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ONCE KIDNAPED JOURNALIST RETURNS TO SOMALIA TO FIGHT FAMINE

ONCE KIDNAPED JOURNALIST RETURNS TO SOMALIA TO FIGHT FAMINE

She rolls her eyes at the comparison, but Amanda Lindhout looks a whole lot like Kate Middleton — slim, pretty and poised. She commands attention, especially in the middle of a bunch of Kenyan police officers.

Lindhout is here to lead a convoy of food aid into the southern Somalia town of Dobley. She was here early. And now they’re keeping her waiting. It’s been hours.

"I wanna go in five minutes," she says impatiently. "This has taken too long already."

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Because here’s the other thing you should know about Amanda Lindhout. She’s been inside Somalia before.

In August 2008, Lindhout was working as a freelance journalist when her car was surrounded by about a dozen teenage men in Mogadishu.

"They ordered us out of the vehicle, made us lay face down on the dirt, guns pointed at the back of our heads," she says. "We were then put back into the vehicle. And then what followed was many months of moving around, actually all over south central Somalia in different houses, but always with the same group."

She was held captive for more than 15 months. Her captors abused her daily. At one point she was able to call the media, and complained of suffering from dysentery and a broken tooth. "There’s no one to take care of me here," she pleaded. "I don't want to die here."

As Lindhout sat alone in a dark room, she thought about what she would do if she ever got out. "I found that the most positive way to spend the time was really to think about programs that I could create that would one day transform Somalia into a better place — a country that would not be producing these generations of young people that grow up knowing nothing but violence," she says. (more)

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Article by KATE SNOW, NBC News | Read full article here

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