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David Harris-Gershon wrote a book about meeting Mohammad Odeh's family, What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist who Tried to Kill Your Wife? Originally published on December 15, 2013 9:58 am Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
After concluding the interview with a smile, Meg Tilly left the coffee shop and set off to rejoin her husband by crossing Dairy Queen’s parking lot.
In 1994, she published Singing Songs – a frank account of child abuse and neglect in a fragmented family that she said was fictional when promoting the book. Tilly, who lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, deliberately pulled no punches with Gemma, which is told jointly through the perspectives of the 12-year-old school girl victim and the abductor. Tilly admits books played a key role in her turbulent childhood, which included growing up on a remote island off Canada’s west coast. Tilly’s next project is a young adult book called Porcupine, which will be published by Tundra Books.
After Hazen Wood kidnaps 12 year-old Gemma Sullivan, the two embark upon a cross-country journey that tests the limits of Gemma's endurance. Inspirational Letting Go Missing Love Quotes For Him its a best quote in this all posts in a image girl and boy both are closed together. Author of blog inspired by Romeo and Juliet ( love tragedy written by William Shakespeare). Several years ago, David Harris-Gershon and his wife Jamie were studying in Israel, where they'd constructed their daily life in ways they hoped would protect them from a terrorist attack. When asked to choose between a good book and a trip to the Oscars, she says she’ll go for the book every time.
Now, she openly admits the book was based on her own experiences of abuse at the hands of family members.
It is not a novel for the faint-hearted but it has connected with many readers across North America, including people who have suffered abuse themselves. Several major publishers were interested, but the painful subject matter made the book unmarketable. In graphic scenes of physical and sexual violence, Hazen tries to destroy the young girl's will. She’s a regular mom with three grown-up children who also writes, but her books push the reader to the edge thanks to their graphic and painful subject matter. Staff have been recommending it to judges and healthcare workers, and then there’s the people who work in the sex crimes units too. It is only Gemma's childlike resilience and fertile imagination that protect her from the worst of the abuse she suffers.
She pulled out a pen and a scrap of paper, and left a message pinned under the car’s windshield wiper.
And in the end, the healing power of unconditional love gives Gemma the courage to speak out against her abuser at last - reclaiming her dignity as a human being.
Harris-Gershon tried therapy, but it didn't help, so he decided to face the facts of the attack head-on.


After Israeli authorities denied his request to talk with Odeh, Harris-Gershon tracked down Odeh's family, and they agreed to meet. They were broken, and I think we both needed to try and treat this in some way." It was a cathartic conversation for both sides.
The family welcomed Harris-Gershon "with open arms." They got to know each other, and "it was a conversation about how much both of us desired peace." Join Our Sunday Conversation Are there limits to forgiveness? Tell us your story on Weekend Edition's Facebook page, or in the comments section below.Copyright 2013 NPR. Transcript RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now to another war in the Middle East, steeped in generations of discrimination, fear and violence. DAVID HARRIS-GERSHON: We kind of constructed these false borders within which we decided to live. And we would go to movies but only if they were matinees where there weren't a lot of people.
And we kind of assumed, as I think a lot of people did, that Hebrew University, this integrated place of study, with both Jews and Israelis and Palestinians, was kind of off-limits, and obviously, that wasn't the case. As many people do in that part of the world, they structured their life to avoid getting caught up in some kind of attack. Harris-Gershon became obsessed with the man who carried out the bombing and tried to find him. He wrote a book about the experience called "What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?" David Harris-Gershon is our Sunday Conversation.
HARRIS-GERSHON: I received a call from somebody who I did not know, who basically said, you know, there'd been an explosion at the university.
And I immediately got a call again, said my wife had been injured and I was needed at the hospital immediately. I, in a panic state, immediately ran out to the street, grabbed a taxi, got to the university, was able to somehow push through the emergency room doors.
And I was brought before a woman who I didn't recognize, and I didn't know why I had been brought before her until she said my name.
The bomb was placed on the table right next to my wife and she just happened to be bending beneath it the moment the blast went off and our two friends with whom she was sitting were killed as well as seven others. And we talked about the attack, but whenever we would engage, it would usually be in terms of Jamie being a victim and me being a caretaker. And it wasn't until I began to suffer from PTSD-like symptoms that it became clear that I was a victim as well. HARRIS-GERSHON: I, you know, I was a first-year high school teacher when we came back and, you know, that's dramatic enough just teaching high school. I would hyperventilate in the classroom and have to leave immediately and go to the bathroom.
And I mean it got to the stage really, where it was clear that I needed to do something because I was falling apart. MARTIN: So how does this idea take root for you, this idea that you need to pursue the man who perpetrated this bombing, this man, Mohamed Odeh?


HARRIS-GERSHON: Well, what happened is I tried therapy and it didn't help at all and, you know, compartmentalizing hadn't helped.
And so I decided to confront it, to just try and learn everything I could about the attack. And when I did I immediately learned that Mohamed Odeh was captured three weeks after the attack by Israeli authorities and the Associated Press article said that when he was captured he reportedly told Israeli authorities that he was sorry, that he was remorseful that so many people had died in the attack. You know, he was a member of Hamas and intuitively it clicked within me that somehow perhaps, on a personal level, maybe in order to overcome this I had to go back and I had to try and confront him and ask him why. MARTIN: That's an unusual response to observe that, his reaction and say I need to go is person and look him the eye. And I think the reason she was supportive is because she saw what desperate straits I was in personally from a psychological standpoint. I mean I tried through the Israeli prison service to meet with him, and those were, those efforts were thwarted. And I just made contact, by chance, with a human rights activist who knew Silwan, the neighborhood in East Jerusalem where he's from and knew the family, and actually delivered a letter for me, on my behalf, basically explaining who I was and that I didn't want revenge and I just wanted to understand who they were and who Mohamed was. You know, I was grateful and I understood why they wanted me to be there because this had traumatized them as well. This was - I learned about them, and they were a moderate, middle-class family who didn't know what Mohamed was doing. And, you know, they were broken, and I think we both needed to try and treat this in some way.
And I know that they were concerned that I perhaps was going to be coming to murder them in an act of revenge. But the moment I got there and they welcomed me with open arms, and it was so warm and bright and our conversation, you know, revolved mainly around just getting to know each other and who we were and where we came from. MARTIN: How has this experience - the bombing, your wife's recovery, your search to connect with this man who almost killed your wife, how has this all informed your understanding of the larger conflict in Israel? I mean I'm embarrassed to say that before the attack, I actually really looked upon Palestinians as nothing but a caricature of evil.
They were simply in terms of Jewish history that I had learned, one in a number of successive enemies with which we've had to deal with and we'll have to overcome. When I decided I was going to meet Mohamed, I just decided also that I needed to know who Palestinians were. And I've understood so much more in terms of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict and the intense suffering of Palestinians. I don't think that I'm any more hopeful of a two-state solution or a reconciliation and peace agreement. And I do think that it's possible, but they're a lot of things that would have to happen for something like this to take place.



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