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Committee of One: Making a Difference, One Life at a Time
     

Committee of One: Making a Difference, One Life at a Time

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by Patricia Martin Holt
 

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When I married a retired hydrologist, I had no idea how our travels to the Middle East would change my perspective. Initially interested in the fine crafts of the area, I was led to Leila Wahbeh. The day I met her was the day my life changed forever.

Her story unfolds with her family's flight from Jerusalem to Egypt in 1947 to avoid the terrors of the war

Overview

When I married a retired hydrologist, I had no idea how our travels to the Middle East would change my perspective. Initially interested in the fine crafts of the area, I was led to Leila Wahbeh. The day I met her was the day my life changed forever.

Her story unfolds with her family's flight from Jerusalem to Egypt in 1947 to avoid the terrors of the war with Israel, and their return four years later to find they had lost everything. Despite suffering terrible hardships and deprivations, Leila finishes school and marries a doctor. All goes well until the 1967 War. Her husband, because he renders aid to war victims, is deported, leaving Leila and their four children in Jerusalem as pawns for his good behavior and hers. Despite the probability of her own imprisonment, with circumstances weighed against her, she continues her crusade for the poor.

Leila moves mountains of red tape in her efforts to transform the helpless into the helpful. You'll meet, as I did during our stays, some of the people whose dignity and pride she has single-handedly restored: Um Rafila, born in a cave as her mother fled her village in 1948; Um X who cannot read or write but whose ten children will graduate from college; Um Ghassan, whose piecework provides the medical care needed by her dying pre-school daughter; and Mustafa, a young engineer, who is jailed for preventing renewed garbage dumping at the first cleared site for Leila's new sanitation center in Baqa'a Camp.

With unflagging energy and donations of money and materials, Leila helps her people to become self-sufficient. One family survives, then one hundred. As those one hundred educated families reach out to hundreds more, thousands of families cross the bridges built by a Committee of One.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780985493202
Publisher:
Matriarch Press
Publication date:
09/20/2012
Pages:
182
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.39(d)

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Committee of One: Making a Difference, One Life at a Time 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
richardblake More than 1 year ago
Award winning author Patricia Martin Holt describes the work of Leila Wahbeh among the Palestinian refugee camps north of Ammon, Jordan. “Committee of One” opens the reader to consider the Israeli/Palestinian dilemma in the volatile environment in the Middle East a new awareness. Thousands of Arabs became displaced persons when they fled Palestine during the Israeli-Arab wars of 1948 and 1967. Over 40 years later they remain in refugee camps living in utter destitution where widows are often the sole support of their children. Patricia tells how while visiting in Ammon her interest in the fine crafts of the area but her in touch with Leila Wahbeh. Martin-Holt introduces several persons to illustrate how Leila Wahbeh accomplishes amazing cooperative projects. • Ahmed – a story of survival and achievement • Yahya Wahbeh – (Leila’s husband) a doctor deported to Jordan for providing care for refugees • Mustafa – an engineer and accomplished artist who volunteered to help with a sanitation center • Miss Nazha Khairy, a shop owner who sells the cultural crafts passing all the monies back to the to the creators to nurture initiative • And many, many others The book is thoroughly researched and well documented. The book’s appendix includes important statistics and summary information of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine, and the near east and a feature article in the Jordan Times telling of the work of Leila Wahbeh “building bridges” between the rich and the poor. “Committee of One “is a heartwarming, perspective changing challenge to make a difference one life at a time, a story of survival, heroism, bravery and fortitude.