Actual Title: My Accidental
Jihad: a love story
By: Algonquin Books
An independent woman with no religious commitments moves from the salty beaches of California to Southern California to become more than just a surfer. An athlete, Krista enjoys her daily running routine to meditate herself out of the reality of life. Running the same trail every day, she was constantly crossing paths and locking eyes in the way runners do, and continuing on their way. Until one day they ran together, and ever since they always have.
The one thing you don’t realize in this book until later is Ismail is Muslim. Krista is not. Typically this is not a big deal, but for this book, it is the biggest deal! Krista Bremer is an independent spiritualist American woman who never learned to slow down, and Ismail is a modern Libyan Muslim who received a scholarship to study overseas and never turned back, but never forgot who he was. They have the relationship that one might expect when two cultures come together. A lot of trials and tribulations, and they were constantly learning from each other. When Krista told Ismail they were expecting their first child, there were so many things that happened all at once. So many expectations. So many realities.
According to Merriam-Webster “jihad” is
a crusade for a principle or belief
I, myself, am constantly trying to “find myself”; Krista’s story spoke to me. Realizing that I may not be the only person who has or is going through troublesome culture clashes in their relationship is inspiring to open oneself up to differences. Especially when children become part of the transition.
The last thing to take away from this story is, regardless of your background or your upbringings, that being open to the cultures of others makes you a more tolerant, more accepting person. You not have to believe in it, but if you can accept that there are people who believe in something different from what you do, you will be a person at peace – not only with yourself, but with the world.