The Fox Hunt
“Nail-bitingly suspenseful. ... Inspiring. ... Essential reading.” — Booklist, starred reviewThe Fox Hunt tells one young man’s unforgettable story of war, unlikely friendship, and his harrowing escape from Yemen's brutal civil war with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West.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 Mohammed 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, Mohammed 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, Mohammed 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, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and 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.The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

The Fox Hunt Details

TitleThe Fox Hunt
Author
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062678218
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, War

The Fox Hunt Review

  • Jeanette
    January 1, 1970
    If anyone deserves to get the life he has prepared for and does by example strive toward with work/goals continually forward, it is this author. He is also a born capitalist in his soul, IMHO. Not to mention that his intellect is coupled with a personality born whole and then honed by his family for "fellow well met" associations supreme. His background and physical state could have made him bitter and vengeful. Instead, he is kind. Also holding continual voice with action example to get the exp If anyone deserves to get the life he has prepared for and does by example strive toward with work/goals continually forward, it is this author. He is also a born capitalist in his soul, IMHO. Not to mention that his intellect is coupled with a personality born whole and then honed by his family for "fellow well met" associations supreme. His background and physical state could have made him bitter and vengeful. Instead, he is kind. Also holding continual voice with action example to get the explosive ends around to meet somewhere and somehow. He also sees humor and positive minutia with strong recognition of some joy in just being alive. (Although lack of electricity is sure to take the smile off his face.) People with disability from a very young age who find a route they like often have that quality, I've found. Or else they get bitter introverted/ closed in to recluse and rather mean. He definitely took the top route.His story of Yemen is complex and often confusing. As is their civil war of, IMHO, far more than just 2 sides. And this is his tale of getting out alive from Yemen when he was and is a mark for the absolute worst consequences. Not only because of who he is ethnically, but also because of how he talks and thinks regarding his own religious lines of dictates. He became "known".Mohammed is exactly the kind of immigrant that is welcome and has more than just victim /refugee justifications to be welcomed. With all of this trouble and anguish, I have the feeling that Al Samawi is certainly worried about his birth family but that he is also one of those people who you know from some font of his own joy, also has a positive smile for the next possible associate. His name could be Horatio Alger too, in a broad sense, it could. Success is possible. All levels of success are possible. Social networks have their downsides but they also have their advantages. This is a fabulous story of connection through tech too. 3 star for the writing ability and 5 star for the personal story/ example. So 4 star rating for a tale of today which explains so much about the Middle East's endless troubles. UN, UNICEF, Saudi Arabia in particular could do SO MUCH more to help those caught in the horrific and constant cracks.
    more
  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read – and it is a true story! Across the top of the front cover of the book is a very powerful description – “Four Strangers, Three Faiths, and One Extraordinary Escape to Freedom”.Mohammed Al Samawi grew up in Yemen being taught to hate Christians and Jews. But then he met Luke, a Christian professor, and they struck up a friendship. With sincere concern for Luke, Mohammed presented him with a copy of the Quran. Luke agreed to read the Quran This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read – and it is a true story! Across the top of the front cover of the book is a very powerful description – “Four Strangers, Three Faiths, and One Extraordinary Escape to Freedom”.Mohammed Al Samawi grew up in Yemen being taught to hate Christians and Jews. But then he met Luke, a Christian professor, and they struck up a friendship. With sincere concern for Luke, Mohammed presented him with a copy of the Quran. Luke agreed to read the Quran if Mohammed would read the Bible. This challenge would ultimately totally change Mohammed’s life.The more he read, the more he came to realize that Jews, Christians, and Muslims are more similar than they are different. This realization resulted in so many questions he knew he had to get answers. He began on-line interactions with Jews and Christians and attended conferences in Sarajevo and Jordan. It was in Jordan that he met a young lady who would later help save his life. But his interactions with Jews and Christians soon got the attention of the extremist groups. He began receiving death threats and soon knew his life was truly in danger. How could he get out of Yemen? Fearing for the safety of his family he left his home of Sana’a and fled to Aden.In Aden, he reached out on social media asking for help. He was trapped, all alone, in the bathroom of his apartment while outside the gunfire and grenades exploded. His social media friends became his family, there with him 24 hours a day. It was four young interfaith activists – two in the US and two in Tel Aviv - with no experience in foreign affairs, international relations, or foreign diplomacy who, through social media, carried out a miracle. They reached out to everyone they knew and got them to also reach out to their networks. And people responded! They connected with various militaries, governments, and organizations where they found some who were willing to help. The way they got him out of Yemen is just mind-boggling. Not only did they get him out of Yemen but they then got him to the US. This is a miraculous story. It restores faith that there really are good people out there who will go to great measures for people they do not know. Why? It is just the right thing to do I guess. It really should be no surprise too that his story has already been picked up to be made into a movie. This is absolutely a MUST READ.
