Susan Dabbous: "On April 3, 2013 I was kidnapped in Syria, along with three other Italian journalists, by an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group, in Ghassanieh, a Christian village outside Lattakia. We were released after eleven days after a negotiation about which we probably will never know the details.
On April 6, on my fourth day of detention, a new captor asks me: “What are you doing here, don't you know it's dangerous?” She is the only woman in this village, her name is Miriam and she is a jihadist's wife. We had a woman-to-woman conversation. I cried for the first time, cursing every single event that led me here, into the lion's den, into al Qaeda's hands. What was I doing here? To me, Syria was not only a war zone, but also my country, my father's birthplace and still home to part of my family.
“And you, what are you doing here, you're not even Syrian?” I replied to Miriam “I am here with my husband,” she replies. He’s a Tunisian jihadist.
For a while, I lived exactly like her: washing clothes, kneading bread, stoning dates to make cakes. I have disappeared from men's view, by hiding under layers of clothes and blankets, which covered me from head to foot, including my face. Then, I had to think about death when they asked me: “How would you like to die?” The question exposed our two different cultures: my culture, based on our earthly life, and theirs, based on the cult of martyrdom."
Susan's book entitled How would you like to die? will be published shortly on Amazon.