Because Each Life Is Precious: Why an Iraqi Man Risked Everything for Private Jessica Lynch Hardcover – Nov 2003
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“Genuinely riveting.” (Newsweek)
“A remarkable story.” (Wall Street Journal)
About the Author
Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaif is a 33-year-old Iraqi attorney who plunged into the middle of the biggest story of the recent war in Iraq: the rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch. Granted asylum in the U.S. in April for his extraordinary act of courage, Mohammed is now employed by The Livingston Group, a lobbying firm in Washington, DC. He resides outside the city with his wife, Iman, and their six-year-old daughter, Abir.
Top Customer Reviews
The humble and precise title answers the question "why would this Iraqi man named Mohammed risk his life and his family's life for someone he didn't even know"? Why risk capture and certain death by the Fedayeen who watched his suspicious activity so carefully?
I so loved this story because human to human there is more to bind us than separate us. Where few Islamic extremists have given us fear of muslims, this wonderful story offers us the real insight into the core teachings of the Koran....... each life is precious.
Read this and savor it for it's humanity at it's worst and best all woven into one series of truly heroic events.
Who would ever have imagined that an Iraqi citizen would knowingly risk losing everything, including his own life and the lives of his family, in order to save one soldier; a soldier whose country was then engaged in bombing his city to pieces. Here, however, we are forced to believe it, simply because we know that it is true.
It has been pointed out that Mr. Al-Rehaief is given but brief mention in her own book, but the fact is that Pfc Jessica Lynch does express that she will be forever grateful to him. That she does not recall the events as he describes them should come as no surprise, since she was barely conscious of anything except pain during her captivity. By Pfc Lynch's own admission, it is unlikely that she would be alive today if it had not been for the efforts of this Iraqi civilian, and his success in reaching the US Marines, stationed outside the city as they continued their attack.
Maybe it is through his family that we can glean some insight into the character of Mr. Al-Rehaief and where his strong moral values originate: As the book ends, the rest of his family, headed by his father, the son of a sheikh, are waiting in international limbo, not knowing what will happen to them next. They have lost everything. Yet I detect no sentiment of regret, complaint or accusation in their descriptions of the hardships caused by the loss of their entire way of life. Such unselfishness seems unfathomable, but again we are forced to believe it, simply because it is true.
Who among us...?
In addition to giving us the details of Mr. al-Rehaief's part in saving Jessica Lynch, a story that has all in's and out's of any first-rate suspense novel, roughly a third of the book is about the author's life before Jessica Lynch--his childhood, adolescence, marriage, his hatred of the Saddam Hussein dictatorship. "In adolescence I grew more subversive. I'd make fun of Saddam's crooked mouth, mimicking him before my friends. Or we'd find an empty classroom at recess, load spitballs onto rubber bands, and fire away at the president's picture." Always known as a "long tongue," the author was always getting both himself and his family in trouble. A thirty-three-year-old Shiite from Nasiriya, Mr. al-Rehaief is an expert in kung fu, a skill that saved his life on more than one occasion. Though trained a a lawyer he no longer practiced as he says in a country where there is no law. Although from an affluent family, the author learned early on from his beloved father that "there is no shame in being poor" and "each life is precious." Mr. al-Rehaief is a very fluent storyteller with a good sense of humor. While a Muslim, he is not a fanatical fundamentalist and admits that he has never been able to fast an entire month for Ramadan. In a word, he's someone you'd want to invite to a dinner party.
Mr.Read more ›
The book tells the whole amazing story, along with a vivid description of life (and death) in Saddam's Iraq. For such a heavy subject matter, the writing style is easy and casual and even manages a few glimpses of humor.
Mohammed claims that as a boy he idolized John Wayne as "a hero with a big heart", but the real hero with the big heart is Mohammed al-Rehaief. Welcome to America, Mohammed. May you and your family find peace, freedom and prosperity here. And may your country find the same.
Most recent customer reviews
So many reviews seem to center around whether the events were true or not or with they agree with Lynch's account. Read morePublished on May 31 2004
This book is destined to be a classic, in several genres. If you start reading it, be sure you can afford the time to read it all the way through -- it's hard to set down. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2003 by D. Fafarman
Fasciating and beautifully written story about a real hero Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, who put his life and the life of his family in tremendous jeopardy to save the life of an... Read morePublished on Nov. 20 2003 by nilda del ciello
Wonderful book and it gives you hope that everyone in the world is not evil. That there are still those who care about others. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2003
Mohammed's account, of course, is verified by many eyewitnesses. The only part that can't be verified by eyewitnesses is where he said he saw Ms. Lynch slapped. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2003
If you have seen the recent interview of Jessica Lynch by Diane Sawyer....you will realize that Mohammed is a downright LIAR and has fabricated his story to make himself out to be... Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2003 by Bixbey
I read this book in a couple of sittings because it was surprisingly good. I liked finding out about life in Iraq through this good man's life. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2003 by Jean Bennett
I bought this book figuring the author did something profoundly decent and it wouldn't kill me to boost his income in way of thanks. It turned out to be a surprisingly good book. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2003 by B. L. Vakos
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