Can anybody born into an environment that immerses them into dogma, irrational belief, and hatred ever break free?
It can indeed be a truly challenging journey to make, but the answer is a resounding yes.
To illustrate, here is a fabalous example – Zak Ebrahim was just seven years old when his father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His story is shocking, powerful and, ultimately, inspiring, and here he is telling that story at TED last March.
This is perhaps one of the best TED talks you will ever watch.
Why you should listen
When Zak Ebrahim was seven, his family went on the run. His father, El Sayyid Nosair, had hoped Zak would follow in his footsteps — and become a jihadist. Instead, Zak was at the beginning of a long journey to comprehend his past.
Zak Ebrahim kept his family history a secret as they moved through a long succession of towns. In 2010, he realized his experience as a terrorist’s son not only gave him a unique perspective, but also a unique chance to show that if he could escape a violent heritage, anyone could. As he told Truthdig.com, “We must embrace tolerance and nonviolence. Who knows this better than the son of a terrorist?”
In 2014 Ebrahim published the TED Book The Terrorist’s Son, a memoir written with Jeff Giles about the path he took to turn away from hate.
What others say
“His message is tolerance and peace. And how the son can be different from the father.” — Philadelphia Inquirer, February 3, 2011
If you are wondering why I am posting this today, then it may perhaps be appropriate to remember that today’s date has some significance.