Review of Ada Aharoni’s Book: Not in Vain
Not in Vain: An Extraordinary Life is a wonderful narration of part of the life of Thea Wolf, delicately pieced together by author Ada Aharoni. I was greatly intrigued by the introduction as Aharoni narrates how this book took form. It seems as if fate brought these two amazing women, who have lived a part of their lives in Egypt together in Jerusalem when Ada gave a talk about the uprooting of the Jewish community in Egypt in the mid-20th century.
The industrious Thea, a German Jewish nurse succeeded to save many lives in the Hospital of the Jewish Community in Alexandria, Egypt as well as the lives of destitute refugees from the Nazi Holocaust in Europe! She succeeded to do this with the help not only of the Jewish Community in Egypt, but also with the help of Egyptian Moslem officials, whom she convinced, such as the port officials in Alexandria, the Police, The Passport Authorities, the Prison authorities, and the Train’s officials. This book presents an unknown hidden and important historical gem, showing how Jews and Arabs cooperated in such an important issue of saving lives together in Egypt during the Second World War. This true story continues to speak profoundly to both men and women today.
As I read Thea Wolf’s background story in Hessen, Germany, where she was born, I see that Thea’s parents succeeded to instill in her to value human life above all. If the outcome of these values produce remarkable people like Thea, who desire to help the pain and sickness in the world, imagine a world where people live by this standard, where children are shown to love their neighbors and raised to help the suffering and needy. How many more Theas would our global community then have? It is an exciting and successful example which should encourage us to raise our children better, with the bright and hopeful perspective, that they too will one day bloom as beautifully as Thea with the desire engraved in their hearts “to not live their own life in vain”.
This shows us that NGOs like IFLAC which share similar goals of educating children to be raised in the light of the culture of peace is the right road to have citizens who are dedicated to the goal of peace in our global village.
I have also realized this book’s importance as a model example of peace in the Middle East which is relevant today. Thea’s motto to lead a useful life becomes her attribute which endears her to others, giving her the powerful tool of influence among her community in Alexandria. As the Head Nurse at the Jewish Hospital, the kindness shared by her and her colleagues towards their patients is what earns her the trust, respect, and loyalty of the local Jewish Community. Because of her sincerity and strength of character, Thea lives a purposeful life, and succeeds to save many Jewish Refugees fleeing from the shadows of the Nazi threat. Leaders and citizens from around the world may read and learn from her example how to bring Jews and Arabs together to live once again in symbiotic harmony. The answer is in Thea’s story and example, through mutual respect and understanding of one another’s culture. These are qualities which must be earned.
Lastly, as a story which resonates loudly for both men and women today, Thea shows us how simple dedicated people can change the world, no matter the restrictions of tradition, religion, or culture. In a time where women were not allowed or encouraged to make their own decisions, live away from home, or develop a career, Thea broke all of the above traditions because she had a calling in her heart. Thea’s goal is reflected through the powerful words of Emily Dickinson:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain…
I shall not live in vain.
Because she lives with a purpose, Thea manages to change minds and save lives. In order to succeed, however, it is important that this be a true and continuous aspiration in one’s life. This determination is what keeps Thea going in the middle of war, cultural differences, and other struggles. Mostly, our goals are what help us remain true to ourselves and move us forward during fragile times.
Thea was indeed a woman ahead of her time. Her ingenuity and passion to more efficiently save wounded Allied soldiers under General Montgomery is shown during the battle of El-Alamein against the Nazi General Rommel. Thea said that she was so full of sorrow when the wounded soldiers died in her arms because of the time that it took to determine their blood type in order to save their lives. This devastation is how she was inspired her to create the first blood bank. In a time without modern refrigeration, Thea’s ingenuity was to take blocks of ice in a tub and begin to categorize blood types and storing them in packets inside these cold storage containers fashioned by these tubs. By this method, she was able to more effectively save these wounded soldiers. Her innovative medical advancement, the first Blood Bank, played an imperative role to save these Allied soldiers.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this exciting and authentic historical biography, portraying an exemplary feminist heroine, Thea Wolf. She should be known and widely acknowledged today all over our global village. Her successful efforts of conflict resolution in the Middle East should be taught to children, youngsters, in colleges, and global universities. Her story should be read and her values should be adopted by world leaders in hope that this peace and cooperation among Arab and Jewish neighbors, may once again be obtained.
