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Amanda Lindhout

October 20, 2017 by Speakers' Spotlight

A Mother’s Fight to Free Her Kidnapped Daughter

In 2008, Amanda Lindhout traveled to Somalia — a country often called “the most dangerous place on earth”. Early on in her visit, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda now shares her message of forgiveness, peace-building, human rights, and education. Her mother Lorinda Stewart, meanwhile, was the conduit of hope on the other end of the kidnapping. She negotiated with captors and never gave up hope that she’d be reunited with her daughter.

Stewart recently shared her story with CBC’s The Current, as her new book, One Day Closer: A Mother’s Quest to Bring Her Kidnapped Daughter Home hits shelves.

Here’s part of the article accompanying the interview:

For 460 agonizingly long days, Amanda Lindhout lived in captivity.

On August 23, 2008, Lindhout, along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan, was kidnapped in Somalia where they’d been travelling as freelance journalists.

This month, Lindhout faces one of her accused captors in an Ontario courtroom as he stands trial for his alleged role in her kidnapping.

Ali Omar Ader, a 40-year-old Somali national, was the man on the other end of the phone during the months Amanda’s mother Lorinda Stewart negotiated for her daughter’s life.

Lindhout took the stand confronting one of her accused kidnappers for the first time since her abduction.

“I actually feel, and this is kind of exciting, like a deep healing has taken place. Something has changed inside of me. I feel that in the deepest parts of my being,” Lindhout tells The Current’s host Anna Maria Tremonti about the trial.

The court also heard audio of phone calls between Ali Omar Ader and Lorinda Stewart, who was the lead negotiator during the months her daughter was held hostage. The RCMP set up a command centre in a rented house in Sylvan Lake, AB. But eventually this command centre was dismantled, leaving Stewart on her own.

Stewart never gave up in her efforts to bring her daughter home and now she’s sharing her side of the story in a new book, One Day Closer: A Mother’s Quest to Bring Her Kidnapped Daughter Home.

“Hope is something that I never gave up on. I never for one moment considered that she wouldn’t come home and that became my strength and my determination that I wouldn’t even think anything other than that.”

Read the full story and listen to audio of the interview here.