By David Rohde
The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction via the Taliban, and his wife's fight to loose him.
Read Online or Download A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides PDF
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Extra info for A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides
Twelve hours after interviewing Andiwal, I lay in the back of the car bound and blindfolded. A dynamic that has always existed in journalism had escalated in Iraq and Afghanistan. In an intensifying race to the bottom, the reporter who took the greatest risk often received the highest acclaim. In Bosnia, a desire to expose injustice had primarily driven me, followed by competitiveness and ambition. In Afghanistan, competitiveness and ambition had gotten the best of me. I had lost my way. As my Taliban captors blared prayers over the car radio and celebrated the capture of their quarry, a new meaning enveloped the sweeping question I had grandly posed to myself in 2001: how can religious extremism be curbed?
My imprisonment in Bosnia ended safely after ten days. I am hoping our luck is as good here. One of the gunmen says something and Tahir turns to me. “They want to know your nationality,” Tahir says. I hesitate and wonder whether I should say I am Canadian. Being an American is disastrous, but lying is worse. If the gunmen search me, they will discover my passport. If I say I’m Canadian and they later find out I’m American, I will instantly be declared a spy. “Tell them the truth,” I say to Tahir.
Military, or NATO as proof of spying. I tell myself not to be a coward, that the interview is a risk worth taking. Many other journalists have done the same thing. In 2007, at the last minute I had canceled a drive to Kandahar for safety reasons and been embarrassed by it. If we can make it to Abu Tayyeb, I think, we will be safe. M. tomorrow morning. As I lie in bed, I call Kristen, as I do every night. I am convinced that if I tell her about the interview she will demand that I not go and I will silently resent her for curtailing my professional life.