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.
Can and She Will: Women’s Empowerment in Somalia and Beyond
Amanda Lindhout’s experience as a hostage in Somalia has given her a unique perspective on the depravations caused by war and the oppressive conditions forced upon women. Amazingly, Lindhout emerged after 15 months as a hostage with a vision of how she could create sustainable change in the world’s poorest country, the place where she had lost her freedom. Quickly gaining a name for herself as a humanitarian, she now works tirelessly on women’s rights issues and empowers women in Somalia through educational and micro finance programs she founded. In this sweeping talk, Lindhout shares the stories of several extraordinary women — women who represent the future leaders of their countries — and brings us to the heart of a new global wave of women’s empowerment and social entrepreneurship.
The Roots of Radicalization: An Inside Look at How Extremist Groups Exploit Poverty and Oppression, and How Education Can Build Peace
Amanda Lindhout’s extraordinary experience being held hostage for 460 days by teenage militants in Somalia has given her an inside look at how international terrorist groups are recruiting and radicalizing young men in Africa. Lindhout’s chilling discoveries about the structure and motivations of these groups, including the incredible power of the internet to disseminate terrorist propaganda, are a timely resource for anyone seeking to understand the complicated world we live in. She shares her belief that poverty and oppression are contributing factors in the phenomenon of child soldiers and presents a powerful message about the important role that education plays in countering youth recruitment.
During this powerful and interactive workshop, you will go deeper into the exploration of forgiveness, why it is important and what clear steps you can take toward having more of it in your life. Amanda will uncover the costs of not forgiving along with showing the amazing power of compassion in our hearts and in the world.
Doctor of Laws, honouris causa from the University of Lethbridge
Red Deer Women of Excellence Award in Human Services