I am very happy and excited to share with you all about my new book, titled “Homecoming From War Zones ”.
After being encouraged for many years to turn my life story into a book, three years ago, was the time when I wrote the first sentence of my work. And last May I experienced the thrill and satisfaction of finishing the manuscript.
Although I had written over the last 20 years thousands of articles, news reports, and op Eds, had been published in various media outlets, writing a book was way different from my media work. There was a higher level of vulnerability and conflicted sentiments attached to writing an autobiography book. I aimed to encourage others who were struggling from war traumas or who were dealing with loss and grief, allowing their wounds to get healed Having walked the journey of forgiveness and reconciliation I was able to share from a free healed heart of a married father who is profoundly embracing life as a gift from God the Father, and now who sees the whole world as his big family.
This book Homecoming From War Zones is an account of my memoirs, the first-hand narrative of everyday experiences, challenges, and encounters in my two home countries, Lebanon and Finland. It is as much a beautiful love story as a political documentary about my two countries. It is a book about human lives, homes, homecomings, and relationships. I tell the story of the extreme, adventurous life of a boy, mixed up with war and terror. His experiences and encounters are the sounds of the machinery of war mingled with the melodies of hope and faith. I intend to draw readers in with details of everyday life in the war zone. I relate stories of the real-life tragedies of my family and my people. I describe how the various wars shaped my life and the lives of others. In the many chapters of the book, I shine a light on some stages of my life which has been overwhelmed by the love of God the Father, and His abundant grace, as well as by many painful and difficult experiences and encounters at the same time. I carry my history with me. All of us do. I write my narratives about those critical moments. The near-death experiences I have been through. The book is, in a sense, part of my attempts to understand and outline how we became who we are. Having been a journalist, I could see behind the story and its background. Having survived the Lebanese civil war and then many Israeli-Lebanese wars, I could tell the tales, I could tell a partial and preliminary truth. I had to have been there, to be honest. I still bear the scars of war, inside and out.
In Beirut, I lost any glimmer of hope when I was reporting on the daily news. Many presidents, officials, opinion leaders, and journalists have been assassinated, and many of my relatives and colleagues were killed. Thousands of my people had been displaced, forcing them to leave their homes and livelihoods in search of a safer life elsewhere in the world. As for me, I did not die from bombs, shelling, or bullets, but I was frequently wounded on the inside, and torn apart several times. The many scars that were embedded in my heart and the fear planted in my soul were still very present until quite recently. I decided to stay and work harder to regain my country’s freedom, sovereignty, and independence. But I could not make any change! So, I ended up alongside thousands of others who left their homes with no return.
The book also tackles such issues as asylum crisis and immigration, national and cultural identity and belonging, human relations within geographical spheres, and freedom. It includes the challenges of living as an immigrant or refugee in the host country.
my book, there is an appeal to all people that the culture of love is
rooted in their hearts. Along the journey, I have been embraced by God
the Father. I have also been embraced by the love of my life, my wife,
Noomi. I have become a father three times over. So, I am being embraced
by my two beautiful daughters, Meea and Maria, and by my handsome son,
Mikael. I hope they can use this account as a lens through which to view
their father’s history and whence he has come.
To all victims of wars, conflicts, and all kinds of political violence, I believe that the possibility of a better tomorrow in their traumatized lives requires that the wounded heart would start a journey of forgiveness and healing to be set free.
My Book, “HOMECOMING FROM WAR ZONES” is now available as an ebook (in English only) on Amazon worldwide
It will soon ( during the second half of July ) be available in hardcover also. And It will be available everywhere on August. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the hardcover.
I will put later Links to order your copy, including signed copies or the audio book.
Thank you guys for pre-ordering the book. I will start delivering at the end of July. With you all readers you help me to make my Legacy.
A preview on the book
“Ending the military war is an absolute necessity, but in itself is not sufficient. Stopping the cannon and machine guns alone cannot solve the problem. Yet so far, the Lebanese have taken only a few uncertain steps toward entering the beautiful era of peace. They have been attempting to bury the past too rapidly. But there is still a great need for knowing the truth, and for experiencing forgiveness and reconciliation. An important lesson from Finnish history is how this small Nordic nation has reconciled and walked the path of internal peace. You may say it is difficult! I know that, but many sacrifices need to be made… Both sides will have to make some adjustments, some compromises, and figure out what new sustainable task shall Lebanon play in it is environment. To choose between justice and our relationship as a big family, I choose the Lebanese family, regardless of who is right and who is wrong. How do we even start to try to build a bridge across the ideological gaps to return to acting like reasonable people who are looking at facts, and admitting the truth? The answer is that we need to put religious and political divisions aside, and simply try to approach it as human beings, respecting the dignity of each other. In other words, if coexistence and unity might not be possible, the community is always possible.”
“.. Elsewhere in the city, I talked with those who were trying to build a civil society from scratch. Some close friends were of the Muslim faith. For more than 25 years I have had Muslim friends and colleagues in the media circles in which I moved. My bosses at various jobs were Muslims, some of my colleagues were Muslims, some of my neighbors were Muslims, and some of my classmates and friends from my childhood were Muslims. Nothing is ever going to break my relationship with them. We were becoming a sort of community. Fortunately, I was able to see them notwithstanding my tight schedule, and I was thrilled to spend real quality time with them. Many important points for discussion were tackled. Every so often, Lebanese are reminded that we might be heading towards another circle of violence. In a worst-case scenario, does a Third Lebanon-Israel War lie ahead?”
“That dream to live again is bigger than anything we would ever think or imagine possible. My friends, we need to dare to dream again. It is possible; it has taken place; it shall rise again! Deep in the hearts of hurting humanity across this planet. I visited the Hietaniemi cemetery in Helsinki with Jukka, a Finnish colleague of mine. There we found many reminders of the human losses and tragedies in the wars fought by Finland between 1939 and 1945. The Soviet Union’s invasion of Finland led to the Winter War (1939-1940) and the Continuation War (1941-1944). The Lapland War (1944-1945) was fought to drive the troops of Nazi Germany out of Finland. We walked inside the cemetery and spent some time there. My Finnish friend told me that we could leave candles on the graves of several Finnish soldiers who had died in the wars. This small token of respect told a lot how about how Finns honor and remember their martyrs who gave their lives for the sake of their country… “
“And now we were arriving at Helsinki Airport. Behind us lay two long days on the road, and four hours in the air, crossing many international borders. We flew from Turkey to Finland in a daze! That’s (finger’s crossed) all behind now. It was indeed a great test of our love and commitment to one another. Going through the many challenges, the deadly clashes in Beirut, the fears of being caught in a war zone, and the events that had followed it had indeed shaped and strengthened our love relationship between us. Before noon on Sunday, having traveled for almost 72 hours, for more than 1000 miles from our small rental studio in Mansourieh, we finally made it.”
“Usually, every Finn is quiet, except when it comes to ice hockey! As a little child, I found it exciting to look up into the sky to watch the airplanes and follow them until they vanished into the clouds. As an adult, that same excitement arises in me whenever I learn that Finland has topped, once again, the United Nations prestigious index in the ‘world happiness report’. Finland has been ranked first in the UN ‘Global Happiness Report’ for the fifth consecutive year. In 2022, even with the crisis of the worsening coronavirus pandemic, the country was still living in an atmosphere of happiness. The equality and the balanced, healthy lifestyle are some of the aspects that make Finland the happiest country in the world. This small Nordic nation of about 5.5 million today people enjoys a high standard of living, despite the many hardships and wars endured in the past. It has gone from being a predominantly rural society to numbering amongst the top countries in the world, together with the other Nordic countries.”