By Grace Austin

Top Malaysian Banker Tells Lifetime of Experiences in Autobiography

The Sea and the Hills: The Life of Hussain Najadi
By Hussain Najadi,(available at

A fascinating journey across the world, through decades and of disparate peoples, Hussain Najadi’s story consists of the captivating, exotic, and sometimes peculiar rememberings of a septuagenarian entrepreneur.

In his autobiography, The Sea and the Hills: The Life of Hussain Najadi, the founder, chairman, and CEO of
AIAK Group (which started AMBANK, the fifth largest bank in Malaysia) discusses his experiences, hardships, and triumphs in his personal and professional lives.

“The story is an affirmation of life’s purpose, of a spirit of adventure, and of unbridled optimism,” said Najadi.

Beginning with an intimate and detailed account of his Persian parents’ immigration to Bahrain, Najadi explores pre- and post-World War II life in a Persian, Muslim home in the Arab nation, emphasizing the importance of family and education to his upbringing and development.

After being ejected from his home country of Bahrain as a teenager for conspiring against British colonial rule, Najadi made his way to Iran, Germany, and eventually, Asia. He describes in intimate detail customs and cultures of the Middle Eastern peoples, an interesting glimpse into a way of life that many in the West are unfamiliar with.

Although he began his adolescence with communist leanings, Najadi eventually became an ardent, self-starting capitalist. His travels throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and North America helped nurture and expand his knowledge and appreciation for free markets and the financial system. His experiences with a wide variety of people throughout these times, from Americans to Arabs, are interesting to note, if only for how descriptive and culturally eye-opening they are.

Najdi’s story is both far-reaching and relevant—one that will influence any reader interested in the financial industry, cultural traditions, and global history within the past fifty years.

The Quran: With or Against the Bible?
By Dr. Ejaz Naqvi, (available at and

Christians, Jews, and Muslims are passionate about their religions. But, are their opinions of other faiths accurate? Have many Muslims actually read the Bible? Have many Judeo-Christians studied the Quran? The Quran: With or Against the Bible? attempts to dispel the myths and misconceptions about the Quran and the Bible, while providing an objective review of the various topics of common interest presented in the two scriptures.

Written by an Islamic scholar and chief of Pain Management and director of Graduate Medical Education at a medical facility in California, the author, Dr. Ejaz Naqvi, became a Muslim nearly twenty years ago, after reading the Quran.

“There is a divide between those with knowledge and those who are seeking it,” says Naqvi. “Other books tend to glorify one scripture, while being critical of the other.”

Islam, at least in America, is one of the most misunderstood religions. While it has come to the forefront of American thought through media coverage since the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terrorism, Islam was established in the seventh century, and long been practiced by Americans in the United States.

Common misperceptions are that Christians and the Bible teach conflicting messages, when in fact, they share many of the same prophets, traditional teachings, and accepted histories. For example, Allah means the God, not just the Islamic god. The word is the same for all peoples (Christian, Jews, and Muslims) that speak Arabic. In other words, they worship the same god, the God, as opposed to different gods of their respective faiths. Naqvi attempts to analyze and compare similarities between the two scriptures in an effort to find common ground.

“This book removes misconceptions and myths about the two books,” Naqvi says. “I want people to know the real messages contained in the Quran and the Bible. I also encourage people to study the scriptures themselves, and not learn them secondhand.”

Naqvi, too, often cites passages in the Quran (although using The Bible for Dummies as a reference was strange), as well as giving insight into Muslim beliefs and Islamic teachings. His objectivity carries over into an easy-to-read chronology, beginning with the essentials of “God” in the first section, and ending with the modern-day
aspects of “The Quran and Daily Life” in the last. Whether one is well-versed in Islam or is a beginner to the holy book, The Quran can be beneficial to all.