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New Non-Fiction Brings to Life a Family’s Search for a Place of Peace


New York, NY, October 17, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Journey Among Nations is the history of a Jewish family, a memoir of those who left their homeland in Afghanistan to immigrate to Israel and then to the United States. It is a story lovingly related about tradition and sacred ceremonies, the values that hold a family together, and the events of war that forever altered their lives.

Michael Cohen’s parents lived in Afghanistan in a time when a tolerant king ruled, the country flourished, and Jews and Moslems worked and lived peacefully together. Then came the military coup and the takeover by fundamentalist militias. Life became more and more dangerous for those of the Jewish faith, yet the Cohen family remained steadfast. In 1949, their son, Michael, was born. As the years went by, many within the Jewish community began to immigrate to Israel. Michael’s family also began to sense that the time had come to move to the Promised Land, where they hoped they would experience a sense of true belonging. But life in this new world would prove to be a greater culture shock than they ever expected.

“I started to compare our current situation to the one we left in Kabul. My heart was crying, especially for my father who was a prominent personality in Kabul and other cities of Afghanistan…. Then he came to the Holy Land close to retirement age to wander with a shovel and dig holes just like the Jewish people when they were slaves in Egypt…. I wondered if he would have done this move had he known the consequences in advance. We left a state where everything was in abundance. It was a Diaspora indeed, but the Jews there adapted very well, especially in Kabul where the people are generous, noble, and respectful of others. I did not know of even one Jew there who worked as a plain laborer.”

The family adapted, and soon Michael found himself learning Hebrew, living in a kibbutz, and serving in the military. This was a dangerous time of continuing conflict between the Israelis and Egyptians. In this particular section of the book, Cohen describes the 1973 Yom Kippor war, explaining, in a professional and journalistic manner, the volatile situation.

His story continues with Michael being offered a position in New York City, and his father adamant that, for his safety, he should accept the job and move to the United States. After much dissension on Michael’s part, the two came to an agreement that he would try it out for one month. “Just think of it as a journey,” his father said, “and if you don’t like it, you can always come back.”
Much to his delight, the Jewish Afghan community in New York opened their hearts and homes to him. Michael was enthused by the city and by Americans, whom he found to be “generous, cultured, and efficient.” One month turned into a year, and he fell in love with a young woman from Israel named Dahlia, who also worked for a jewelry company in Manhattan. His future direction was set.

Journey Among Nations is a well-written and thoroughly engaging chronicle, which offers firsthand accounts that bring to life a family’s trials and joys through the tumultuous decades of the 20th century.

ISBN(s): 1432703295 Format(s): 6 x 9 Paperback SRP: US $15.95/CAN $15.95
Genre: Adventure and Adventurers

Michael Cohen is an effective leader who serves as the president of a rapidly growing Jewish Sephardic community. He recently headed two Afghan-Jewish delegations in meetings with the democratically elected president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. He helps to bridge religions and enhance American-Afghan-Israeli ties. Michael, his wife Dahlia, their three sons, and grandchildren all reside in Queens, New York. His corporate office is located in the heart of the diamond district in Manhattan.

For more information or to contact the author, visit www.outskirtspress.com/Michael_Cohen

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