THIS AWARD WINNING BOOK IS SOLD ON AMAZON KINDLE AND AS A PAPERBACK; YOU CAN ORDER IT AT THE LINK BELOW:
*Ada Aharoni is a cultural sociologist, writer and poet. She is the founder and active President of World IFLAC (The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace). Her work may be found on www.amazon.com including her recent publication of Anti-War and Peace Anthology. For more information on her organization, please visit https://iflac.wordpress.com/.
Women and their role as Peace Bringers in Ada Aharoni’s New Book of Poems Horizon of Peace By Sarah SalazarPosted: 2018/03/24
Women and their role as Peace Bringers in Ada Aharoni’s New Book of Poems
Horizon of Peace
By Sarah Salazar
Ada Aharoni is an Israeli poet, writer, sociologist, and founder of: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC).
In her new book of poetry, “Horizon of Hope” (2018), published by Gvanim, she has created a collection of her work which welcomes the future of a world BEYOND WAR, with zeal and full of hope. This is one of the first bilingual books of poetry in English facing Hebrew, published in Israel, which is advantageous for people who wish to read the verses in its original English language, as well as to reach a larger international community with her convincing message for peace. When this message is brought in two languages and to two cultures it redoubles its impact and effect.
An additional advantage of having the e English in front of the Hebrew is that it allows the Hebrew reader to improve his English, and it allows the English reader to learn and improve his Hebrew. The reason why Prof. Ada Aharoni wrote her poems in English first, is that she was in an English School from the first lass in Cairo Egypt, where she was born, and after she came to Israel she continued her English studies at the Hebrew University and then she travelled to London and received her English Literature M.Phil. at Birkbeck College at the University of London.
Throughout her poems, peace is at the center of her message. Sometimes, this hope for peace is read as a hushed whisper, muffled into silence by oppressive and non-attentive authorities. In her poem “No Talking”, Aharoni describes the pain of losing loved ones on both sides of violence and cries which fall on deaf ears which are shown in the following sections:
The politicians decided –
No talking with the enemy
How can we convince violent leaders
To talk and not to shoot?
And we weep together with all the
Innocent people from both sides,
But still, first and foremost –
Each stanza is separated with a yell of, “NO TALKING!” as if to suppress those who dare oppose the leaders’ greed for violence and bloodshed by planting seeds of hope for peace. “No Talking” reflects leaders’ refusal to have an open dialogue, smothering their people into silence. Aharoni’s book is a journey which follows these hurt people, urges them to rise and demand peace. In “I Want to Kill You, War”, her poem personifies War. It shows great disgust for how it is maintained like a vile mascot that feeds from under the governors’ table:
The governors of the world go on
Feeding your fat belly with fresh
And nuclear arms, with blurring eyes…
Poems are carefully and purposefully placed, creating a narrative which the reader may follow along and see the transformation of war and terror victims as they begin to rise despite their oppressive leaders. Aharoni demonstrates her firm stance against the violence in “You Can’t Bomb Me Again”:
because I don’t allow you to bomb me
nor to choke
nor rape me anymore,
for I have my own strength now
and my own creative
peace business now….
The women of the world have arisen from their “sarcophagus”, where men have buried them, and now they are conscious of their being the majority of citizens in the world and that they have the power of numbers in the political game, and the assuredness that their cause of wanting to be equal in the running of the world is not only their right, but also democratic.