    more
  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy in a giveaway -- and I'm so glad I did! This was a very well put together story of a refugee's experience in faith, friendship, and international affairs. There was a lot of explanation of the war in Yemen, which was a little slow at times, but helped me (as someone who was not fully aware of the tensions in the country) understand what was happening on the ground. An important read to learn more about what refugees go through!
    more
  • Lissa
    January 1, 1970
    Mohammad grew up in Yemen and was taught that Westerners and Jews were evil and an enemy to all Muslims. A college level course provided him a fateful interaction with a Western man that led to his continued education in other religions, cultures and nationalities. This is a moving memoir that not only details his scary situation as Yemen disintegrated into civil war but also the importance of making connections. A group of the connections and friendships that Mohammad forged during his NGO peac Mohammad grew up in Yemen and was taught that Westerners and Jews were evil and an enemy to all Muslims. A college level course provided him a fateful interaction with a Western man that led to his continued education in other religions, cultures and nationalities. This is a moving memoir that not only details his scary situation as Yemen disintegrated into civil war but also the importance of making connections. A group of the connections and friendships that Mohammad forged during his NGO peace work went to drastic lengths to help get him out Yemen. He is very honest about his experiences and the mistakes that he makes, which is at times frustrating, but at the same time very engaging. I received a digital ARC of this book through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't know much about the causes of the war in Yemen until I read this book.  It still doesn't make much sense to me because it boils down to "Those people look different than us and think differently than us."  It is that kind of mindset that Mohammed Al Samawi was working against prior to the war.  The stars of this story of the activists around the world who play a high stakes game of Six Degrees of Separation.  Who do you know?  Who do they know?  Can you get one man from Aden to Africa? I didn't know much about the causes of the war in Yemen until I read this book.  It still doesn't make much sense to me because it boils down to "Those people look different than us and think differently than us."  It is that kind of mindset that Mohammed Al Samawi was working against prior to the war.  The stars of this story of the activists around the world who play a high stakes game of Six Degrees of Separation.  Who do you know?  Who do they know?  Can you get one man from Aden to Africa?What struck me while reading this is the problems that are caused by Yemen's patriarchy/toxic combination of masculinity and religion: The whole conflict could be put down to this He was unable to shelter with his uncle's family because his uncle wouldn't let him in the house where his unmarried female cousins lived.  How messed up is that?  Your nephew is alone in an apartment in a war zone but you won't take him in because you assume he wouldn't be able to sexually control himself around his female relatives? Because he was male he was completely unprepared to live on his own without women to care for him.  He moved to Aden and was living alone.  He ate out daily since he didn't cook so he had minimal food and supplies in the house when all the shops closed down. After he was out of Yemen due to the help of a group of interfaith activists he was still too afraid to tell him mother (still living in a war zone) that he had been talking to Jews.  I found the beginning of this book with his entry into interfaith dialogue more interesting than the story of his escape from Yemen.  I think that is partially because the writing is very plain.  It reads like "This happened and then this happened and then this happened..."  Secondly, I mostly just wanted to shake the guy.  This is not a heroic memoir.  Mohammed Al Samawi isn't brave.  He isn't very good at planning.  He moves from Sanaa to Aden but neglects to bring his passport even though he travels for work.  These things all make trying to flee the country harder.  He uses the distraction of a Northern man like himself being publicly tortured to death in the street by Al Qaeda to escape from his apartment while wondering why no one tries to help that man.  He even refers to himself occasionally as a man-child.  He was in his late 20s in 2015 when this happened.In the end there were so many different lobbying efforts going on that it is not clear who succeeded in getting the order given to let him on the ship from Aden to Djibouti.  I wish this had been investigated.  It seems to be a very strange thing not to know who allowed his transport in a book about arranging his transport.   In the absence of facts, he falls back on the idea that God arranged his rescue.  While comforting for religious people, this makes nonreligious people want to pull their hair out.  Basically he saying that his God ignored everyone else stuck in a war (about religion and power) to concentrate on giving him special attention.  It also diminishes all the hard work that people did on his behalf. [image error] This review was originally posted on Based On A True Story
    more
  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    January 1, 1970
    "The Fox Hunt" is the story of Mohammed who dreams of making his home country of Yemen a better place where more young people can succeed and be safe. Yemen is embroiled in a brutal civil war where the lines between the various sides and outside influence from brutal terrorist groups are blurred. Mohammed finds himself in a situation where he needs to desperately get out of the country where there seems to be no clear exit. He will largely have to rely on fate and the kindness of almost stranger "The Fox Hunt" is the story of Mohammed who dreams of making his home country of Yemen a better place where more young people can succeed and be safe. Yemen is embroiled in a brutal civil war where the lines between the various sides and outside influence from brutal terrorist groups are blurred. Mohammed finds himself in a situation where he needs to desperately get out of the country where there seems to be no clear exit. He will largely have to rely on fate and the kindness of almost strangers to help him get out alive.This is a truly amazing story that often reads more like a thriller than a true story. Al Samawi spins a great yarn about what his country is facing and what he is facing as an individual. He is one of the lucky ones. There are so many others in his country that have been felled by the violence and never had the chance to even begin to think about escaping the violence. One thing that I kept thinking about throughout the book is how many other Mohammeds are there out there? Individuals with immense promise to make an impact that because of their circumstances are never given the chance to succeed. It's staggering to think about that!Even for an avid newshound like me, there is still so much that I don't know and am not tracking. The Yemen civil war is one of those subjects that I don't fully understand. This book dives into a little of the history to show how the country got to where it is and made it a lot clearer for me. It's a very sad situation that doesn't seem to be getting a lot of airtime in light of other things going on in other countries in the region. This is the perfect book to give you more background on the situation on Yemen as well as a harrowing escape story that ends with a lot of promise!
