The Best of Two Lives is a love story as well as family history. It is shaped as a journey, beginning with the cultural foundations of Jordan and the United States. Weaving threads of family stories, Doris introduces us to compelling characters, and describes ways of life that might be forgotten if not for projects such as this. Ibrahim's early years are detailed as he lived in a mixed Muslim-Christian community in Jordan, and Doris tells of growing up as a small-town conservative Christian in Oregon. One of the fundamental messages is that despite superficial differences, at the root, Arab lives and concerns in the Middle East are relatable, just as those of Americans in the United States. Doris never shrinks from showing negative attributes that she couldn't be blamed for wanting to hide, and that differentiates her book from a purely family history. There's something here to help us see our own families more clearly and honestly, and to understand them with compassion. ""Reading The Best of Two Lives reminded me of Albert Camus's insight that the pivotal events in one's life happen by chance. For Doris Rigney, the 'music' began one evening in the library of a regional college in Oregon, when she looked up from her work desk and saw him. And she knew. He was an Arab from Jordan, she a Christian from rural Oregon. Their improbable journey is told here with endearing detail and honesty."" --John Mahoney, Executive Director, Americans for Middle East Understanding ""Doris Ayyoub's The Best of Two Lives is the story of those seeking opportunity who journeyed to West Coast states during Great Depression and World War II migrations. Hard labor, frugal living, and inventive, can-do attitudes enabled families to survive, prosper, and succeed. Doris's was such a family."" --Rebecca (Becky Shock) Scholl, former high school English and French teacher taught English and French in Yakima, WA Doris Ayyoub is a retired elementary teacher living in Issaquah, Washington. Her two daughters, Laila Ayyoub and Tammy Ayyoub, live nearby. This is her first book.