In another poem, entitled: “Year of Hope,” instead of waiting for the right leaders, Aharoni demonstrates her strength, showing the readers the way to peace by telling us to claim it. She says:
We face a choice – to rise to this
moment in time
And be the Peace we want to see –
It all depends on us, for we Peace – Lovers
Are the largest global community!
As the founder of IFLAC, she is a personal example that one can create change with others who are willing to make peace and promote it. In her poems, sometimes the hope for peace becomes like a painful human cry holding out its arms for the unseen world peace as in the powerful poem: “What is Peace for Me?”:
When I look at you our golden children
And feel the next war
Pinching the center of my heart.
There are additional moving cries of the victims of War: “‘We want to live – not die!’”. The book represents not only women’s desire, but also the whole of humanity’s desire to see this world of peace come to pass. It makes us wonder if we shall remain like the Biblical Moses who only looked on from afar from Mount Moriah, seeing the promised land on the horizon, yet never being able to reach it and taste its sweetness. The whole book expresses the opposite, as it clearly impregnates us with this clear and beautiful “Horizon of Hope”!
The narrator in “If a White Horse from Jerusalem” expresses her concern on when Peace shall arrive, and she urges peacemakers to bring it soon:
Perhaps before my hair falls
Before my teeth drop
Before my breath whistles
Before I go. . .
Aharoni shows the reader that War, Terror and Violence bring only destruction, and no benefit to one or the other. It creates a vicious cycle that makes victims of us all. In “Killing Us Softly” she warns where these present conflicts will lead us. War and Violence have nowhere else to lead us but to that place where no one is left standing, we teach our children:
“Stop fighting, you will hurt each Other,”
Then we calmly proceed
to annihilate one another.
We breed black widows
With red eyes in our labs!
Aharoni is true to herself and her dream for women and their role for peace, capturing the bravery of women, of mothers who stand united to fight for the better future of their children.
One of the effective sections in the book is titled “WOMEN’S VISION,” in which women are prized for their natural intuition of love and kindness.
Peace is like a second nature to women, as shown in “Siniora: My New Friend in Gaza”, when Ada visited Gaza, with a group of members of IFLAC, before the first Intifada. It insinuates the possibility and ease in which women from conflicting lands can bring reconciliation and healing together through bridges of communication, understanding and friendship. In a world of paternalism, men have held power so long, but have failed in the bringing peace. After having created close feelings with her new Palestinian friend Siniora, at the Palestinian Museum in Khan Yunis, her poem calls on men to learn from the example of women:
Men! Learn from women for a change
Let women help you make peace,
With women it is as natural, as easy as that.
Ada strongly believes that women are the future bringers of peace in this changing world. In a “Bridge of Peace”, an Israeli woman calls out:
“My Arab sister,
Let us build a sturdy bridge
From your olive world to mine” ….
Through all her powerful, true, and deeply moving poem, the whole book “Horizon of Hope,” speaks to us profoundly and effectively, to you and me, the readers. It gives us the profound vision and hope, as well as example, as Ada writes, to” build a sturdy bridge of Jasmine understanding”.
Ada continues to show us through her profoundly powerful poem: “Peace Is A Woman and A Mother”, that women’s natural inclination for nurture and intuition in abating conflict in the home between every member, makes her the expert and logical choice for the next generation of Peace Bringers. For women have arisen and are now ready to give birth to Peace:
Peace is indeed a pregnant woman,
Peace is a mother.
The wonderfully hopeful message we get from this beautiful book is that it is up to us all women and men, youth and children, to create the next chapter of equal responsibility for our planet and for humanity, to gain ground and grow closer to that horizon of hope for peace, until we behold it face to face, and hold powerfully it in our own hands.
Reading this powerful and lyrical bilingual book has been a wonderful and enriching experience for me, as Ada Aharoni has excelled in putting into words images and feelings that so many people cry out for in their hearts, but do not know how to express. As a Hebrew language student, this is a brilliant opportunity for me to practice and enrich my Hebrew, while retaining their impressive and profound original English, right beside the beautiful Hebrew.
