“Saved By Her Enemy”

Imagine if everything you thought about the world was wrong. Imagine if you discovered that the United States wasn’t a superpower, the media had lied to you about the world, other countries, war, and that our President wasn’t the leader of the free world. Imagine that you realize that the truth has always been hidden from you.

This is exactly what happened to Rafraf Barrak, a translator for NBC News during the first years after the U. S. invasion of Iraq. Iraqis thought that Iraq was a superpower. They believed that Saddam Hussein was the greatest leader in the world. They believed his army could destroy all others, and that Americans were completely evil. This is just the beginning of the new book by Don Teague and Rafraf Barrak titled, “Saved By Her Enemy.”

The invasion of Iraq tore down that wall of lies. Out of desperation for money for her family, Rafraf started working for NBC news as a translator and she discovered…the Internet. She also put herself in grave danger.

This is only a glimmer of an amazing story told by NBC correspondent Don Teague and Rafraf Barrak. I was not expecting the faith filled turn this story took. Teague is a Christian, and Rafraf was devout Muslim. During his time in Iraq as a reporter, Teague begins to understand that Rafraf will be killed by insurgents if she stays in Iraq. In one horrifying event, she barely escapes.

He feels God calling him to get her out.

Facing impossible odds, he manages to get her to America in 2004. Rafraf finds herself living with an American family in the middle of the “Bible belt.”

Perhaps the most amusing (sad?) part of this book is when Rafraf tells Teague that all leaders are alike. She says of Saddam, “Sure, he killed people, but that’s because they broke the rules.” Teague tells her that isn’t the way the world works, certainly not the way the United States works. She answers, “Are you telling me that if George Bush heard people saying bad things about him that he wouldn’t have them killed?”

I had to laugh at that. We all know that if that had been the case, the entire writing staff of all the major newspapers in America would be dead.

Rafraf had a lot to learn, and she did. My biggest hope is that she wasn’t alone. I pray that all Iraqis understand, as Rafraf does now, that Americans are just like them. We all want happiness for our children, peace for our world, and freedom to live it the way we see fit. God’s love does not stop at any border. All His children yearn for the same things.

Rafraf is truly an inspiring woman who teaches us that opening our eyes to possibilities opens the door to remarkable change and wonder.

This book is not a political story, or statement on the Iraqi war. It is simply the story of two very different people who find themselves in a dangerous place, and look beyond themselves for an answer out of it.

This is the story of woman finding her way in a world she never realized existed before the war. But it is also the story of Teague’s faith and journey as a war reporter. He reminds us that with God, “all things are possible,” even in an impossible situation.

I thought I knew a great deal about the Iraqi war. But this book gives us an insight into a typical Iraqi family. It showed me what a woman in Iraq believed before the war, and what she learned during it. It is her perspective that was new to me.

Both Don Teague and Rafraf Barrak took chances that most of us would never dream of taking. It is in that leap of faith, they find their lives changed forever.

You can find “Saved By Her Enemy” here.

crossposted at KathleenMcKinley.com and TexasSparkle at the Houston Chronicle Follow me on twitter! @KatMcKinley

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