The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker

Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe – Nation Books (2011)

The Hour of Sunlight

A story unlike any I’ve ever read.

Told from the first person by a Palestinian from East Jerusalem who landed in an Israeli prison for 10 years after joining his young teenage friends in an act of resistance to the Occupation. This book is a fast-paced journey that kept me turning pages and losing the time of day from beginning to end. First, the author’s personal journey; second, an historical journey of the Israel/Palestine “conflict”; and third, a spiritual journey of healing and growth.

Sami Al Jundi, with the help of his friend and co-author Jen Marlowe, shares his childhood memories of June 5, 1967 when the war broke out and his family fled their home in the Old City of Jerusalem; his tempestuous teenage years which put him in prison; his adjustment to life again when he returned home; and the work with Seeds of Peace that gave his life purpose and meaning.

This book grabbed my heart and took me soaring with happiness and joy, and diving with sadness and despair. Maybe I should let it “sink in” before writing my review but my immediate reaction reflects honesty —- and the Middle East needs alot more honesty like the kind these authors have shared in “The Hour of Sunlight.”

I’m not going to spill the beans and share many of the details or how the book ends because I think one of the strengths of the book is how the authors pull the reader through the story, shedding light and new insights chronologically. But I’m ordering 6 copies, sending 4 to friends in the U.S. who must read this book, and taking 2 with me to Gaza.

Thank you — Shukran — to Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe for opening a whole new window of understanding for me about the Israel/Palestine struggle and how it touches humanity on both sides of the Green Line.

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