My name is Sarah Salazar and I am in my second semester studying abroad at the University of Haifa. For me, home is San Diego, California in the USA. I am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Arts in English and International Studies at San Diego State University. Through the University of Haifa’s International School, I am now taking courses through the Peace and Conflict track as well as learning Arabic and Hebrew.
After learning about Israel throughout my childhood at home, I was curious to see this country for myself. My parents raised me to love this land and its people. As I entered college, I listened to discussions on campus. I realized that the naive and negative perspective concerning Jews and Israel did not help foster fair academic and political discussions at my university. It was then that I began to take every opportunity to promote Israel in a positive manner. I was a lone activist at first. It was difficult to find support or interest in such an unpopular topic in my school. Through different channels, I discovered Hillel on my campus and other organizations such as Christians United for Israel to to join. Their guidance and support have taught me how to confront aggression from opposing parties and have encouraged me to pursue diplomacy and to study abroad in Israel.
My goal while studying in Israel and for this internship is to be able to learn up close about the conflicts existing between Israel and its neighbors. While I began with great motivation for the possibility of peace between Israel and its neighbors upon my arrival last year, the conflict, as I knew it, seemed to become greater than I had understood it to be while living here that even I became discouraged. I began to entertain private doubts on its resolution. However, upon after meeting with IFLAC’s Founder, Professor Ada Aharoni, my faith in peace for this region has been restored through the organizations’ methods: communication, understanding and bridges of literature. As a student, writer, and aspiring diplomat, I hope to use IFLAC’s model of using positive communication to help create a narrative that can engage an uninformed society in creating reform. I have chosen to look forward, dream for a better tomorrow, and ensure my participation in bringing peace, anti-war, and anti-terror by the use of diplomatic words, communication and understanding.
Why I chose IFLAC?
I changed my career goal from teaching to diplomacy near my last year as an undergraduate. I have had little academic experience in politics and foreign relations to prepare me for International Relations, but I am open to learn as much as possible.
I chose to intern with IFLAC because of my interest in diplomacy, Israel, and the Middle East. It is a privilege to work with IFLAC as my mentor as I take the initiative to prepare myself for my future career. In order to become an effective diplomat, it is necessary to experience the culture, language, and the people firsthand to make informed decisions that will lead to peace in the region.
Through my appreciation for and knowledge of literature, I know that IFLAC will teach me a lot about promoting peace. This internship merges my background in English and my professional interest in diplomacy. I want to gain experience in work related to peace promotion with an established organization. With IFLAC, I hope to become a stronger advocate for peace and for Israel through my discourse. I want to further develop my oratory and writing skills through the lens of peace and conflict resolution to apply in the future with a global community. .
Thank you IFLAC for giving me this opportunity to learn by your side on how to take steps for promoting anti-war and peace.
The Iflac Peace Anthology 2018, will contain excellent Anti-War articles, Real Life Stories, Anti-War and Peace Poems, A Contest of Haiku, and Peace, and Anti-War paintings and Art. It will be published on Amazon in three languages: English, Spanish and French, and will be translated into many more languages, including: Russian, Hebrew and Arabic. We hope that this important Anthology will pave the way to banish WAR, TERROR and VIOLENCE from our planet, and bring instead: Bridges of Culture, understanding, creativity, harmony and peace.
Please send one of your best: articles, one of your best stories, 3 selected poems and 5 Haikus in English or French to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and in Spanish to the Editor of the Spanish Edition: Maria Cristina Azcona: email@example.com
Please attach your Address and Email, and a good passport photo.
To participate in this prestigious IFLAC Anthology, you have to be an IFLAC member, the subscription is free, and you can subscribe by sending an email to: IFLACsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.Please send your materials for the Anthology, after joining IFLAC -International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace.
