The Urban Shepherd: Chasing the American Dream
List Price: 13.80
Available: January 2017
He has come a long way both literally and figuratively from his days as a poor shepherd boy in North Africa, but Ben Amor is a symbol of what can happen when someone’s American Dream comes true. The successful career man reinvented himself again after a dream in 1983 of children crying because they were dying of starvation. Unable to forget the sound, he founded Terra-Genesis Inc., a nonprofit agency that began as a way to try to end world hunger through technology.
Ben worked 10 to 12 hours a day 6 days a week, donating his own savings and soliciting funds from others, allowing him to establish the Family Well-Being Center at the Government Hill Association in San Antonio, Texas. He also developed a comprehensive database used by lawyers, counselors, doctors, clergy and other nonprofit agencies that help the needy.
Ben has his own experience with overcoming the odds, a journey he intimately describes in The Urban Shepherd. He shares his joys—and his sorrows—from humble beginnings working hard to survive in Tunisia, serving in the Tunisian Air Force, and moving to the United States to live. Through sharing his personal journey adjusting to a new culture, toxic relationships, professional and personal setbacks, and balancing school, work, and family life, Ben aims to empower readers to reach for their own version of the American Dream.
Ben Amor, known as Ali Ali when he came to the United States in 1968, was born in Tunisia, North Africa, to a poor farming family. He learned English, became a naturalized citizen, and worked as a skilled technician and computer programmer. He earned a bachelor’s degree form San Antonio College. In 1984 he quit his job and founded the nonprofit agency Terra-Genesis Inc.
Terra-Genesis is an umbrella group for 16 other organizations that promote housing, prevention of abandonment, abuse, neglect of children, and art instruction. Ben now serves as executive director of Sav-Baby, a subordinate organization of Terra-Genesis, He developed its Self Discovery program to empower women to be independent and successful. Ben and his fianceé in 1967, Assia Ladhari, another native of Tunisia, married in 1994 and live in San Antonio, Texas. They have a son, Abou Elala Ali, and Ben has a daughter from a previous marriage, Dr. Mona Lisa Kopas.