If you are a Palestinian child born on the West Bank, you fight. However, Multicultural Summit keynote speaker Mosab Hassan Yousef says in his biographical summary that Allah had other plans for him — one of peace and forgiveness.
Yousef, the son of one of the founding members of Hamas, will be the keynote speaker at 9 a.m. Oct. 6 at the Clarion Inn in Garden City for the 2016 Multicultural Summit.
Yousef, who spent years working with the Israeli Shin Bet thwarting Hamas terror plots, is a Hamas whistleblower and star of the film, “The Green Prince,” and author of “Son of Hamas.”
According to his biography information, when Yousef was growing up, he wanted to join the family business.
“Sadly, as it is all too common for this region of the world, the family business was death. His father was Sheikh Hassan Yousef — leader and one of the founding members of Hamas,” the bio summary said.
As the eldest son, he was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps one day and take the reins of one of the most violent organizations in history. But then something miraculous happened. By chance or fate, he met a tourist in Jerusalem who gave him a Bible to read.
Yousef could not speak English, so he meticulously deciphered the “infidel book” using a translation dictionary which led to a profound shift in the core of his beliefs and conscience and disillusion with Hamas.
“Not able to live with Hamas’ mission, nor himself anymore, he took a leap of faith, right over the border and into the arms of his sworn enemy — the Israeli Shin Bet. It was then that the Shin Bet, (the FBI equivalent in Israel) asked Yousef to thwart terror plots by doing the unthinkable — to become a spy and betray his nation, religion and family,” the bio states.
Religious whistleblowers in the Arab world usually don’t live to tell tale, and with the current escalation of violence in the Middle East by groups like ISIS and the Khorasan Group, Yousef’s message has never been so critical to the understanding of Islamic ideologies, and to have any hope for achieving peace for the region, and subsequently, most of the world, according to the release.
Yousef speaks to colleges, religious groups and any organization that wants to learn more.
Registration is open for the 2016 Diversity Breakfast and Multicultural Summit. The breakfast, organized by the Garden City’s Cultural Relations Board, will celebrate Cuba and will feature Fort Hays State University President Dr. Mirta Martin as speaker. It is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m.
Following Yousef’s keynote address and question-and-answer session, the multicultural summit also will include a presentation by Major Francisco Hernandez titled, “Applying Global Perspectives to Improve U.S. Communities.”
Hernandez has 18 years of active military service, focusing his career on international efforts to improve the diplomacy, development and defense capabilities of partnering nations. He is scheduled to speak at 10:45 a.m.
Following lunch, a cultural comparisons panel at 1 p.m. will include Garden City residents from various countries discussing the similarities and differences between their native countries and the United States. The summit will wrap up with a call to action/summary featuring Benjamin Anderson and Dr. John Birky.
For more information about the 2016 Diversity Breakfast and Multicultural Summit, or to register, visit www.garden-city.org, or call (620) 276-1175. The event registration form and full bio for keynote speaker Mosab Hassan Yousef are available online at: http://www.garden-city.org/DocumentCenter/Index/160.