The deadline is: March 30, 208.
With best wishes for a joyful and creative NEW YEAR 2018, beyond War, Terror and Violence.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018!
Prof. Ada Aharoni, IFLAC Founding President
IFLAC Yahoo website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IFLAC
In an impressive ceremony, Prof. Ada Aharoni received the prestigious
“Hebrew Writers Association Award”, in recognition of her 34 published
books, and her fruitful activities for the promotion of Hebrew culture, and
the culture of peace. The award was awarded to Prof. Aharoni by the Chairman
of the Writers’ Association, Adv. Zvika Nir, together with Deputy Chairman
Adv. Atzmon Yaniv.
Chairman Zvika Nir, spoke about the great and fruitful literary and cultural
activity by Prof. Aharoni in the Writers’ Association, and outside it, to
promote culture and literature in Israel and around the world.
This is a rare event, because only two writers have received this Award
before in the whole of Israel, and Prof. Ada Aharoni is the first writer to
receive this prestigious Award in Haifa and the North of Israel. This Award
follows many awards and prizes that Aharoni received, including the
“President’s Prize for Peace Culture,” presented to her by the late
President Shimon Peres, and the “City of Haifa Honorary Award,” award to her
by Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.
THE IFLAC IPCTV PROJECT – 2017
A GLOBAL PEACE CULTURE TELEVISION
AND INTERNET CHANNEL
By Prof. Ada Aharoni
Today, we are in a period in history of the greatest danger to humankind through the threat of horrendous TERROR organizations, and to nuclear propagation, which can lead to a nuclear war and consequently, to the destruction of humanity and the whole of our planet.
Nuclear weapons are becoming more available worldwide and can be used by irresponsible governments, led by war-mongers, led by motives of jealousy, greed and folly. There is also the great danger that fanatic terrorist organizations may acquire such deadly weapons! The best way to prevent this is to eliminate the “Culture of Violence, Wars and Terror,” by a powerful and effective “Global Culture of Peace”. It is imperative that Governments, World Institutions, and NGO’s mobilize for cultural, ethical and moral means that can overcome this dangerous crisis.
One of the most effective ways to counterbalance the culture of violence and to eliminate terror and war in our global village, is with the creation of a powerful global Television by Satellite and Internet Peace Channel that would spread an influential culture of peace. In our past wars, we disregarded our common humanity and joined in efforts to kill our “enemy and opponents.” However, killing will not stop killing. Nobel Peace Laureate, Elie Wiesel said: “The enemy is he whose story you have not heard.” Indeed, stories and narratives are the founding bricks of culture. Actions, good or bad, begin in the mind, in the stories we hear, tell and view.
Through the IPCTV: THE INTERNATIONAL PEACE CULTURE TELEVISION, we will explore and tell as objectively as possible, the stories and cultural backgrounds of both sides of a conflict. This knowledge of each other will lead to understanding and respect and would help in eliminating the causes of conflict, war and terror, and would promote reconciliation and peace. The IPCTV will be an effective “Preventive Medicine.” It will function as an antidote to the poison of war and violence and spread instead, peace, undestanding and harmony.
At IFLAC: THE INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR THE LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF PEACE, we strive to eliminate the causes of violence that lead to destruction, misery and poverty. To help spread the culture of peace and prevent the horrific tragedy of war, we founded the IFLAC Digest daily Internet Newsletter for the promotion and the creation of Bridges of Culture, Understanding, and Communication among people and nations.
As children are the future, we have also created a new branch titled: IFLAC Kids. Children have made their own Facebook PEACE page through which they can communicate with children all over the world. They place posts about their thoughts on peace, pictures and peace train drawings which they made themselves, to show their compassion with others. However, to guide children in the paths of Peace Culture is not enough; we will also have programs for parents, teachers and students, on the IPCTV.
