. God loves them all. There is hope for peace in the solution. He models his belief by turning from terrorism, seeking forgiveness for his past acts and truly loving others.

This book helped me better understand the Palestinian situation and how Arabs in general think. The author admits that Muslims are so stubborn that it takes a Saul-of-Tarsus-type vision to convert a Muslim to Christianity. Tass is born in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia 3 months after his family is driven from their home in Palestine. From there he bounced from Saudia Arabia to Syria to Jordan to Qatar as a terrorist for Arafat's Fatah organization. Only Jesus could save Tass from destruction.
Trish Boese
4* This book was enlightening. It's written by a Palestinian Muslim who was a sniper (against Israel), but became a born-again Christian. He is now a strong voice for peace and reconciliation through Jesus Christ. It was interesting reading even though I don't understand all the conflicts in the Middle East.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did Yasser Arafat repent and turn to Jesus before his end? Yes, according to this author. Though that is not at all a main theme of the book, it is an exciting reminder of the power of God and His Gospel to penetrate hearts and hard places.
The author's story helped me understand more about the roots of the Palestinian dilemma. It is easy to see how young men can become radicalized and angry.
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Tim by: Chris Brady
Truly one of the most amazing books I have read to date. Here was a man filled with a seething hate for Jews. Years after immigrating to the U.S., he finds himself on his knees begging the God of Ishmael and Isaac for mercy. Thank you Chris Brady for the recommendation, and thank you Lord, for using this amazing book to soften my heart towards Muslims.
Jeff Earnhardt
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: Shannon Babcock
This read like a Tom Clancy fiction novel. It was an amazing story of the most unlikely person to ever find peace. If he had never found peace, then it would have been the story of millions of other people. Tass showed more courage than I currently have. A great read for sure.
Rushay Booysen
Oct 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the read,the book gave me a better reflection on the war from "within" the Palestine camp.His approach to Love is what amazed me even after hating for so long.The book made me question my love towards others
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a story! I saw this man speak and his account of what he went through is perfectly written in this book. SOMEONE was definitely watching out for this man!
Charlotte Wiebe
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and inspirational. Gave me a real insight into the Middle East Debate. Scripture based and filled with faith this book is a amazing story of the persecuted church we live in today.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. How a former Arafat 'fighter' comes to love, instead of hate. About hope for reconciliation between Arabs and Jews; between Israel and Palestine. Read it for a church class.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly interesting book. I learned a great deal about the Jew/Muslim struggles and controversies. I would recommend this book.
Jody Shee
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This autobiography is amazing. His life went from one extreme to another, and it's all so interesting. I came away with a different, more informed view of the Arabs since that is his heritage.
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Tass Saada is a former Muslim and the founder of Hope for Ishmael, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reconcile Arabs and Jews. Born in 1951 in the Gaza Strip, Saada grew up in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. He worked under Yasser Arafat as a Fatah fighter and sniper. Years after immigrating to America, he became a Christian.
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