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AKEF TAYEM, a Palestinian Arab from Haifa, Israel (formerly Haifa, Palestine), is the author of A Muslim, the Qur’an and Jesus, the Son of Mary – A Palestinian’s Journey From the Crescent to the Cross.
In this written account of his life as the son of a wealthy and devout Muslim merchant, he details the story of his and his family’s refugee status and the unexpected encounter with Jesus Christ he later experienced while researching original texts of historical Jewish, Christian and Islamic documents in an effort to understand his own heritage.
Since his conversion to Christianity, over 35 years ago, he has felt a need to reach out to the Muslim community with the truth about the common foundation shared by all three major religions, in hopes that, once understood, peace can exist in the Middle East through reconciliation, forgiveness, and understanding of their shared heritage. Tayem believes that the words of Jesus, ‘And this Gospel… shall be preached in all the world’ (Matt. 24:14) was not meant to proselytize, but rather was born of Christ’s intense love for mankind, and His awareness of the inevitable suffering that would result from lack of unity between the sons of Abraham. It was also the impetus for his book.
Early on, after failed attempts to convey this urgent message to American Evangelicals, he came to the conclusion that Christian Americans must first undergo a change in heart. ‘America is the only country in the world that is equipped to evangelize the world.’ ’Give them a burden for Arab souls’ is from an article by him published in Christian Life magazine in April 1980. [The article in its entirety is found on the back of this page.]
WHY THIS BOOK AND WHY NOW?
Recent events in the Middle East, together with today’s technological advancements - primarily satellite television and the Internet - make fulfillment of Christ’s declaration possible. According to Trinity Broadcasting Network founder, Dr. Paul Crouch, the network has been deluged with inquiries from Muslims about Jesus and the Christian Faith for the past 2-3 years. Tayem felt compelled to write this book to address that need. The book will also equip Christians to witness more effectively by understanding the Arab psyche.
Tayem believes it is essential to reach Muslims through writings they accept – the Qur’an, Sunan, Hadith, Dead Sea Scrolls, Psalms, etc. – with the message that the same Jesus, whom Muslims call ‘the son of Mary’, is also ‘Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and ultimate fulfillment of the prophetic promises made by our mutual Creator to restore mankind to Himself. But, this feat can only be accomplished with kindness and respect.
More information is available on Tayem’s web site, www.sonsofabraham.com, which includes a brief video clip of television interviews about Akef’s conversion and his reasons for writing the book.