Born in Cairo and raised in the Gaza Strip in the 1950's, Nonie's father had been sent to Gaza under orders of President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, to head Fedayeen operations against Israel. The Fedayeen were the first organized terrorists from Arab lands, sent to conduct guerilla style operations inside Israeli territory and cause as much death and destruction as possible to the Jewish nation.
Nonie was raised in this atmosphere of intense hatred of Israel, with her own father spearheading the wish of the Arab world to destroy Israel. Since her family had been sent by Nasser to live in the war zone of Gaza, she and her siblings attended Palestinian elementary schools where she suffered the intense indoctrination of hatred and anti-Semitism.
In 1956, however, her father was assassinated in the Jihad against Israel. He became a national hero, a "Shahid" (Martyr) and a symbol of the resistance against the Zionist state. Nonie was only 8 years old. She believes that the culture of Jihad and rabid anti-Semitism caused his death, and from this early age she was repelled by that culture and the hatred it engendered.
Her mother took the family back to Cairo where Nonie grew to maturity, eventually studying at the American University of Cairo, where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Sociology/Anthropology. Working as an editor and translator at the Middle East News Agency, she attended several local and international conferences. This led to her desire to live abroad, arriving in the U.S. in 1978.
Living in the free atmosphere of America, she gradually realized the horrific impact and the evil of the indoctrination that she and all Arab children are subjected to. Years later, after the 9/11 tragedy, she started writing in support of Israel and against the current Islamist culture of hate and violence.
Nonie Darwish believes that the kind of Islam taught by most mosques in the U.S. is subversive, extreme and follows a radical Wahabi agenda. She is eager to see a major reformation in how Islam is taught in order to embody, once again, the best in Islam -- so that Moslems can contribute to the uplifting of the human spirit and the advancement of civilization, as was their role in centuries past.
In terms of human rights, respect and equality under the law, she supports a diverse Middle East with protection for all minorities, including Jews and Christians. She blames Arab media and the lies of the Arab leadership for the misinformation and incitement of the 'Arab Street' that produces rage and violence.
Married and the mother of three, Nonie is now a freelance writer, a public speaker and an interpreter. Her articles have been published widely and she has been speaking coast to coast to convey her message of reconciliation, acceptance and understanding.