05 October 2009

Book Review-Kabul 24 by Henry O. Arnold

As a book review blogger for Thomas Nelson I recently read Kabul 24 by Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson. As one who only faintly recollected stories of the Taliban kidnapping of 24 humanitarian aid workers in Afghanistan in 2001, I wanted to learn more of their experiences at the hands of the Taliban.

Here in the West it is hard to conceive of what life in a country under seige by the Taliban would be like. It is beyond our ability to even imagine. In this book we are taken on a journey that will open our eyes and educate many of us. We see the differences between various factions active in Afghanistan and how they impact each other. We learn much about the antiquated prisons and the squalid conditions which many innocents have lived in for years without hope of a fair hearing or freedom. A sad picture of what one group of humans can do to another.

Through the eyes of eight Shelter Now International workers we see what it is like to be kidnapped by the Taliban, not knowing why, and knowing that they could be killed by the Taliban or some other group looking for a way to get the world's attention.

These eight people are not portrayed as heroes, but frail and human like us all. We're shown the horrible conditions in which they lived and the fears they were tormented with. We also see how they grow in their dependency on God. How they turn prison cells into prayer closets and write songs of praise in spite of the nightmare surrounding them.

My heart was warmed toward the Afghani people as the story was told of the 16 Afghan SNI workers, who were not Christians, but who were willing to endure extreme torture to protect their Christian friends. The Afghan tradition of hospitality and protection toward their friends was an inspiration.

This book is truly an education.

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