Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Name Used to Be Muhammad

Let's tease you first-

"I was blindfolded, disoriented, and afraid. I was still in leg irons and handcuffs as two men holding each of my arms pulled me through a labyrinth of hallways. Eventually we stopped and I collapsed to my knees. I could tell that there were other prisoners nearby. I could hear them crying and screaming. It sounded as if they were being tortured. I was so scared. Oh Lord, I thought, Help me. Please."
-Tito Momen


Tito Momen was raised Muhammad Momen. Born in Nigeria, he was taught to observe the strict teachings of Islam. But Tito's path took an unexpected turn when he was introduced to Christianity. His decision to believe in Jesus Christ cost him his family and his freedom. Sentenced to prison, Tito expected to spend his remaining days enduring a life sentence in an uncivilized Egyptian prison. For fifteen years, he suffered and waited and prayed. "I never gave up hope," Tito says. "I never stopped believing."
What Erika (yes that's me darlings!!) has to say about this book:
Whew! This was one fabulous biography! Sometimes when I read biographies I have to let them stew in my brain for a little while because usually I feel a little blown away about the great things that humankind has done. This book is no exception! It does have parts that are a tad slower but weren't a problem for me at all! Tito Momen was raised in an extreme Islamic family. The story of his childhood is one of very strict religious rules. I found that part of the book FASCINATING! Especially when he described the roles of women because for this specific group of Islamic people it was very oppressive. His mother throughout the story is such a sad character that finally has her one specific shining moment. It was quite tragic. Tito grew up and went to university and began questioning Islam and it's teachings. He was deeply educated in the Islamic faith but then very courageously converted to Christianity (specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). He wrote his thesis on Christianity and was turned in to his school for having a Bible and Book of Mormon in his apartment. This decision caused him to lose his fiance, his schooling, his family disowned him and his mother committed suicide. Then he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for his beliefs. It's very humbling when you can read a story where you can see the hand of God in someone's life. There were a lot of trials that Tito experienced that had he not had them his life would have turned out very different. When I read biographies that's what I take away the most. That our life is full of small defining moments that shape who we become. Very very good book! I recommend it!

"My spirits were lifted. I had hope again. Hope has a way of being self-perpetuating. Hope breeds faith. And faith produces miracles." -Tito Momen 
Go get your biography reading on!!! Big fat kisses! 

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