Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life


At age seventeen, Tass Saada was carrying a high-powered Simonov rifle. He had run away from home and become a PLO sniper and chauffeur for Arafat.
His experience growing up as a Palestinian refugee in Saudi Arabia had taught him to hate. And like many other Palestinians, he had his hatred—and his rifle—aimed squarely at Israel.
Tass Saada’s story could have ended tragically,...

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Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life

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At age seventeen, Tass Saada was carrying a high-powered Simonov rifle. He had run away from home and become a PLO sniper and chauffeur for Arafat.
His experience growing up as a Palestinian refugee in Saudi Arabia had taught him to hate. And like many other Palestinians, he had his hatred—and his rifle—aimed squarely at Israel.
Tass Saada’s story could have ended tragically, another casualty of the centuries of hatred brewing in the Middle East. But Tass was destined for better things. His story will give you an intimate look at

  • the world of Yasser Arafat;
  • the life, struggles, and heart of a Palestinian refugee;
  • a Muslim who converted to Christianity and faced retribution at the hands of his relatives; and
  • the transformation of hatred into love and hope.
This is more than the story of a Palestinian refugee making something good of his life in America. It’s a story of the ultimate triumph of love over hatred, reconciliation over persistent divisions. It’s a story that can inspire us all to overcome the divisions and conflicts in our own lives. Tyndale House Publishers
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414334448
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/17/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 258,786
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Note To The Reader xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Part 1 How I Learned To Hate

Chapter 1 The Second Batde Of Jericho 3

Chapter 2 The Making Of A Troublemaker 9

Chapter 3 A Cause Worth Fighting For 19

Chapter 4 Growing Up Fast 29

Chapter 5 Young Warrior 39

Chapter 6 Sidelined 51

Chapter 7 Stranger In A Strange Land 65

Chapter 8 Putting Down Roots 77

Chapter 9 A Slow Unraveling 87

Part 2 How I Learned To Love

Chapter 10 Surrender 103

Chapter 11 New Day 115

Chapter 12 Farming Lessons 125

Chapter 13 Living On The Edge 139

Chapter 14 Arafat Once More 157

Chapter 15 Showdown At The Airport 171

Chapter 16 Back To The Barricades 185

Chapter 17 Behind The Curtain 195

Part 3 Road Map To Reconciliation

Chapter 18 For The Middle East 205

Chapter 19 For Us Al 221

Notes 231

About The Author 233

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    terrorist to christ

    "once an arafat man" is an amazing memoir that is hard to put down. a 17 year old fill of hate and rage in the middle east joined up with the plo and becam involved in some of the most vilent acts agaist israel and other innocent civialians in the middle east and moved up in the ranks of the terrorist organization till be became a sniper and a driver for arafat however he soon found a greater and most pwerful calling the love of jesus Christ that caused him to give up his violence towords israel and other innocent civialians .great gift idea for a friend or family member or church friend or pastor friend

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  • Posted February 24, 2010

    A must read.

    This is the amazing story of Tass Saada, who at 17 was already a trained sniper for the PLO. Learn of his life as a PLO sniper, his struggles, and what led him to seek the Lord and led a life of Christan faith. Even at the threat of death, he stayed true to his love and devotion to God. Rarely do you get an in depth look into a life of a PLO sniper. More rare, is to see how his converted against the odds to Christianity. This book will keep you furiously turning pages and constantly having to remind yourself that this book is TRUE. This is a book not to be missed!

    Currently Tass Saada, is the cofounder of Hope for Ishmael, a non profit organization whose goal is to lead Arabs and Jews to Christ.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My review of Once An Arafat Man

    Tass Saada is a man who started his life hating the Jews and when he was old enough at the age of 17, he ran away and joined the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) as a Fatah fighter. Tass and his friends killed Jews in Israel. They attacked Christians in Jordan. They even went as far as throwing hand grenades in to their homes. Tass was born in Gaza and raised in Saudi Arabia where the Palestinians and Jews hated each other and were constantly fighting. The more violent the better, he once even tried to assassinate a prince of an Arab country.
    The first part of the book goes into this part of Tass's life as a terrorist, about the strict rules of his Muslim religion, and of course his family. He tells how he became a friend and chauffer of Yassir Arafat (thus the title). Arafat was a hero to Tass and he would gladly give up his life for this hero.
    The second part of the book tells how Tass comes to America in 1974 and moves to Columbia, Missouri where he had a friend. He stays with this friend for awhile, gets his GED and meets Karen (his future wife). She at first wants nothing to do with him but he does win her over. Karen had a baby to raise and she does agree to marry him. At the beginning he did marry her so he could get his Green card. Tass and Karen had a daughter together and with a son (Karen's from a previous relationship) and they settled into married life. Tass's family of course were not accepting of the marriage as he was supposed to marry a girl within his own Muslim religion. Tass goes on into the restaurant business, starting at the bottom and working up until he was managing a restaurant with the goal to open his own at some point.
    The third part of the book tells how Tass meets a man, Charlie Sharpe, and with Charlies help over a period of time learns to love. Charlie teaches him about Jesus and and the Bible. He realized in his heart that God does exist and he wants Jesus in his life. As the story goes on to tell how Charlie wants to open up a church in Missouri and have a Christian community where he could also have a school for troubled kids who needed guidance. Tass sell their restaurant and move to Missouri to do what they can to help. Tass ends up working in the kitchen, starting all over at the bottom, Karen started teaching 4th grade at the school.
    Tass, after becoming a Christian feels that it is his duty to educate the the Muslims and Jews and how they need to accept God into their lives and to live peacefully with each other. As a result Tass travels around the country, giving talks and speeches. He even goes back to Gaza to again try to educate the Muslims and Jews.
    I did enjoy this story and I learned more about the strife in the Middle East and why they were actually fighting. I had never heard of Tass Saada of course and I was impressed by this man who overcame his hatred and learned to love because he brought Jesus into his life. He was also willing on his travels back to Jordan to face whatever charges there might be because of his PLO actions. I would recommend this book highly. I received this book from Tyndale for review.

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Read pg. 196-200

    Last week, my husband and I watched the movie, The Kingdom. It was a powerful and frightening movie. As I read the first part of this book, I put Tass's story in the context of what was in that movie to help me picture what he did and what life was like for him. The first half of the book is very easy to read, not too gory or bloody in its description. It isn't especially engaging writing, but the first half does convey the story of Tass's life well. The second half is really what makes this book worth reading. Particularly pg. 196-200. I appreciated Saada's description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as what he believes are the reasons behind it. I think it would be good for every Christian to read this part of the book. I think it would give us all great deal of compassion for the Palestinians and understanding.

    Last year, I read Jimmy Carter's second book about Palestine and Israel. It was very good (as was the first), but this book is different because it comes from an insider. Saada above all wants peace for all and truly wants to live out the Lord's command for us to Love One Another as God has loved us.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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