Beyond The Walk.
When five young college students trapped in mid-town Manhattan from very different countries must come together to help and support each other to find a way home to Staten Island during the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, something will happen to them that they never thought would ever be possible in their lives, old enemies can sometimes change their world for the better.
Ari, the former Israeli army sergeant, and Najila, the lovely Syrian find each other, old enemies from very different traditions, while Gabi, the outspoken Lebanese Christian Arab guides Paul, the Russian born Jew and the dark secrets that have kept their lives in check for far too many years. Finally, Mansour, the Egyptian and most recent arrival who has the most to lose since he knows deportation could force him back to his old country all come together with their hopes and fears of what the attack on the World Trade Center could mean for each of them.
All five of them must struggle within themselves as old memories once again force each of them to come to terms with the world as it is and the world that they once knew but thought they had left behind. Ari the former Israeli sergeant knows that in his heart he can never really forget that his old enemy once tried to kill him, but now as he faces a new struggle with a young girl that has enchanted his heart he must face what he had long repressed deep within in his soul, and Najila, who thought she could never allow herself to think that she could have such feelings for the enemies of her people, and what they had done to her and her family, must decide just what she was going to do by following her heart or the deep emotions within her soul.
For Gabi, her world is lost to Paul, the sociable, affable Jew who had somehow made her feel that the world is not lost in flames and crashing death, but someone who has confidence in her and his dark secret so that now they must work together as a team. Gabi herself must never allow her deepest feelings to go beyond the heavy depth within her own heart since all her life she has kept her own secrets within herself, the anger, the truth hurts that could never allow her to move forward, but now in the time of her stress and fears, she must give in to someone who needs her even move than her own self-doubts.
Finding themselves in a world that was about to change not only for them but for everyone around them, they look toward each other for strength, for caring, and for comfort from an ancient time long past but still a part of them. Now in the new world, they find a different nemesis, prejudiced police who have their own strong feeling of people from recently arrived countries that they know nothing about but have decided that they are a threat to their place in the world.
In the end, they must deal with an even more challenging adversary, teenage gang members who take it upon themselves to force their will upon the five young people who have had the misfortune to cross into their territory. For all their misfortunes they are together, five very different young people who have found within themselves a way to go forward on a day that made the world remember how dangerous life can be when we forget that there are forces of evil all around us.
From the very beginning until the very end the author keeps us in a world that is exploding all around them, but somehow they keep going together, gaining strength that they never knew they had. At a small out of the way restaurant, they will meet a tiny woman who can only wonder at what these five people had accomplished by walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn under the unreal conditions presented on that most terrifying, grueling day when a world came thundering down, but still, five young people from five very different countries could walk out together and still find comfort and understanding toward each other, than anything in this world was possible.
In the end, the author has given his novel a challenging theme, how can five very different people come together in a time of world destruction and make it seem as if it was almost natural, to let them live in a world they had never thought was within them to even exist, but in this novel that was exactly what happened.
If you would like to buy this book you can find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.