Journalist recalls her kidnapping, torture, rape; yet forgives Jihadist captors

Amanda  Canadian press image
Amanda Lindhout in Somalia
Photo credit: Canadian Press

Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout has written a book about her traumatic 15 months in captivity, and the torture she endured at the hands of a gang of Muslim teenagers in Somalia in 2008.

A House in the Sky: A Memoir, due out September 10, details an unimaginable, perilous nightmare. But the most dramatic part of her story is reflected in her incredible ability to find forgiveness.

After a successful ransom negotiation and release, Lindhout vowed to help other would-be captors who she said are just “products of a violent environment and an unending war.”

“In 2010, she founded the non-profit Global Enrichment Foundation to help support education for women and girls in Somalia and Kenya,” according to CBC News.

Lindhout hopes to improve the hopeless environment the kidnappers were raised in and to honor the woman who was killed for trying to help her escape.

The following video and excerpt from Canada’s CBC News provides a glimpse into this soft-spoken, beautiful woman’s nightmare:

After about a year of being starved, beaten and sexually brutalized, Amanda Lindhout decided it was time to kill herself.

The Alberta woman, taken hostage in Somalia in August 2008, says she reached her breaking point after spending three days trussed up like an animal, her hands and feet pulled so tightly behind her back that she could barely breathe.

When her captors did untie her, they told her it was only a reprieve. They promised to use the same torture technique on her again each day until they got their ransom money.

Left alone, Lindhout resolved that she was better off dead. She would take a rusty razor to her wrists.

But as she held the blade in her hand, a small, brown bird flew into the doorway of the room where she was being held. It hopped on the dirty floor, looked at her and flew away. It was the first bird she’d seen since shortly after she was taken.

“I’d always believed in signs … and now, when it most mattered, I’d had one,” she writes. “I would live and go home. It didn’t matter what came next or what I had to endure.

Amanda Lindhout attends a reception held in her honour by the Alberta Somali-Canadian community in Calgary on Sunday Feb. 21, 2010. (Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press)

“I would make it through.”

In an advance edition of a book, which is set for release next month, the 32-year-old details the brutal 15 months she spent in captivity along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan. Entitled A House in the Sky, the book is co-authored by Sara Corbett, a contributing writer with the New York Times Magazine.

The book reveals how Lindhout and Brennan’s families eventually gave up on the Canadian and Australian governments and co-ordinated the pair’s release themselves.

The final price for their lives: $1.2 million.

Read the rest of this inspiring story  HERE.


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