Kabul 24: The Story of a Taliban Kidnapping and Unwavering Faith in the Face of True Terror [NOOK Book]

Overview

You can't kidnap someone's hope.

They were teachers, engineers, nurses, students, and artists from around the world who answered God's call to help Afghan refugees rebuild their lives following decades of war. But as international tensions reached inferno levels in 2001, extremists set out to rid Afghanistan of anyone who posed a threat to Islam and the influence of the Taliban.

The Shelter Now International ...

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Kabul 24: The Story of a Taliban Kidnapping and Unwavering Faith in the Face of True Terror

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Overview

You can't kidnap someone's hope.

They were teachers, engineers, nurses, students, and artists from around the world who answered God's call to help Afghan refugees rebuild their lives following decades of war. But as international tensions reached inferno levels in 2001, extremists set out to rid Afghanistan of anyone who posed a threat to Islam and the influence of the Taliban.

The Shelter Now International (SNI) humanitarian effort led by Christians from Western countries topped the Taliban's list.

Kabul 24 is the story you didn't see on CNN. It's the story of the human heartbeats behind the headlines that captivated the world during one of the most volatile political windows in rencent history. Relive the harrowing, true account of how eight humanitarian aid workers imprisoned behind enemy lines would survive and even thrive in the midst of betrayal, inhumane conditions, and the massive Allied bombing raids―conducted by their own countries―following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

From peacemakers to pawns in a story of political and religious turmoil, the eight would individually and collectively discover a level of hope that would free them from captivity long before their dramatic rescue by American Special Forces 105 days after their abduction.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418580179
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,131,751
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Ben Pearson has been a professional photographer for the last 30 years. He directed the film, Homeless Man: The Restless Heart of Rich Mullinsand co-wrote and was the cinematographer for The Second Chance.He is also the director of the film KABUL24.

Henry Arnold co-wrote and produced the films The Second Chance and KABUL24. He wrote the screenplay for the first authorized film documentary on Billy Graham, God’s Ambassador. His novel, Hometown Favorite is now available.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Michael W. Smith ix

Authors'Note xi

Prorogue xiii

Chapter 1 The Arrests 1

Chapter 2 In the Blink of an Eye 27

Chapter 3 Interrogations 49

Chapter 4 Justice, Taliban-Style 81

Chapter 5 The World Turned Over 103

Chapter 6 Hamid Hotel 125

Chapter 7 Unusual Prisonmates 159

Chapter 8 Highway to Kandahar 191

Chapter 9 Life or Death 225

Epilogue 263

Acknowledgments 279

About the Authors 281

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Is God in control when His People are in the hands of the enemy?

    Kabul 24 is the riveting story of Christians and some of their employees who were taken prisoner in Afghanistan just a month before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. When these Christians, varying in age and nationality, left their homes to help the Afghan refugees they knew exactly what they were risking. Still it was terrifying when their nightmares came true and they were taken, not knowing if they would ever make it back safely to see their families again. First response was to turn to God in prayer, and He answered in miraculous ways!

    This book was impossible to put down. I simply had to know if the prisoners would make it home safe! I was afraid when I first received this book that it would be hard to read. I have read other books about Afghanistan under the Taliban's power, and the evil that took place was hard to read about. Instead this book showed how prayer, faith, and endurance trumps the evil man will seek to do to those who love God!

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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  • Posted January 7, 2010