    more
  • Caleigh Rutledge
    January 1, 1970
    An important read for today's conflict in Yemen. 4 stars because the harrowing story is, I feel, just the beginning for this author's contribution to his country. I reviewed an early copy of this book as part of the TLC Book Tour - please find my full review available APRIL 17, 2018 at http://www.literaryquicksand.com/2018...
    more
  • Shannon Wise
    January 1, 1970
    When I was in college, I had to write a paper in my comparative governments class about a country I knew nothing about. We drew them from a hat. I drew Yemen. From that day, I have followed Yemen in the news. So when I won a copy of Fox Hunt, I was excited to read it. Now I sit, crying a river of tears after finishing it and hoping that I can get as many people as possible to read this book. Mohammed Al Samawi was born and raised in Yemen. He was raised Muslim and raised to hate Americans and Je When I was in college, I had to write a paper in my comparative governments class about a country I knew nothing about. We drew them from a hat. I drew Yemen. From that day, I have followed Yemen in the news. So when I won a copy of Fox Hunt, I was excited to read it. Now I sit, crying a river of tears after finishing it and hoping that I can get as many people as possible to read this book. Mohammed Al Samawi was born and raised in Yemen. He was raised Muslim and raised to hate Americans and Jews and Israel. When he was in college an English instructor gave him a copy of the Bible and he gave his English instructor a copy of the Quran. That Bible changed Mr. Samawi's life. He decided to learn more about Christians and Jews and joined interfaith groups on Facebook. He attended conferences and worked for NGOs in Yemen. His parents were less than thrilled about it. But he loved his work. Then he started receiving death threats. He moved from northern Yemen to Southern Yemen to work for Oxfam. And then the civil war broke out. He was sure he was going to be killed. He reached out to his friends on social media. Men and women from Israel and America - men and women who were Jews and Christians - worked tirelessly to get Mohammed out of Yemen. Eventually, they did and Mohammed is in the U.S. today, waiting for the civil war to end so he can go home and see his family.I do not want to give away the entire book, but even if I did you would still want to read Mohammed's story. With all of the talk in this country, in particular, about immigrants being evil and raping and pillaging, this story shows that is so far from the truth. It is a story of all the good things in life - peace, love, tolerance, and helping others with no visible benefit to you. I was utterly floored by this book and I would highly recommend it. I won this book from Goodreads and received no other compensation in exchange for this review. The views expressed herein are mine and mine alone.
    more
  • Carla
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, @tlcbooktours, for my free review copy. All opinions are my own.While reading @alsawami’s memoir, THE FOX HUNT, I was continually relieved by the fact that I’ve never had to know a day in my life of bullets whizzing by my ears and bombs falling from the sky. I have had a fortunate existence, but I’m also very aware that not everyone in this world can say the same. The details and experiences of this book are a reality for many people. I applaud Al Sawami for writing his story and givi Thank you, @tlcbooktours, for my free review copy. All opinions are my own.While reading @alsawami’s memoir, THE FOX HUNT, I was continually relieved by the fact that I’ve never had to know a day in my life of bullets whizzing by my ears and bombs falling from the sky. I have had a fortunate existence, but I’m also very aware that not everyone in this world can say the same. The details and experiences of this book are a reality for many people. I applaud Al Sawami for writing his story and giving a voice to the innocent people of the Middle Eastern conflicts. This is why I love books so much - they help us to have compassion and understanding, they show us how different life can be for someone else, and they teach us about things we may never know about otherwise. Many people came together throughout the world to help Al Sawami escape his dire circumstances, and he has used that kindness to educate people in hopes that we will learn from the situations in order to not repeat the same mistakes. His life was saved when the odds were stacked against him, and we are fortunate that he has chosen to use his voice so that we can learn. It’s like the saying goes, “When we know better, we do better.” Thanks for teaching me, Mohammed, through your words in this book. You’re truly an inspiration for all of us to forgo our differences and to love one another instead.
