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Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise: A Jihadist's Own Story (Hardback)
  • Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise: A Jihadist's Own Story (Hardback)
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Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise: A Jihadist's Own Story (Hardback)

(author), (translator)
£17.95
Hardback 192 Pages / Published: 15/12/2009
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This is an autobiographical account of a journey into extremism. In 1986, when this autobiography opens, the author is a typical fourteen-year-old boy in Asyut in Upper Egypt. Attracted at first by the image of a radical Islamist group as 'strong Muslims,' his involvement develops until he finds himself deeply committed to its beliefs and implicated in its activities. This ends when, as he leaves the university following a demonstration, he is arrested. Prison, a return to life on the outside, and attending Cairo University all lead to Khaled al-Berry's eventual alienation from radical Islam. This book opens a window onto the mind of an extremist who turns out to be disarmingly like many other clever adolescents, and bears witness to a history with whose reverberations we continue to live. It also serves as an intelligent and critical guide for the reader to the movement's unfamiliar debates and preoccupations, motives and intentions. Fluently written, intellectually gripping, exciting, and often funny, "The World Is More Beautiful than Paradise" provides a vital key to the understanding of a world that is both a source of fear and a magnet of curiosity for the West.

Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
ISBN: 9789774162947
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Enjoyable and pioneering."--Marcia Lynx Qualey, al-Masri al-Yom


"The author's refusal to demonize and his relative objectivity in telling the story is precisely what makes this book authentic and extremely important. Above all it provides a rare and valuable insight into how easily the young idealist can become radicalized by sects who believe that truth has just one face."--The Huffington Post


"The memoir reaches the core of how fanatics--sects of any kind--draw in conceited youngsters by essentially appealing to a naive hunger for self-sacrifice."--The Independent


"a gripping narrative"--Church Times


"Captivating and exciting, Life is More Beautiful than Paradise provides valuable insights into the jihadist world-view"--Church Times


"offers a rare perspective"--Diplomat magazine


"Al-Berry's [work] is required reading for anyong with an interest in the mechanics of radical Islam or the historical realities of militant Islamic activism in Egypt in the last two decades of the 20th century. . . . The sensitivity to the nuances of the Arabic language and Islamist idiom made manifest in the meritorious translation of Humphrey Davies truly makes this work an ideal jumping-off point for any Westerner who is curious about reading the Muslim mind"--Al-Ahram Weekly


"



"Enjoyable and pioneering."--Marcia Lynx Qualey, al-Masri al-Yom


"The author's refusal to demonize and his relative objectivity in telling the story is precisely what makes this book authentic and extremely important. Above all it provides a rare and valuable insight into how easily the young idealist can become radicalized by sects who believe that truth has just one face."--The Huffington Post


"The memoir reaches the core of how fanatics--sects of any kind--draw in conceited youngsters by essentially appealing to a naive hunger for self-sacrifice."--The Independent


"a gripping narrative"--Church Times


"Captivating and exciting, Life is More Beautiful than Paradise provides valuable insights into the jihadist world-view"--Church Times


"offers a rare perspective"--Diplomat magazine


"Al-Berry's [work] is required reading for anyong with an interest in the mechanics of radical Islam or the historical realities of militant Islamic activism in Egypt in the last two decades of the 20th century. . . . The sensitivity to the nuances of the Arabic language and Islamist idiom made manifest in the meritorious translation of Humphrey Davies truly makes this work an ideal jumping-off point for any Westerner who is curious about reading the Muslim mind"--Al-Ahram Weekly


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