    KABUL 24 by Henry O. Arnold & Ben Pearson

    This book is a play by play through an experience that is hard for this American to imagine. Aid workers serving the people of Afghanistan were kidnapped by the Taliban before the attack of 9/11. This account pulls you into an experience of captivity, fear, confusion, tension, uncertainty and abuse of power that we rarely hear about in such detail. It's an action packed retelling that covers the spectrum of emotion and intensity, humor to sheer terror and days of captivity to wild road races in military vehicles.
    I was drawn into this story on a couple levels. One, I had no idea this happened! I was struck by the renewed realization that things like this happen all over the world on a regular basis. I was captured by the first story of an execution in a full soccer stadium! The way fear and oppression were used to control people impacted my heart and soul. The love of those captured for the people of Afghanistan and their faith displayed when they turned down opportunities at freedom for fear of any of their captures being killed in the process.
    Secondly, the philosophy of their ministry was impacting. They served people who had desperate need, built them schools, homes, provided medical assistance, taught, fed, loved them without requiring their conversion in return. In fact, their Afghan employees were all still Muslim. This organization gives the love of God away freely. They see people in need and they serve them. This type of giving of the love of God is beautiful and inspiring. I recommend this book. I believe it will challenge anyone who reads it to rethink how they live and who they live for. It will challenge them to a deeper faith as they witness a genuine trust, through action, in God.
    This book is different, revealing, and it will help gain some type of perspective on a culture and world that is so far away... so difficult to fathom.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Horror and Hope

    In 2001, shortly before the attacks of September 11th, the Taliban raided and rested twenty-four members of the Shelter Now International (SNI) organization for allegedly sharing the message of Christ with Afgan families. The story of their arrest, imprisonment, trial, and eventual rescue is documented in the pages of Kabul24 by Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson.

    This story keeps you on the edge of your seat as you follow along on this utter terrifying journey of these hostages. From the backseat of vans and taxis to being interrogated by the Taliban to the gross living conditions inside the Taliban prisons, the reader gets a front seat to horror and hope. Each passing day brings joy and sorrow as they struggle to survive in the worst possible place.

    Woven into the lining of this story is a message of hope, forgiveness and most of all faith. Spread through the pages of this book is the power of prayer. These workers prayed for small items (kindness) to large items (no one dying). In each situation, they prayed. This book shows us the wonderful example of the power of prayer that can unite an entire world.

    This book is captivating, chilling, and a wonderful documentary of the events of the Shelter Now International workers who were kidnapped for their belief. Since their release, 105 days after their kidnapping, many of the SNI workers have returned to Afghanistan to help rebuild what was destroyed. They have returned because God has called them to this place. I, was unaware of this incident, and this is a beautifully crafted story of faith, hope, healing and love.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hope In The Dungeon

    What a powerful book! This book should bolster your faith that God is alive and still at work in the world, achieving His purposes.
    Kabul 24 is a book about the kidnapping and "detaining" of eight multinational humanitarian aid workers from Shelter Now International and 16 of their Afghan workers. I remember hearing about this story in the news when it happened, as there were two Americans among those held hostage.
    The ordeal began innocently enough with an Afghan family requesting the showing of the "Jesus" film. While this was an unusual request, Heather Mercer complied. As she was returning to her home, her taxi was overtaken by a Talib gunman. She found out later that the family, whom she had visited numerous times without incident, had betrayed her to the Taliban. The Taliban took the opportunity to round up the other foreign workers as well as their Afghan helpers, accusing the Shelter Now International (SNI) workers of trying to convert muslims. They accused the Afghan workers of illegal conversion to Christianity. Thus began their 100 plus day nightmare of wretched living conditions. From pest infested mattresses to ancient latrines overflowing with waste and little food, not to mention the many exhausting interrogations of the two men Georg, the leader of the SNI group and Peter an assistant.
    Through it all they find hope and a deeper faith. God had not abandoned them. He was working to orchestrate situations where they could be a witness to the Afghans around them, such as the time Diana (one of the women workers) was being interrogated and the interpreter started asking questions, then stated that Christians believed in three Gods. Diana countered by asking if the man had a brother, was married, and had children. With the affirmative response, Diana stated that he was the same man but with different roles. It was simply the same with God, He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This, the man understood.
    God strategically placed people in their path who would help them along the way, getting them news from the outside world, taking correspondence, and like their "Afghan Angel" communicating with the outside world about them.
    There were many miraculous "coincidences" up to and including their remarkable rescue by American Special Forces.
    It is a worthwhile read. Slow at times, would have liked more information on the Afghan detainees.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great story...so so writing

    Kabul 24:
    The Story of a Taliban Kidnapping and Unwavering Faith in the Face of True Terror
    By Ben Pearson & Henry Arnold

    I got this book a month or so back from Thomas Nelson publishing and honestly did not know what to expect.

