Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Review: Kabul24 by Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson

In August 2001 the Taliban kidnapped Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer after a gathering in an Afghan home where they’d been invited as guests, then betrayed by their hosts.  For the next 48 hours, the Taliban unleashed their fury on the offices of Shelter Now International (SNI) imprisoning a total of eight western aid workers and sixteen of their Afghan colleagues.  The harrowing 105-day ordeal of the Kabul24 was just beginning.

Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson present the real story behind the CNN headlines.   Told primarily through the experiences of Georg Taubmann, director of the Kabul branch of SNI, the authors recount the hostages’ betrayal, increasingly hellish imprisonment, and miraculous escape.  

I stayed up reading Kabul24 late into the night.  This story fascinates with its details regarding the cultural and political climate in Afghanistan during the dictatorship of the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies. It inspires as the hostages support each other and live out their faith: sharing food and medicine with their fellow prisoners, refusing to harm anyone to gain their release, composing songs of praise in the midst of deplorable conditions.

A movie, based on their story, is available for purchase at

1 comment:

Joanne Sher said...

Sounds like quite a read. Thanks for the review, Karen. May have to pick it up!