Other Half of My Soul by Bahia Abrams
Rami, a bright, charming eighteen-year old Shi'ite Muslim from Aleppo, Syria, was part of the underprivileged class in his country. His religious parents eked out a living working their pastry stand at the Aleppo Souq. One afternoon, two emissaries from the Syrian government called Rami out of class, informing him to prepare for America where he would attend the University of Maryland. Ibrahim and Salha warned their son of the immoral, corrupt Americans; the dangers of the pervasive, evil Jews who live there; and the need to observe Islam and keep to his own kind. Rami was unaware that he would owe his life to the terrorist group al-Shahid.
Rayna, a religious Syrian Jew from Brooklyn, New York, was born into wealth and privilege. She dreamed of studying journalism away from the constraints of a community steeped in orthodoxy and Syrian culture. Intelligent and tenacious, Rayna struggled with her parents, determined to leave home and attend the University of Maryland. Abe and Sarah lectured their daughter about remaining a virgin until her wedding night, observing the laws of Judaism and all its holidays, and keeping to her own kind. She was unaware of what fate had in store for her.
Rami and Rayna defied their respective doctrines and dared to love. Grappling for survival, they collided with conflicts and hatreds that divide Muslim and Jew, endured harsh backlash from intolerant and hostile parents, and suffered at the hands of the tyrannical and erratic leader in al-Shahid. Together, they journeyed into the depths of humanity.
The Other Half of My Soul is a spellbinding tale. No love story like this has ever been told. In the end, the shocking revelation about Rami, and the deep-seated, powerful message about humanity will tear away at your heart, pierce your conscience, and remain with you for a very long time. You will not be able to put this book down until the very last page.