Sami Al Jundi was born in the Old City of Jerusalem and raised in a family of Palestinian refugees. They were constantly treated like second-class citizens and after the 1967 war, Israeli soldiers took over their home and forced them to move to another part of the Old City. By then Sami was five years old. An accumulation of slights and indignities leads this Palestinian adolescent to join the Palentine Liberation Organization with two friends. Eager to hurt Israeli police, they begin to work on a bomb but it explodes killing one boy and wounding the others. Sami is arrested while in the hospital and then subjected to Israeli torture. He is sentenced to ten years in prison.
Incarceration turns out to be a workshop for Sami's spirit. He reads many books and is buoyed up by camaraderie of this community of political activists. In the library he finds a volume about Mahatma Gandhi. He is especially moved by a story about the founder of the practice of nonviolence and a Hindu man who had murdered a Muslim baby. The man wants repentance and Gandhi tells him that in order to feel any peace again, he must raise a Muslim orphan for 20 years. The Hindu realizes that while it took only seconds to kill a human being, it takes two decades to nurture new life in another through love and sacrifice.
When Sami is released from prison, he has a new mission: to work for the liberation of his people through peace and nonviolence. He works very hard to help Palestinians understand democracy in the 1996 elections. In 1999, he co-founds the Seeds for Peace Center for Coexistence which brings Arab and Israeli teenagers together for dialogue, leadership training, empowerment, creative expression, mediation, and negotiation.
The Hour of Sunlight by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe, a documentary filmmaker and author of Darfur Diary, is an inspiring account of a patient and resilient Palestinian who has gone through many ordeals and changes on the path toward peace in the Middle East.