4 out of 4 stars
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Growing up in his native Algeria, Ghoulem Berrah experienced enough marginalization and racism that it sparked an unquenchable desire to free his people from the grip of their French colonizers. Berrah's journey led him to France to study medicine. While there, he also became an activist for the emancipation of Algeria and founded several activist groups, such as the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). Of course, his activities put a target on his back, eventually forcing him to flee France. But this is only the beginning of Berrah's journey. His passion eventually grows beyond his home country and morphs into a broader goal for human advancement and world peace. Throughout his journey, Berrah traverses the worlds of activism, science, politics, and family life across Europe, America, and Africa. This is his memoir.
A Dream for Peace by Ghoulem Berrah was inspiring mainly because it's a true story. The author's life was certainly eventful. Some of the stuff he had to endure would break most people, but the fact he kept his focus on his goal was admirable. When I started reading this book, I certainly didn't expect Berrah's life to take the path it did. Given his circumstances growing up, I expected a life wholly dedicated to activism; his foray into science, academics, and politics surprised me. Beyond his move into these different areas, he also made great strides in each, which was inspiring.
There were details in this book that were intriguing to read about. Berrah threw a lot of light on political tensions occurring in different parts of the world. These included how the French decimated Algeria's history, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Biafran War, etc. I was especially intrigued by his coverage of the Biafran War, given that I'm Nigerian. Reading about Algeria's situation under their French colonizers gave me rich insight into what the author must have gone through growing up in Algeria. I could relate to his experience to an extent because, although I didn't grow up under any colonial rule, the effects of colonization stick around long after the colonizer has left. Looking back, I can see how some of Nigeria's issues today stem from the country's era under British rule.
I enjoyed every bit of this book; there was nothing to dislike. Berrah made his imprint across various academic and political corridors of the world, his time working with President Felix Houphouët-Boigny of Côte d'Ivoire being one of the standout periods of his career as a diplomat. The fact that this book also includes photographs of pertinent documents and of Berrah rubbing shoulders with numerous global figures serves to immortalize the author's journey.
This book was also flawlessly edited, so I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone who loves to read true stories with political and cultural commentary that's both educational and entertaining.
A Dream For Peace
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