Read I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad Online Free - "I was told to come alone. I was not to carry any identification, and would have to leave my cell phone, audio recorder, watch, and purse at my hotel. . . ."
For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing - Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other.
In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighborhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalized and the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner "Jihadi John," and then in France, Belgium, and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization.
Mekhennet's background has given her unique access to some of the world's most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination.
Souad Mekhennet is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines, as she shares her transformative journey with us. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.
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May 28, 2017
This one was slow going, but definitely worth it. It was fascinating, but a thinker. Several times I had to put this down and get a little distance because the topics hit so close to home. As someone who has tried to gain a full understanding of the Muslim faith, this account sharply highlights t...
June 12, 2017
ScrappyMags.com one of my best of 2017!!!
Scrappymags 3-word review: Alarming. Entrancing. Disturbing.
Shortest summary ever: Our author Souad Mekhennet is a reknowned German journalist who has written for many top publications like the NYTimes and Washington Post. Her many...
September 30, 2017
The type of writing that exists about jihadism in the West generally ranges from nauseating action-movie style jingoism to purely utilitarian analyses written for intelligence officials and policymakers. The reported pieces that exist tend to focus on one or two specific episodes, often in a pure...
December 06, 2017
While reading this book, I stumbled upon a silly headline discussing a Twitter mention of a singer/songwriter as a "bad bitch", and then Twitter's overwhelming response to this comment with hundreds (thousands now, no doubt) of stories of brave and strong women in history who did remarkable (and...
July 05, 2017
This is definitely a book I feel like all Americans should read in this day and age. Other people too, of course, but I think it makes a couple great points that Americans are often light on, coming from an outside/inside perspective, and detailing a lot of the background on the Middle East that...
February 08, 2018
Wow, this was a remarkable book. Souad Mekhennet is a woman to admire. She's journalist of a Morrocan descendant, who lived most of her life in Germany. She wrote for some of the most popular paper like the NYT and the Washington's Post, met some of the most wanted Jihadists risking her life mean...
June 20, 2017
I won this book on Goodreads. I could barely put this down. It is a Muslim woman journalist's account of her exploration of jihadists, al-Quada and ISIS. Everyone should read this book for a better understanding of why much of the rest of the world hates America and Americans so much. I highly re...
February 08, 2018
This first-hand account of journalist Souad Mekhennet tells her story of growing up Muslim in Germany, and her career of covering Muslim politics and current events in the Middle East, particularly surrounding jihad and ISIS.
I, admittedly, know very little of Middle Eastern history, politics, or...
July 12, 2017
This book is unique in many ways. It is even difficult to classify it. It is part autobiography, part memoir, part sociology that mediates between two cultures which are at odds with each other today, and a substantive contribution to some of the highest quality investigation and reporting from b...
July 27, 2017
This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.
I heard about this book earlier this year thanks to the New York Times' The Interpreter newsletter. I was sitting at work and saw that I had gotten an email from them. Since I'm now an avid news reader, with the NYT as my favorite, I started...