‘The noises were consistent with searching the rooms below – booby traps were a possibility – and then the sound of boots on the staircase. The men came up in sufficient numbers to burst open the doors of the rooms on our floor while some went on up to the top of the house. Jim called out to me to lie down but I was already on my feet and looking through the gap in the door. I saw heavily armed men in light khaki battle dress and assumed that they were from the Coalition forces – not another group of Mujahideen. They entered the room and asked, in a British voice, if I was Mr Kember.’
A year after the dramatic release by a multinational military raid, Norman Kember revealed his story behind the controversy of his captivity in Baghdad.
Written with honesty and emotion, Norman Kember describes in detail his four month ordeal, during which he was imprisoned in a small room and chained to the two Canadian peace activists, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden, and the American Tom Fox, who was later killed by his captors. Kember experiences fear, loneliness, boredom, and at one point, contemplated suicide. Yet his wry sense of humour never quite deserts him. And at the heart of the book is the extraordinary story of what it was that led a 74-year-old retired university professor from Pinner to decide to go to Iraq in the first place.
The book includes previously unseen drawings and notes made by Norman Kember, who kept a journal during his captivity and invented games with his fellow captives.
Moving, gripping, and surprising, Hostage in Iraq is a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit.