Tea With Hezbollah by Ted Dekker is one of the most fascinating reads I've encountered in a long time.
Dekker and his courageous guide, Carl Meaderis (who is listed as co-author) recount their adventurous pilgrimage through the Middle East, meeting with various muftis, sheikhs, ayatollahs, chieftans, and other significant shapers of thought in the Arab world.
The primary aim of this quest was to discover the meaning of Jesus' words, "Love your enemies" in the context of the Middle East conflict, and in circles considered to be "enemies" of the west.
The journey starts in Cairo, winds through Saudi Arabia, proceeds through Beirut and Damascus, before finally ending up in Jerusalem.
Throughout the experience, Dekker takes the reader right along with him with vivid recollections of his adventures, observations and feelings (most of the time wondering, "What on earth am I doing here??")
It is truly amazing that Dekker and Meaderis landed these interviews which offer rare insights into the Muslim mind. The interviews are provided exactly as they were recorded, without editorial comment, leaving it to the readers to form their own conclusions.
I thought Dekker's unusual interview questions were outstanding:
- What makes you laugh?
- Can you tell me a good joke?
- What makes you cry?
- What misconceptions do people in the West have about the Arab world?
- What misconceptions do people in the Middle East have about the West?
- Jesus said, "Love your enemies." What does this mean in the context of your situation.
Fortunately, Dekker came back home with his head intact, and excellent book to boot.