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‘The Arab and His Rabbi’ book details unlikely friendship

by Sergio Carmona | Aug 31, 2021

Yacoub Gibran holding up his book The Arab and his RabbiThe story of an unlikely friendship is told in the book, “The Arab and His Rabbi: A Story of Awakening.”

The book, which was published in June, is a fictional one based on a compilation of various true events and real people throughout the life of the author, Yacoub Gibran of Hallandale Beach. The events are merged into one story about friendship.

Gibran, a reserve police officer with the Bal Harbour Police Department, was born and raised in the Middle East. He has lived in South Florida for 25 years. His father’s heritage is Palestinian, and his mother’s heritage is Arminian.

Gibran tells the story of a friendship that began during COVID-19 between a young man of Arab descent and his elderly Jewish neighbor who shares his depth of wisdom with the pupil.

“The book is a tribute from student to his teacher,” Gibran said. “The seeds of this story were planted many years ago when I was on a flight to Miami ,and I had the privilege to sit next to an extraordinary man who happened to be a rabbi.”

Gibran continued, “During that flight, time flew as if it were a minute as he shared so many inspiring insights.”

“I’m also a personal trainer and throughout the years, the majority of my clientele were Jewish people who also added so much value to me personally with their care, affinity, love and guidance,” he continued. “I also learned so much on my journey of self-development and growth, and I wanted to share al this knowledge with the readers.”

Gibran said one of his objectives for the book is that he wants to bring the Jewish and Arab worlds closer together.

“Being an Arab American myself, I had so many amazing relationships with my Jewish friends and brothers, and I want to bring those two worlds together.”

Gibran said he feels blessed that his story is touching and inspiring people from different races and genders.

Wendy Vazquez of Fort Lauderdale, a friend of Gibran, said, “I’m one of the staff developers for the curriculum department at Broward Schools.”

“My team trains teachers,” Vazquez continued. “Every summer, my team chooses a few books for our book club. We chose ‘The Arab and HIs Rabbi’ as one of our shorter reads this summer. We had some great discussions surrounding it.”

Vazquez added, “I literally cried at the ending.”

“We are all hoping there will be a second book,” she noted. “If I didn’t know Yacoub personally, I would believe that it was a true story.”

Vazquez met Gibran many years ago as he helped her with some diet issues.

“We did a little cardio training together,” she said. “He’s the reason I was finally able to quit smoking. We soon became friends and have been friends ever since.”

Vazquez shared her thoughts on her friend.

“As long as I’ve known him, Yacoub has always been interested in improving, not just bodies, but minds as well,” she noted. “He’s shared several books with me and has introduced me to some world-renowned motivational speakers and spiritual leaders,” she continued.

Visit for more information on the book, or for the author.