Wars have hindered the progress of humankind. The most powerful institutions in our world – such as governments, global corporations, and mass media – should help to create and establish the IPCTV. For no more September 11 to occur, responsible organizations should join together, in the saving of our planet and our democratic culture. This should be a primary subject on their agendas, and not put financial profit first, as they mostly do until now. The resulting tragic carnage have been disastrous, and the IPCTV can change all that.
It is imperative that the governments of the world, and global institutions such as: the UN, UNESCO, and the WORLD BANK, join hands to create together with IFLAC and other Peace NGO’s, this so urgently needed IPCTV. In addition, the whole human family should mobilize itself for an ethical and Cultural Revolution – from a culture of violence, as we get on daily TV – to a Culture of Peace that can help alleviate and solve the dangerous cultural crises we are drowning in today.
We must now all think and act as responsible caretakers and trustees of the global culture of peace, of democracy, and of our planet, and we should seek progress and fair benefits for all people. Killing will only trigger more acts of violence and terror by those who hate democracy and put it into jeopardy. Television, Press, Radio and Internet, play a vital role in our lives. The IPCTV will have a special obligation to influence all other media.
The values through which we would like to raise our children are values of progress, hope, creativeness, harmony, and peace. The IPCTV will promote these values and norms, through exciting films and documentaries, and interviews with those who are running our world, as well as with people of all walks of life in opposing camps and countries. This Peace TV will promote democratic and humane goals, such as the fostering of freedom and the elimination of hunger and famine in our world. It will also foster equality between the sexes and the progress of women in all aspects of life, as well as their promotion to be equal leaders of our global village. Our ailing world today needs the caressing and comforting hug of a mother’s embrace.
The Peace Culture TV by Satellite which will be available on Internet too, could start in Haifa, the city of harmony and peace where Jews, Muslims and Christians live and flourish together in harmony. It should then spread to the whole of the troubled Middle East, and it could function at its start in 3 languages: English, Hebrew and Arabic. It could gradually cover other major places of conflict, with the goal, in due time, to cover the whole global village. It will gradually become the most popular TV and Internet Channel because it will have the good of the people at heart, and will reflect what people want of life and will give them tools how to attain it. War is not democratic, because the great majority of the people in the world do not want wars.
The impact of the multitude of NGO’s can increase dramatically by uniting in a global Campaign for the creation of the IPCTV and the foundation of a “Sustainable Future.” The IPCTV will function according to the highest professional standards; it will take into consideration the various ethnic entities, and appeal to every major culture. IFLAC that was founded in 1999 has a long history of excellent materials and subjects it has developed over the years, in its various branches around the world, and it is ready to put them to use at the outset of the establishment of the IPCTV. We call for sponsors for this urgent and challenging project, for the creation of a better global village for our children, and for us, beyond war, violence and hunger.
The IPCTV will have a sacred obligation as the mouths, eyes and ears of the people in our Global Village to:
— Feature not only problems, but also solutions to the problems.
— Headline cases of peaceful development and harmonious progress in human endeavors that replace: War, Terror, violence, hate, fear, jealousy and greed, with: Peace, love of peace, harmony, honesty and care.
— Give recognition and attention to people, institutions and projects that eliminate violence, terror, poverty and foster peace culture and understanding.
The creation of the IPCTV can change our present dangerous world into a new beginning of a better, safer and more joyful world – beyond war, terror and violence.
WORLD IFLAC – 30 JANUARY 2017
Prof Ada Aharoni, the Founding President of IFLAC: INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR THE LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF PEACE, is a Peace Researcher, Writer, Poet and Sociologist. She believes that intercultural communication, peace literature and a peace media can substantially help in healing the urgent ailments of our global village. She has been awarded several International prizes, and was elected one of the best “Hundred Global Writer Heroines” (Rochester, New York, 1998).
