A minority of one

Not yet forty, Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, has already lead a whirlwind of a life. Born to a Muslim banking family in Cairo, Hussain has depicted his journey in his breathtaking memoir, “Minority of One: The Unchaining of an Arab Mind.” In it he depicts how and why he taught himself English and Hebrew, was thrown into the hell of an Egyptian prison, underwent torture, was granted political asylum in the United States, and ended up as a Zionist and advocate for Israel.

Watching television one day with his family, Hussein saw two planes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York. His family believed that this was Allah’s punishment on the “infidels.” Hussein was also taught that Egypt was the best country in the world and anything not the product of Islam was inferior. He knew “Israel was behind” the attack on the Twin Towers.

To understand the evil plans of the Jewish enemy, he had to teach himself English and computer skills, so he could learn Hebrew. The more he learned English, the more he learned about Israel. And the more he learned about Israel, the more he began questioning what he had been taught. For the first time he saw that Jews did not focus on killing Arabs the way Arabs focus on killing Jews. Before long, he discovered an amazing resource just down the street! the Israeli Academic Center in Cairo – the fruit of the 1978 Camp David Accords. 

The Israeli security guard was the first Jew he had ever met. He began to learn Hebrew with him. Appetite unquenchable, the 19-year-old went on to devour Hebrew books and novels . He also broke the Islamic cultural taboo by visiting a place inhabited by Jews and Israelis which soon came to the attention of an Egyptian state security officer. 

His family begged him to stop his studies of Hebrew, Israel and Judaism. But he couldn’t. He was compelled to understand. As a Muslim, he was becoming aware that Muslims were  terribly persecuting the Egyptian Christians. Honest and fearless to the core, he decided to write a blog about anti-Semitism and the treatment of Christians and Muslim women. 

The reprisals were brutal. Without trial he was thrown into a military prison for two months, stripped naked, hit with belts and called a Jew lover.

Just before the Arab Spring of January 2011, he was released. Things looked better know that the President had been overthrown. But hope did not last. When the Muslim Brotherhood took over, attacks on Christians worsened. Hussein was arrested again for writing about peace with Israelis. But by way of diplomatic negotiations, he later was granted asylum in America. 

Despite all he has been through he remains an energised and passionate educator and advocate for Israel. With outstanding courage and eloquence, Hussein sums up his mission in his memoir:  “I was born an Arab; I know how violent, hateful, intolerant and aggressive Arabs are. So I support the right of the free people of Israel to have their own independent country. I support the civilized man against the savage, I support honesty over dishonesty, I support life over death, I support freedom against slavery, I support intelligence over stupidity, I support rationalism over terrorism. Thus, my dear reader, I support Israel.”