Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: The Compassionate Warrior Book Review

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Compassionate Warrior Book Review

The news constantly shows us the horrors of the world.  I have seen and met a lot of people who generalize, lump together, and describe entire cultures or types of people based on the actions of a few or events from the past.  I find it interesting how we allow these to occur for some and not for others.  So, the best way to understand some group or someone is to look at the history.  You can look at the bad, or you can look at the good, or you can look at both.  The best option is to look at both to fully understand someone.  This leads me to my review about Adb El-Kader of Algeria.

Mommy Moments with Abby's review of The Compassionate Warrior:  This is a very interesting story without the fact that it is history.  This person existed and these events occurred.  They showed compassion, they were messy, they showed brilliance, and stupidity, they showed that no matter our differences we all have growing pains, obstacles, and hard choices to make in life.  Adb El-Kader of Algeria was a warrior of knowledge.  He fought for his people and his country, but he also fought for knowledge.  He wanted more for his country, he wanted more for his beliefs and even though he followed the same beliefs as many other leaders in the area he didn't always practice them the same as they did.  Does this mean he left his faith or changed it?  After reading this, I don't think so.  I think they were just interpreted differently by each person.
One of my favorite parts of this book was the compassion of Adb El-Kader.  He fought against an enemy and he fought with the same enemy.  He found himself a prisoner and managed to save many despite this confinement.  He also kept his word upon his release and yet he still found himself fighting different battles, now saving those who he once fought against.  Can you honestly say that you would save someone you once fought against?  I think this is a book that everyone should read regardless of your assumptions of a Muslims.  It shows how some of the assumptions are true in some of the people encountered in this book, it also shows how false they are for others.  All are Muslims, but not all can be lumped in the same group.
Strategically the distance traveled, the evasive tactics that Adb El-Kader demonstrated, and the diplomacy found during times of war seem almost elegant.  Given the lack of technology these feet are a great reference to those who are looking to develop new methods for besting their enemy.  The use of Gorilla warfare was effectively used by El-Kader.  He frustrated his enemy by harassing them and the disappearing thus saving his numbers and letting all sides know he was a masterful tactician.
I hate to give away too many details of this book as it was well worth the read and I want you to read it as well.  If you have a student looking for a topic to write about, you are looking to understand good history or good strategy, or you just appreciate a good read/story then take the time to settle in with this baby!

Product Description
A brilliant military strategist, superb horseman, statesman, philosopher, Muslim hero … Emir Abdel Kader (1808-1883) was an international celebrity in his own time, known for his generosity and kindness even towards enemies. Today he is recognized as one of the noblest leaders of the 19th century and a pioneer in interfaith dialogue. This fascinating biography of the heroic Arab who led the resistance to the French conquest of Algeria, endured betrayal and imprisonment, and in 1860, in Syria, saved thousands of innocent people from mob violence brings a vital message for our times.
Elsa Marston is the author of almost two dozen books of fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. She grew up in Boston, and from a young age was fascinated with the stories of ancient Egypt and the Middle East. She attended Harvard, the American University of Beirut, and Indiana University. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Oliver Stone is collaborating to produce a film about Abd El-Kader.

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