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Amanda Lindhout - Freedom In Forgiveness

 

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Amanada Linhout
 

Amanda Lindhout - Tuesdays’ Dinner Keynote

Freedom In Forgiveness
As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, she began to travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she travelled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.

Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured.
Vivid and suspenseful, hers is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity. A captivating, unforgettable speaker, Lindhout alights on the positive and leaves the audience with a fuller understanding of the freedom we can all experience when we choose to embrace compassion. What emerges is a celebration of resilience — a powerful portrait of the strength of the human spirit.

Summary Profile

In 2008, Amanda Lindhout traveled to Somalia as a freelance journalist to research a story on the millions of people affected by two decades of war, drought, and famine. Kidnapped by teenage criminals outside of the capital city, Mogadishu, Amanda spent 460 days enduring unimaginable hardships as a hostage in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Following her release in November 2009, she became an unlikely and passionate advocate for the people of Somalia. Four months after returning home, Amanda founded the Global Enrichment Foundation (GEF) to ignite leadership in Somalia through education and economic initiatives which the GEF creates, funds and implements. Since the GEF’s inception, Amanda has raised millions of dollars to support development and aid in the war-torn country reaching over 300,000 people. She captured international headlines again when she returned to Somalia to lead famine relief efforts in 2011.

Amanda advises international governments, global leaders, non-profit organizations, and policy makers on the importance of using education to counter the radicalization of youth and provide insight into the interrelated issues of poverty and violence against women. Her work has attracted the likes of President Bill Clinton who invited her to speak in Washington about her organization’s work.

Amanda has been featured in publications including Vogue’s September Issue, O Magazine, ELLE, Canadian Living, The New York Time Magazine and The Globe and Mail and appeared on Dateline NBC, The Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, Sanjay Gupta MD, NBC Nightly News, BBC, MSNBC, CTV’s Canada AM, CBC’s The National, Radio Canada International, and a variety of other TV and radio programs both domestic and international. Amanda’s memoir,  A House In The Sky, is a New York Times bestseller and #1 bestseller in Canada.

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