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The common reading is The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim. Please see his TedTalk video. Here is a quote from the text, "I’ve spent my life trying to understand what drew my father to terrorism, and struggled with the knowledge that I have his blood in my veins. By telling my story, my intention is to do something hopeful and instructive: to offer a portrait of a young man who was raised in the fires of fanaticism and embraced nonviolence instead. I can’t make any grand claims for myself, but all our lives have themes, and the theme of mine so far is this: Everyone has a choice. Even if you’re trained to hate, you can choose tolerance. You can choose empathy.” The author will be speaking on campus in the Stem Auditorium of the Ogle Center at 7:30pm on October 11, 2016. This event is free and open to the public.

The Terrorist's Son - A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim

Overview of the book: The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim. Simon and Schuster/Ted, 2014 (ISBN #978-1476784809). Zak Ebrahim was only seven years old when, on November 5, 1990, his father, El-Sayyid Nosair, shot and killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League. While in prison, Nosair helped plan the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In one of his infamous video messages, Osama bin Laden urged the world to "Remember El-Sayyid Nosair." For Ebrahim, a childhood amid terrorism was all he knew. After his father’s incarceration, his family moved more than twenty times, haunted by and persecuted for the crimes of his father. Though his radicalized father and uncles modeled fanatical beliefs, the hateful ideas never resonated with the shy, awkward boy. The older he grew, the more fully Ebrahim grasped the horrific depths of his father’s acts. The more he understood, the more he resolved to dedicate his life to promoting peace. In this book, Ebrahim traces his remarkable journey to escape his father’s terrible legacy. Crisscrossing the eastern United States, from Pittsburgh to Memphis, from a mosque in Jersey City to the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa, The Terrorist’s Son is the story of a boy inculcated in dogma and hate—a boy presumed to follow in his father’s footsteps—and the man who chose a different path.

About the author: Zak Ebrahim was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 24, 1983, the son of an Egyptian industrial engineer and an American school teacher. When Ebrahim was seven, his father shot and killed the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. From behind bars his father, El-Sayyid Nosair, co-masterminded the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Ebrahim spent the rest of his childhood moving from city to city, hiding his identity from those who knew of his father. He now dedicates his life to speaking out against terrorism and spreading his message of peace and nonviolence.

View the book review from Washington Post »