4 out of 4 stars
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A dream for peace by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah is a story about a great man. Dr. Berrah was a son, husband, diplomat, ambassador, scientist, freedom fighter, peace seeker and a loyal African. He was born in a small town in the French colony of Algeria. He grew up in a household that emphasized the importance of education and, in response to his mother's encouragement, he managed to study medicine in France. It was there that he met young men like himself who shared a passion to see a free Algeria. As he continued his freedom struggle agenda with fellow students, so did his passion for a fully free Africa. Ultimately, this led him to leave a prestigious position at Yale University to serve Africa.
He landed in Cote d'Ivoire and began working immediately. He collaborated closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and took part in the President's covert diplomatic missions. He and President Felix Houphouet-Boigny shared a very special friendship. Dr. Berrah had the full confidence of the President, much to the envy of other high-level government officials. He was often sent on secret missions that were even concealed from Cabinet members. He shared the President's vision of a peaceful world and was therefore involved in high-level peace negotiations. As if that wasn't enough, he was taken as a son by the President. Their relationship was so close that the President personally asked his wife's parents for her hand in marriage.
I admired many things in his story. Most noteworthy was his relationship with his wife. It would be expected that their interfaith marriage would be rocky or even impossible since he was a Muslim and she a Catholic. However, he enjoyed forty peaceful years of marriage to his wife. They were brought together by their shared faith, despite their different religions. They had the understanding that they had a common belief in God, and so none of them tried to convert the other. She would fast with him in the month of Ramadhan, and he would often accompany her to Mass on Sundays. As a result, they were asked to explain how their marriage worked. In his explanation, he insisted that it was easy and never a point of contention between them.
This pursuit of universal peace between different religions, tribes, nations was the driving force behind all of his peace missions. He successfully negotiated a number of peace treaties between warring factions. Together with the President, he worked hard to bring peace to Africa. The biggest lesson I have learned from his life and work is that all human beings have more in common than differences, and that religious views, ethnicity or race should not be allowed to separate us. As a young person, the message to me is to continue spreading peace in my own small capacity wherever I can find myself.
This book deserves 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to all who love memoirs. It is exceptionally edited and suitable for all religions.
A Dream For Peace
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