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Gannon to Host Author Mohammed Al Samawi for Gannon READS Program

Published: 10/17/2022

Gannon University will welcome author, Mohammed Al Samawi, to discuss his book Fox Hunt, in which Samawi reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

Gannon University will welcome author, Mohammed Al Samawi, to discuss his book Fox Hunt, in which Samawi reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

Gannon University will be welcoming author, Mohammed Al Samawi, to discuss his book Fox Hunt, as part of the university’s Gannon READS program at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the Warner Theater, located at 811 State Street.

Samawi is the winner of the 2019 Nautilus Book Awards and finalist of the 2019 National Jewish Book Awards. Fox Hunt tells of a man’s unforgettable story of his harrowing escape from Yemen’s civil war with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West. In this story, Samawi reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances. 

The annual Gannon Reading to Enhance Awareness of a Diverse Society program introduces first-year students to a faculty-chosen book, which is presented to them at the start of the fall semester. These students read the text and participate in first-year seminar class activities that are designed around the book. The book is also offered to all members of the Gannon community who are interested in reading it.

 

About Fox Hunt and author Mohammed Al Samawi

Born in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Samawi was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Samawi became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.

Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Samawi fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Samawi desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.

Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.

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