    What I got was more than just a story about Taliban Kidnappings. What I read was a story of hope and of faith that never faltered ever.

    Description: The story of the capture and imprisonment of eight Western aid workers in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

    For three months in 2001, the desperate plight of aid workers kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan captured the attention of the world. With the growing specter of U.S. retaliation for 9/11, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden attempted to use their Western hostages as bargaining tools. What the captors did not count on was coming face-to-face with the enduring faith of people who know their only hope was in Christ.

    Kabul 24 revisits their grueling interrogations, their sham trials before the Taliban Supreme Court, their peril during the bombing of Kabul, and the crushing sense that the world had abandoned them. It reveals not only the eight Westerners' 105 days in captivity but also the gauntlet endured by their 16 Muslim coworkers who, after being taken to the notorious Pulicharki Prison, were beaten and tortured, having been accused by the Taliban of converting to Christianity.

    I have known people in my life personally that have experiences like this.take from their families and homes. This true story about 8 western aids works getting kidnapped is absolutely amazing. I have read many testimonies similar, but for some reason I really connected with the people in this one.
    It was amazing to see then much like Paul int the bible.they prayed and read the word and sometimes even sang in worship.

    Overall it was a good read but very simple. The writing was a bit tedious at times and failed to capture my attention. I found myself identifying with the people and their plight but getting bored by the writing.

    Sadly the writing style retracted from the inspiring story and at times made it a chore to read.

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Kabul 24 - a Taliban hostage drama worth reading!

    Kabul 24 captures the story of a group of Christian aid workers who risked their lives to serve the people of war-torn Afghanistan. The common thread that ties the aid workers together is the organisation they are a part of, Shelter Now International (SNI). The aim of SNI is to come alongside refugee communities and serve, love and care for them and provide for their day-to-day needs.

    This true life story is set around the time of the 9/11 terror attacks and imminent American invasion of Afghanistan. The atmosphere surrounding the SNI team in Kabul rapidly changes becoming tense and unpredictable. A sense that things could go horribly wrong starts to creep up on the team; and what they certainly hoped would not happen, does. They find themselves caught up in a hostage drama that only God can pull them out of.

    My opinion of this book certainly improved the further I progressed. I pushed through the first 50 pages, which I found rather weak, and I am glad that I did. I felt that more historical context could have been given to the characters and the SNI organisation. Once into the main body of the story, I found myself wrapped up in the emotion of the situation. I had found a good companion for my evening commute.

    I found this story personally challenging and humbling, particularly the risk taken to serve these refugees. I am left wondering what is to become of Afghanistan. Such anger, deception and brokenness - one can only hope that God has a plan to heal and restore. Overall Kabul 24 is a good read and a book I recommend.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring!!!

    Kabul 24 is about 24 people taken hostages by the Taliban in 2001. Out of these 24, 8 were foreigners and were working for the Christian Organization Shelter Now International (SNI). The remaining 16 were Afghan employees of SNI. These SNI workers were helping to rebuild war torn Afghanistan by building factories, schools, orphanages and such for the Afghani people. It was a time when Afghanistan was still under the Taliban rule and the situation was already very tense and fragile as the Taliban had implemented the strict Sharia Law for all the Afghani people, a law where women couldn't work and people had to follow strict ways of dressing, living and even praying.

