The Bees Road
In an inspirational journey that takes the reader from war-torn South Lebanon to a detention cell at JFK airport, The Bees Road is the personal narrative of Rami Ollaik. A Lebanese Shiite raised in an environment full of violence and cruelty, Rami joins and rises to the top echelons of Hezbollah.
After 13 years of party involvement, he reevaluates his life and his conception of love in an attempt to rid himself of his haunting fundamentalist past and to finally pursue his ultimate goal of personal freedom.
A rough path that leaves him a traitor to Hezbollah, a suspected terrorist to the United States, a professor of beekeeping in Beirut, and author of The Bees Road.
The Bees Road follows the true life of Rami Ollaik starting with his childhood in Southern Lebanon at the brink of the Lebanese Civil War.
This ravaged landscape proves inescapable, and, like many Southern Lebanese Shiites, Rami is drawn to Hezbollah’s resistance movement and indoctrinated into a path of fundamentalist Islam.
Distinguishing himself in the Party of God, Rami builds friendships and connections with some of Hezbollah’s most prominent figures. However, as he moves to Lebanon’s capital to attend the American University of Beirut and head Hezbollah’s AUB recruitment operations, pivotal events on campus and key interactions with the student body cause him to question his values, his views on women, and even the Party itself.
After clashing with Hezbollah’s leadership, Rami leaves the Party of God to pursue a life of open-mindedness and freedom.
This personal reform proves difficult, involving humiliating romantic interactions and a troubling suicide attempt, but eventually the path of the new Rami takes him all the way to the United States to pursue his education. In the land of “The Great Satan,” it doesn’t take long for Rami to fall in love with everything that America stands for.
Unfortunately, the fateful events of September 11th and the resulting national paranoia and Islamophobia push Rami into confrontations with the FBI, blackmail, and interrogation.
After an unexpected and unwarranted deportation from the US, Rami’s assistant-ship is canceled and he’s forced to continue his PhD studies through distance correspondence.
The story ends with Rami back in his home country teaching beekeeping at AUB, filled with the urge to build a stronger Lebanon and unite the nation as whole.