Title: The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America
Author: Mohammed Al Samawi
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: April 10, 2018
Source: TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Born in the Old City of
Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was
a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy.
But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the
Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously
believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and
at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an
activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in
Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then
through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his
family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way
of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south
civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran
and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city,
Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed
to his contacts on Facebook.
Miraculously, a handful of people he
barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people
with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across
six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young
man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al
Qaeda operatives from the south."
My Two Cents:
"The Fox Hunt" is the story of Mohammed who dreams of making his home country of Yemen a better place where more young people can succeed and be safe. Yemen is embroiled in a brutal civil war where the lines between the various sides and outside influence from brutal terrorist groups are blurred. Mohammed finds himself in a situation where he needs to desperately get out of the country where there seems to be no clear exit. He will largely have to rely on fate and the kindness of almost strangers to help him get out alive.
This is a truly amazing story that often reads more like a thriller than a true story. Al Samawi spins a great yarn about what his country is facing and what he is facing as an individual. He is one of the lucky ones. There are so many others in his country that have been felled by the violence and never had the chance to even begin to think about escaping the violence. One thing that I kept thinking about throughout the book is how many other Mohammeds are there out there? Individuals with immense promise to make an impact that because of their circumstances are never given the chance to succeed. It's staggering to think about that!
Even for an avid newshound like me, there is still so much that I don't know and am not tracking. The Yemen civil war is one of those subjects that I don't fully understand. This book dives into a little of the history to show how the country got to where it is and made it a lot clearer for me. It's a very sad situation that doesn't seem to be getting a lot of airtime in light of other things going on in other countries in the region.
This is the perfect book to give you more background on the situation on Yemen as well as a harrowing escape story that ends with a lot of promise!