An award winning humanitarian, social activist, public speaker and writer Amanda Lindhout’s story is one of passion and perseverance. There is truly much for all of us to learn from her.
From humble origins in Canada, Amanda took control of her destiny the day she quit her job as a cocktail waitress and became a journalist. She arrived in Afghanistan in 2007, moving on to Iraq and then Somalia as a freelance reporter. On 23rd August, 2008, she and Nigel Brennan, a freelance Australian photojournalist were kidnapped in Mogadishu; along with their Somali translator and two drivers by teenage insurgents from Hizbul Islam fundamentalist group. As fate would have it, they were kidnapped in lieu of two more experienced journalists who had incidentally increased their security that very morning. Despite many attempts at negotiating a ransom, Ms. Lindhout was held in captivity for 15 months and released only following a random payment by her family. She was hospitalized in Nairobi for two weeks and treated for acute malnutrition.
Following her release, Amanda received a lot of media attention which she shied away from until 2013, which was when she released her memoir, A House in The Sky. Co-written with journalist Sara Corbett, her memoir recounts her experience as a hostage. Eliza Griswold of the New York Times said of the book that, “Her tale … is much more than a gonzo adventure tale gone awry — it’s a young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph”. She has also founded the Global Enrichment Foundation to empower, educate and provide aid in the very country where she lost her freedom.
Amanda’s trajectory as a woman of unique resilience, vision and action has made her an inspiring example of how one person can enact positive change on a worldwide scale. In 2012, the Women’s Executive Network named Amanda one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
Amanda Lindhout will be speaking to members of EO New Delhi on 23/01/2014 at The Nilgiri, The Oberoi; 7pmonwards. Please RSVP on Facebook or to Nishtha Bakshi at the earliest.