    During this time, Diana and Heather, 2 foreign employees of SNI, went to an Afghan family (apparently on their insistence) to show them a documentary on Jesus and tell them a little about their faith. But seemed like it was a set up by the Taliban with the help of the Afghani family to catch them red-handed trying to convert people to Christianity. They arrested the 2 women and then went around the SNI homes and offices to arrest as many people as they could. They got hold of 24. Kabul 24 mostly focuses on the 8 foreigners-2 men and 6 women. They did not understand what was going on and why they were being imprisoned. Now begins my real complaint with the book.

    No where do they accept that it was a mistake showing the documentary and giving the book to the children. I'm not accusing them of trying to convert people to Christianity. I'm just saying that don't act surprised. Under the Taliban rule, where they knew how strict the Sharia law was in Afghanistan, I'm surprised that this thought never crossed their mind that showing such things to Afghani's was wrong given the circumstances. Besides why did Dayna give the kid the Children's Bible story book? She could have shown him any other children's book. Again, I'm not accusing anyone, just saying that it should have probably expected the accusations from a party as religiously fanatic as the Taliban. So these prisoners were shuttled from one prison to another where the conditions were very bad. This book gives us a glimpse into what the prisoners, foreigners and otherwise, suffered under the Taliban regime. It's very heart-breaking. Although the book as a whole was well written, I found it a little too dramatic at times. You don't really need to dramatize anything, it's already dramatic enough. For the last hundred pages I was literally glued to my seat. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. The faith of these people is something that comes across very strongly in this book. It is this very faith that helped them get through this ordeal. After their escape from Afghanistan they decided to go back to Afghanistan to re-build what was destroyed. That takes courage.

    really liked this book. I wouldn't go as far as saying it's brilliant but it's definitely worth a read. It also gives a little background on the Taliban and some other things mentioned in this book.

    This book has stronger Christian elements than the other Christian themed books I have read before but I didn't feel like the authors were trying to preach anything. It was just because faith was such strong part of the SNI employees that the book automatically reflected that.

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  • Posted October 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Kabul 24 by Henry O. Arnold & Ben Pearson

    August 2001, Kabul Afghanistan: Eight relief workers from Shelter Now International - German citizens George Taubmann, Katrin Jelinek, Margrit Stebner, and Silke Durrkopf; along with Australians Peter Bunch, and Diana Thomas; and two Americans Heather Mercer, and Dayna Curry - were arrested by the Taliban. Officially they were never accused of any crimes yet were locked away, questioned and threatened daily, and subjected to living conditions horrific beyond comprehension. Despite their fear, the captives clung to their faith and treated their captors and fellow prisoners with love and Christian charity - and in doing so won help and loyalty where none should have been found.
    Kabul24 is a story of hope, courage and shining miracles. The book is written in a compassionate yet factual manner. The events aren't sensationalized and the reader is invited to fear for the captives, but not to hate the captors. We are invited to share the extraordinary faith journey of these eight relief workers and see that God is clearly at work in the world today, just as he was when the world began.
    I received the book in this morning's mail and read it from cover to cover putting it down only long enough for meals and other minor necessities. Despite its grim subject matter, the book is an uplifting read. It reveals the Taliban in ways the press never can or will, exposing both the good and the bad. Even if you are not interested in the Christian message of faith, there is history in the book that should make it a "must read" for everyone.

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    You Can't Kidnap Someone's Hope

    Kabul 24 is a story of Taliban extremists who kidnapped and imprisoned 8 humanitarians from the SNI (Shelter Now International). This is a detailed story of western missionaries behind enemy lines in Kabul and their unwavering faith in the face of true terror. In the summer of 2001, just before the World Trade Centre attacks in New York, these 8 Christians were imprisoned by the Taliban and held for 105 days in absolutely inhumane and desperate conditions. Also imprisoned and tortured for their association with the SNI were 16 Afghan workers. Time after time, God's protection and provisions for these eight missionaries is revealed. From prison guards to other prisoners, God provided a veil of protection over His people, and they in turn reached out to other prisoners by sharing their faith, their food and their love. Even though I knew the final outcome would be their rescue by the American Special Forces 105 days after their imprisonment, the story gripped my interest from the very first page. They never knew from hour to hour what would happen next, but they trusted that God was in control. Their endurance was tested to the limit and beyond, but they did not waver in their faith. In fact, their faith strengthened as their trials increased. This is the story that the media did not report on. It is the account of numerous modern day miracles in the midst of unbelievable trials. Read this book, it may just change your life. (a member of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program at http://brb.thomasnelson.com)

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    KABUL 24 IS IT WORTH THE READ?