Prof. Ada Aharoni was awarded several prizes, including the President Shimon Peres Award for PEACE in 2012, for her peace research, her books, and her peace work with IFLAC. She has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2014. The creation, development and functioning of the IPCTV would be the fulfillment of her major dream come true, and that of all peace yearning people around the world.
Prof. Ada Aharoni
1A Gdalyahou Street, Haifa 3258701
Tel +972-77-3202818, +972-54-4404750
MOTHER THERESA OF THE MIDDLE EAST – THEA WOLF
NOT IN VAIN by ADA AHARONI
By Dan Luiton
NOT IN VAIN by Ada Aharoni tells the story about a German Nurse called Thea Wolf living in Alexandria, Egypt during World War Two. This book contains tales about how a brave nurse succeeded to help Jews escaping from the horrors of Europe during World War Two, for the only reason of helping a human being. As a Mexican man I rarely show any emotions but this was the first book which made me cry, because she saved so many people who were destined to die.
At the beginning, it seemed not so interesting to read, because it was like a common story about a Jewish girl who wanted to become a nurse in a conservative society, who then went to Egypt. Then, when she started talking about all the stories of her patients, I as a reader could not stop reading. The stories were so interesting and some even made me cry of happiness that those refugees who were destined to die were saved by her.
One of the stories that moved me so much was the NIGHT OF THE STAIRCASE, a story about a mother that just gave birth to a beautiful girl and was in deep sadness. She was sad because her husband forced to stop working because now she was already a mother. She did not want to stop working, because when she was young her mother left her dad, and she couldn’t do anything because her husband told her to stop working and she didn’t want to end like her mother. However, she did work after all because that was her joy and her husband had to understand that.
This story moves me in particular because my mom was forced by my dad to stop working when she had my first brother. Yet, she started working twenty years later. I can relate to Emily because my mom like her, was so deeply sad because she couldn’t work. However, it’s something common in our culture, women have to submit to their husbands. Even though, my mom had a degree and my dad did not have one, she needed to stop working. The author, Ada Aharoni, was right when she shows that women should work too. Why is this backward cultural idea that women should not work still exist. Women of course, should work if they want to, just like the men! I think this story in addition of the story of my mother, has made me a strong supporter of feminism.
The most moving story of all in the book was THE ASTOUNDING PANCHO EPISODE, about four Czechoslovakian Jews who tried to save their friends that were shipwrecked on an abandoned island. Hundreds of Czechoslovakian Jews were trying to escape the horrors of Nazi Europe, in an old ship, but the ship sank and they landed on the nearest desert island, somewhere in the Mediterranean. The four young Jews left the island on a raft to look for help for their friends and relatives. They were sailing for two days without water or food until they were picked up by a British war ship who thought they were German spies.
When they got to Alexandria, the heroic head nurse, Thea Wolf, tried to help them. She went to the British forces in Alexandria and told them the sad story of the Pancho. They sent two planes to look for them, but did not find any island with shipwrecked people. An Italian warship fortunately spotted and saved them. The captain name Carlo, took them aboard and fed them, to Sicily that there they would be safe if they did not say that they were Jews. They found work in Sicily and stayed there all through the war years.
Half century later, when Ada Aharoni published the book NOT IN VAIN with the story, someone by the name of Abraham called her and told her that he was one of those Jews in the island and told he reported the story how they were saved. The story does not end there; the survivors of the Pancho met in Jerusalem in the congress which Thea and the mayor of Jerusalem organized. They were delighted to meet with each other because many people thought they were dead. It was so moving that they were able to find each other after so long. The reason I love the story is because there could be good and kind people even if they are enemies. In this case it was a good hearted Italian captain by the name of Carlo.
It is a unique story which tells another side of World War Two that needs to be written down in the book of history. Moreover, as a Mexican that usually hides my feelings and almost never cries, yet this book made me cry. For these reasons, and because it very well written and told, I think this biography of Thea Wolf – The Mother Theresa of the Middle East, should be read and enriched by all .