Abducted in Iraq: A Priest in Baghdad

Saad Sirop Hanna and Edward S. Aris. Univ. of Notre Dame, $25 (152p) ISBN 978-0-268-10293-7
Writing with journalist Aris, Catholic priest Hanna opens up about the 27 days he was held captive in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2006. His first-person account begins with being waylaid while driving down a Baghdad street. He was quickly blindfolded, handcuffed, and taken captive while his abductors negotiated a ransom and tried, sometimes with violent beatings, to convert him to Islam. His plight garnered international attention when Pope Benedict XVI publicly appealed for his release. Aside from the assault, Hanna was treated as a high-status prisoner, kept (albeit locked) in rooms in houses or outdoors in uncrowded conditions, fed regularly, and never subjected to systematized torture. He was even able to befriend a guard—and through it all held steadfastly to his Christian faith. The book is poignant in describing and lamenting the destruction of Iraqi culture. In contrast, Hanna’s ordeal comes across as a conventionalized “holding strong in Christ” narrative: readers will sense that there’s more to his experience than he is willing to explore here. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Open Ebook - 152 pages - 978-0-268-10295-1
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