    KABUL 24 IS IT WORTH THE READ?

    THE ANSWER? A RESOUNDING YES!! NON-FICTION IS, IN GENERAL, NOT MY CUP OF TEA. I SOMETIMES FIND IT TOO DRY AND, AS EXPECTED, A LITTE LACKING IN THE CREATIVE LICENSE DEPARMENT. NOT SO WITH THIS BOOK. KABUL 24 IS WRITTEN WITH SUCH FLUIDITY AND EASE THAT I FOUND MYSELF ENGAGED IN THE LIVES OF THESE PEOPLE - LAUGHING WITH THEM, CRYING WITH THEM, PRAYING WITH THEM - NOT KNOWING WHEN GOD WAS GOING TO CALL ONE OF THEM HOME.

    THE STORY IS TOLD THROUGH THE EYES OF THE SHELTER NOW INTERNATIONAL(SNI) LEADER, GEORG TAUBMAN. JUST DAYS BEFORE 9/11 ATTACKS ON THE U.S., A GROUP OF 8 SNI MISSIONARIES AND 16 AFGHANI WORKERS, ARE TAKEN HOSTAGE AND THROWN IN JAIL. THEIR TALE LEADS THEM DOWN SOME TREACHEROUS DARK DAYS OF IMPRISONMENT, WITH THE CONSTANT THREAT OF DEATH LOOMING OVERHEAD AT ANY MOMENT. HOW WOULD THE SURVIVE? DID ANYONE CARE ABOUT THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES?
    WHAT OF THEIR AFGHANI WORKERS, HOW WERE THEY? WHAT WAS GOD'S PLAN FOR THEM? WERE THEY TO DIE HERE? THEIR UNWAIVERING FAITH IN GOD AND CONTINUAL PRAYER ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ALL.

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  • Posted October 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Untold Story

    Kabul 24 tells the story of 8 workers with the Shelter Now International humanitarian effort in Afghanistan. Before the 9/11 attacks they were working, building relationships, buildings and connections when "the betrayal" happend, they were arrested, inprisoned and feared for their lives.
    What's amazing is I don't remember hearing one single newsbite about this story or these people.
    This books sheds light on what it was like for these Christians who spent 105 days as prisoners of the Taliban.

    Pearson and Arnold are making a documentary film by the same name and you can find more info at http://www.kabul24movie.com/

    The way this book is written, they portray the 8 people as almost saintly - I can't really put my finger on it but I was disturbed by how skewed the writing was.

    I know that sounds bad because they were kidnapped and held by an the Taliban. But I can't help but think, the way the authors use their words, you'd think Christians were called to hate their enemies.

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Their story starts as they are arrested back in the year 2001. On September 11 of that year America was attacked by terrorists. This happened shortly after the SNI eight were "arrested." Their prisoners soon become more of abductors, attempting

    "Kabul 24," by Ben Pearson and Henry Arnold, is about a group known as the "SNI Eight." The SNI Eight are a group of westerners who work with Shelter Now International. These eight worked in a place called Kabul, located in the Middle East. However, the story is not just about them, it is about their families and the locals that they provided employment for. They are arrested and unjustly punished for only helping a people that desperately needed helping. Their story starts as they are arrested back in the year 2001.
    On September 11 of that year America was attacked by terrorists. This happened shortly after the SNI eight were "arrested." Their prisoners soon become more of abductors, attempting to use the eight as a personal shield from U.S. retaliation as well as for ransom. While this book is an account of their experience, it flows in story-like form. I could not put this book down. I have family that lives in Romania as missionaries, so this book definitely touched a place in my heart. We need to endlessly lift one another up in prayer. A book is good when you can't stop thinking about it even after you've finished. I can't stop thinking about it.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Kabul 24: the Story of a Taliban Kidnapping and Unwavering Faith

