By David Rohde
The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by way of the Taliban, and his wife's fight to unfastened him.
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Extra info for A rope and a prayer : a kidnapping from two sides
Throughout the first days of David’s kidnapping, we are able to draw on the camaraderie of the press and the gravitas of The New York Times to keep his story out of the public eye. But any bit of information I relay to David’s colleagues is quickly common knowledge inside the media bubble. I have to fight repeatedly during these early days to protect our privacy as a couple. I begin my battle at the top, with a heated call to Bill Keller, the paper’s executive editor, from my parents’ living room.
He hands me back my notebook and pen and orders me to start writ ing. American soldiers routinely disgrace Afghan women and men, he says. They force women to stand before them without their burqas, the head-to-toe veils that conservative Pashtun villagers believe protect a woman’s honor. They search homes without permission and force Af ghan men to lie on the ground, placing boots on their heads and push ing their faces into the dirt. He views the United States as a malevolent occupier. Atiqullah produces one of our cell phones and announces that he wants to call the Times bureau in Kabul.
Two months ago we were rolling up the carpets, dancing in the living room, mingling with friends and family. It’s odd to be in this space alone, an observer. As I glance out the sliding doors, the ocean is calm, glasslike. I am comforted by memory and surroundings, yet pained to be here without David. I remember that David looked nervous as we exchanged our vows. ” This definitely qualifies as worse. I now regret my wellintentioned and whimsical act. Perhaps I should not have tempted fate. I promise myself that when David returns, I will restate this promise sans blink.