The true story of an idealistic young American Jew committed to promoting peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.
Few American college students who study abroad receive constant accusations of being a spy. But that's what happens to Michael Bassin, enrolled for a semester exchange at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
When Michael, despite advice to the contrary, reveals his Jewish identity to his new classmates, students, faculty, and the secret police respond with shock and suspicion.
In between visiting Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and northern India, Michael develops die-hard enemies and loyal allies on campus. He is thrown into the role of reluctant ambassador for the Jewish people, for America, and for Israel as he responds to the conspiracies and threats made against him.
Nevertheless, he finds his efforts to promote understanding are not in vain. As he develops genuine friendships, he sees the positive effects of face-to-face interaction with people who had never met a Jew before.
But Michael's fight for peace doesn't end with his university experience. He moves to Israel and joins the Israeli army as a combat Arabic translator, becoming the face and voice of his unit during both friendly and hostile interactions with Palestinians in the West Bank.
While enforcing an occupation about which he feels conflicted, Michael once again finds that person to person relationships provide the best path to peace in the Middle East.