    Here Arnold (co-writer and producer of the film The Second Chance; screenplay writer, God's Ambassador; author of Hometown Favorite), co-writer and co-producer of Kabul24 (Kabul24Movie.com), the documentary film upon which this book is based, and Pearson (photographer; filmmaker; co-writer and director of the cinematography for The Second Chance), director of Kabul24, retell the riveting, harrowing story of the capture and imprisonment of eight Western Christian aid workers and their sixteen, Muslim, Afghan coworkers-all of whom were employees of the international, humanitarian organization Shelter Now International (www.shelter-now.org)-- by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Beginning in August 2001, imprisoned for 3 months during one of the most volatile political windows in recent history, just before and after the 11th September 2001, the SNI eight- Peter Bunch, Dayna Curry, Katrin Jelinek, Heather Mercer, Margrit Stebner, Georg Taubmann, and Diana Thomas-teachers, engineers, nurses, students, and artists who were from countries of Western origin including Australia, Germany, and the United States, suffered interrogations, trials, the bombing of Kabul by Allied forces, and more during 105 days in captivity behind enemy lines. They had answered God's call to help Afghan refugees rebuild their lives following decades of war, but became pawns used by extremists during the religious and political upheavals in Afghanistan just prior to and following 9/11, when they were declared a threat to Islam and the influence of the Taliban regime. Based upon primary source material drawn from raw film footage taken during the summer of 2003 and Eberhard Muehlan's Escape from Kabul (Sydney: Strand Publishing, 2003), a collection of interviews with the former hostages conducted in 2002, letters, and court documents, this recollection primarily is an account of faith during extreme adversity when the aid workers sensed that they had been abandoned by the world. Intended to be inspirational rather than authoritative or scholarly, this easy-to-read, fast- paced, interesting, and poignant, publication, reads like a well-written novel, evoking many, perhaps mixed, emotions on behalf of readers. Retold from a seemingly objective, evangelical, Christian perspective, it develops to different extents the participants' personalities and the events surrounding their imprisonment. The amazing and dramatic rescue of the eight SNI employees by American Special Forces, retold in the last chapter of the book, entitled "Life or Death," proves to be particularly engaging and thought-provoking. Lacking documentary features such as footnotes, a selected bibliography, and an index, this book, which does include more than twenty, captioned, black-and-white photographs, is recommended for general audiences and public library collections.

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  • Posted September 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unshakable Faith in Kabul 24

    Everything they did was to help the people of Afghanistan. The work Shelter Now accomplished was greatly received by the Afghanistan people - so why did eight Shelter Now workers and their 16 Afghan helpers find themselves arrested and in prison?

    In Kabul 24, Ben Pearson and Henry Arnold recount the arrest, interrogation, and trial of these Shelter Now workers in 2001. These people did nothing but help the Afghan people they loved, and now the Taliban has arrested them for reasons that are never revealed to the prisoners or anyone else.

    Yet, somehow, these people find a way to worship the Lord God in spite of their harrowing circumstances. They sing songs praising Jesus, study scripture, and pray. They remember that God put them in their predicament to bring glory to Him, and show His might and power. Through their imprisonment, they remember that God cares and loves them and has not forgotten them.

