In 2008, CBC journalist Mellissa Fung was leaving a refugee camp outside of Kabul, Afghanistan when she was grabbed by armed men, stabbed, stuffed into the back of a car, and driven off into the desert. For 28 days, Fung lived confined in a small room, deep underground, until her release. She speaks with passion, grace, and humility about her experience, and on the importance of forgiveness and human rights. Mellissa recently chronicled her return to Afghanistan in a documentary for CBC television, which you can watch here. Below, Mellissa talks about her first visit back to the war-torn nation:
Journalist Mellissa Fung, who was abducted in 2008 in Kabul, Afghanistan, and held hostage, recently returned to the city, five years after the attack.
“I have returned to a place that has both haunted and changed my life,” she says.
Fung says that someone who experiences a life-altering event will in some ways always be connected to the place it happened, and that’s why she wanted to return.
Five years ago, Fung was at the Chahari Qambar refugee camp, filming a story for CBC News about the growing refugee crisis during the height of Canada’s military involvement.
While leaving the camp, she was taken hostage by a gang of armed men, stabbed and held captive in a hole underground for 28 days.
“I was released — largely unscathed — after Afghan authorities arrested the family of one of my kidnappers. My freedom for his mother’s,” she says.
Fung regrets that her kidnapping put the spotlight on her, she says.
“I felt a lot of guilt that I got to come home and I was OK. I got to come back to my family and my friends and my very comfortable life in Canada, and the people who I’d gone to tell stories about, the refugees, were sort of overshadowed. Their story was overshadowed by mine.”