    more
  • Patty
    January 1, 1970
    This is the story that kept me on the edge of my seat. Imagine being a country torn by civil war and you are a wanted man. The situation is deteriorating and you need to get out – but how? Oh, and that country is Yemen. The Fox Hunt is the memoir of the man in this story.In this time of division and hate a story like this certainly offers hope. For the author of this memoir is a Muslim and he is helped by an international assortment of friends and associates of all religions and beliefs. They co This is the story that kept me on the edge of my seat. Imagine being a country torn by civil war and you are a wanted man. The situation is deteriorating and you need to get out – but how? Oh, and that country is Yemen. The Fox Hunt is the memoir of the man in this story.In this time of division and hate a story like this certainly offers hope. For the author of this memoir is a Muslim and he is helped by an international assortment of friends and associates of all religions and beliefs. They come together to help the PERSON remembering that a person is not the religion they practice but an individual.Despite this book being nonfiction it reads like a first class fiction suspense thriller with a sense of humor. In fact it’s Mohammed’s humor that makes all of the horror palatable. His childhood is not easy and yet he shares the trials with quiet dignity. He is a truly remarkable young man. He is taught from an early age that Jewish people are the worst of the worst. Until one day he is given a Bible and he has to readjust his worldview – which he does. To an amazing degree.I really enjoyed this book even given my general tendency to not read non fiction books. I think if more books like this were read and more people looked past labels like Muslim, Christian, Jewish and looked more at the person the world would be a much gentler place.4.5
    more
  • Scribe Publications
    January 1, 1970
    At any moment in history, The Fox Hunt would be a tense, exciting, uplifting story of international intrigue and cross-cultural cooperation. But at this moment, Mohammed Al Samawi has written an urgent and timely book that reminds us of the common threads of the human experience.Bruce Feiler, Bestselling Author of Walking the Bible and AbrahamDriving social change in the Arab world is a high stakes game, and Mohammed Al Samawi gambles with his life. A memoir wrapped in a thriller, The Fox Hunt i At any moment in history, The Fox Hunt would be a tense, exciting, uplifting story of international intrigue and cross-cultural cooperation. But at this moment, Mohammed Al Samawi has written an urgent and timely book that reminds us of the common threads of the human experience.Bruce Feiler, Bestselling Author of Walking the Bible and AbrahamDriving social change in the Arab world is a high stakes game, and Mohammed Al Samawi gambles with his life. A memoir wrapped in a thriller, The Fox Hunt is one of those rare stories that's as gripping as it is important.Bassem Youssef, Author of Revolution for DummiesMohammed Al Samawi's page-turning memoir, The Fox Hunt, is an unforgettable odyssey through Yemen, and the rocky terrain of religion, identity, and power. Caught in the most desperate of circumstances, he shows us the unexpected heroism of regular people, and gives us the courage to confront prejudice and take action.Yeonmi Park, Human Rights Activist and Author of In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom
    more
  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    A Must Read This is a must read for every American. This should be taught in high school! If I had had any inkling that I could have so much power to change even some small part of the world when I was in my twenties...Wow. I have so much Faith in our younger generations. We must all live as human beings. We all must seek to understand. If this guy can do it, anyone can...and should!
    more
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    A truly incredible tale that brings light to the situation in Yemen, shines a light on how humanity can truly come together, and yet also the horrible things humans can do to each other. While perhaps not the greatest writing in the world, the story is very compelling.
    more
  • Openly Bookish
    January 1, 1970
    I was provided this ARC for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review.This book is a MUST read. One of my fave memoirs read this year so far. ❤❤❤❤ I was provided this ARC for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review.This book is a MUST read. One of my fave memoirs read this year so far. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
    more
  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come.
  • Sheila Nielson
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting read but not mesmerizing. Almost too many details that caused me to lose the suspense intended.
  • Sammie Beck
    January 1, 1970
    This is an extraordinary story of ordinary people who use their social networks to save a young man from a war zone in Yemen. It's an absolutely epic journey in which platforms like Facebook and Twitter not only offer people in closed communities access to the outside world, they also enable the international connections and crowdsourcing to help them get out. Heart-stopping and breath-taking, it reads as if you're watching a movie.
    more
Write a review