    This book reveals that Christians should look to God and depend on Him no matter what the circumstances. Believers can look at these people and say, hey - they endured all of this and never lost their faith? I can, too! This is the message I received from this book. This book allowed me to see that truly, through God ALL things are possible. I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. You will see Biblical truths fleshed out in a concrete and profound way. This is truly an unforgettable book.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Evidence of Faith

    "Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 KJV This verse from the Bible describes faith, and "Kabul 24" tells the stories of people who lived their faith in modern times. Imagine this: suddenly, the semi-hostile country around you (a people you have come to help) becomes filled with fanatics and spies wishing you harm. Families you thought of as friends betray you. You are taken from your home, unable to convey to others what is happening, then transported to, and left in, filthy and unsanitary conditions. It is enough for most people to blame God and beg for mercy. But, this group of eight people from SNI relied on their faith in God to get them through. Times were frightening and no help seemed to be around, but they knew God never left them. Did they wonder why they were chosen to face this trial? How did the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the rise of the Taliban and Mullah Omar, the constant changes in Sharia Law, and the 911 bombings in America affect them and their conditions? What made it possible for this group of eight to carry on when nothing seemed possible?

    Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson wrote a book that transported me to Kabul. I could remember praying for these hostages. I could see the community before and after the arrests, and the changes were astounding. It was enlightening and uplifting to read their story. If you have ever needed strength, ever had a time of testing or a lapse of faith, pick up this book. You will be stronger and more encouraged for doing so.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    Would you forgive?

    The book begins with the story of one of the Afghan women, but quickly moves into the set-up and arrest of 8 foreigners and 16 Afghan workers with Shelter Now, an agency that provided care for Afghan orphans and sick and poor through a variety of programs. It is an honest story of the stresses and fears as well as the faith and faithfulness of God that kept them alive and sane through the 105 days of their captivity.

    The book presents the Afghans in a realistic light - good people and bad people. It also conveys the love these people had for the Afghans and their fears and anger with the Taliban for what it did to them as well as what it did to the country and people of Afghanistan. The ordeal of the 16 Afghan workers is not told in detail, but the fate of those 16 is never forgotten through the story and the prayers of the 8 foreigners for the release of those 16 even before their own release was answered.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Review "Kabul 24"

    There is a lot that I have to say about this book and how it plays into my own personal experience. I will try to do as little of that as I can in order to give the best critical review of it as I can.

    First of all, the subject matter of the book is summarized well with the reverse cover, that is this:

    'In 2001, extremists set out to rid Afghanistan of anyone who posed a threat to Islam and the influence of that Taliban.

    The Shelter Now International humanitarian effort led by Christians in Western countries topped the Taliban's list.

    Kabul 24 is the story you didn't see on CNN. It's the story of the human heartbeats behind the headlines that captivated the world during one of the most volatile political windows in recent history. Relive the harrowing, true account of how eight humanitarian aid workers imprisoned behind enemy lines would survive and even thrive in the midst of betrayal, inhumane conditions, and the massive Allied bombing raids-conducted by their own countries- following the terrorist attacks of 9/11.'

    This book is a re-telling of the story that we never heard. The group of 24 SNI mission workers that were captured and held under false pretenses of proselytizing Christianity for 105 days in various prisons in Afghanistan.

    The book is written by individuals uninvolved with the hostage situation. The authors Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson deal with the subject matter in a delicate and understanding way, obtaining information by interview, letters, etc., they give an accurate picture of what the individual hostages were going through, the governing forces involved in the hostage situation, and the political front of the world at large.

    This story is truly touching. The faithfulness of the hostages involved and their continued trust in God through the circumstances that they were thrust into was inspiring. As a future foreign missionary, I have found myself asking questions that were brought up in this book. Would my faith remain if I were captured/tortured/etc? Would my prayers be answered for safekeeping and strength? Would my story, even in death, point to the gospel and god's story? This book showed that my questions are futile in comparison to an almighty God and that casting my worries on him is all that I can do to escape my sin tendency of fear.

    I would recommend this book to anyone. Believers and non-believers alike. Anyone interested in missions should definitely read this work.

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  • Posted September 18, 2009

    Kabul24

    Kabul24, is the true life story of the hostages whose only "crimes" were their selfless humanitarian efforts accomplished via the Shelter Now International (SNI) humanitarian efforts. These courageous hostages were guilty of no crimes and deprived of basic human dignities and rights, simply because they were a perceived threat of the evil and corrupt Taliban Regime. Betrayed by the very people they sought to help, in a world where the threat of arrest, coercion, blackmail, torture and death loom, these men and women of the SNI were deprived of their rights, and thrown into jail cells.

    Fear of torture and death as well as the on-going inhumane conditions of filth, squalor and deprivation, was their "reward" for dedicating their lives to humanitarian efforts to improve the lives and conditions of men, women and children. Despite the months of imprisonment, and the phony charges and mock trials, their faith in God did not waiver.

    This is the day to day, behind the scenes story that was not depicted on TV or in the newspaper. From the dramatic and ominous unfolding of events prior to their arrest, to the imprisonment and ongoing fears of facing an uncertain future, to the abrupt and joyful release, the reader can follow the unfolding of events from start to finish! Arnold and Pearson vividly capture the rush of emotions experienced by these captives as well as the heroism. As a member of the Thomas Nelson Blogger Program,
    http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ I recommend this book to anyone who wish to get more insight and inspiration and to see the real live people behind the story of the Taliban Kidnapping of the SNI hostages.

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  • Posted September 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Speechless!

    Can you imagine working/living in a place where women are looked down upon and you were limited rights as a citizen? Kabul was one of those places. In a country like America where we have lots of freedom, we should count our blessings. Women have the freedom to work, become educated, make decisions about marriage. Other places are not this way.

    Eight missionaries moved to Afghanistan to help others in need and to share the Gospel through their kindness and good deeds. They helped the poor and gave hope to many Afghan refugees. They also enlisted the help of sixteen faithful Afghan citizens in their organization. Before September 11th, these twenty-four individuals were taken under control by the Taliban and thrown into prison. Their family members fleed the country to escape imprisonment. The twenty four who were left behind in captivity stayed under the Taliban control for 105 days.

    Kabul 24 is the story of these God-fearing men and women who endured abuse and imprisonment from some of the world's most extreme. Once I got this book in the mail, I couldn't put it down. It literally left me speechless. While I read this story that was rarely proclaimed through the news, I felt chills run up and down my spine. I felt their fear and abandonment as they prayed for God's presence through this horrific ordeal. Miraculously, God always came through in different forms. Readers who don't know God will learn what a mighty God these believers served.

    If I could sum up this book with one word, it would be speechless! God is amazing in all of the circumstances that we go through in our lives. I don't know if I could be as brave as these individuals were when they stood up with honest answers to the interrogators or the Taliban. They were persecuted, nonetheless. And this book is a lesson for all who serve Him of those who are faithful enough to go out in to the world to preach the good news. I loved this book so much and I can't WAIT for the movie to come out!

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    ****A MUST READ FOR ALL CHRISTIANS******

    This book was absolutely breathtaking....vivid imagery, excellent journalistic descriptions of the interrogations....I loved this book for its honesty, and how those who had faith in Christ retained it through the toughest of times. How far could you be pushed and still hold on to and profess your faith in Christ???? Very mind boggling to think about..



    From the Description:
    The story of the capture and imprisonment of eight Western aid workers in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

    For three months in 2001, the desperate plight of aid workers kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan captured the attention of the world. With the growing specter of U.S. retaliation for 9/11, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden attempted to use their Western hostages as bargaining tools. What the captors did not count on was coming face-to-face with the enduring faith of people who know their only hope was in Christ.

    Kabul 24 revisits their grueling interrogations, their sham trials before the Taliban Supreme Court, their peril during the bombing of Kabul, and the crushing sense that the world had abandoned them. It reveals not only the eight Westerners' 105 days in captivity but also the gauntlet endured by their 16 Muslim coworkers who, after being taken to the notorious Pulicharki Prison, were beaten and tortured, having been accused by the Taliban of converting to Christianity.

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