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I Was Told to Come Alone
I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad | Souad Mekhennet
I was told to come alone. I was not to carry any identification, and would have to leave my cell phone, audio recorder, watch, and purse at my hotel. . . . For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other. In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighborhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalized and the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner Jihadi John, and then in France, Belgium, and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization. Mekhennets background has given her unique access to some of the worlds most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. Souad Mekhennet is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines, as she shares her transformative journey with us. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.
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Maria514626
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It reads a bit like a thriller as the author goes after stories and sources. You also learn about her growing up years in Germany as a the daughter of guest workers.
Big but—the reader mispronounces the German magazine, Der Spiegel. (Spy-gell instead of Spee-gell.) Bad oversight by the publisher. It‘s an extremely well-known publication. It would be like calling The Atlantic, The Atleentic. 😢
Even so, fascinating listen. #readaroundtheworld

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Parvez
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Pickpick

An amazing true events descriptions by the author of her encounter with the Jihadis & ISI groups. The events and the author's experiences tell how that part of the world operates. The lives of the innocents are manipulated to fulfill the desire of avenging the political intervention. It's heartening to read how the young and innocent minds are molded to pick guns and become suicide bombers by the religious leaders to fulfill their vested interests

44 likes2 stack adds
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Insightsintobooks
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I can't put this book down. It is very eye opening.

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dontbignorant
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JenP
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#marchMadnessChallenge
Houston/I was Told to Come Alone moves on!

46 likes1 stack add
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Floresj
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Pickpick

Disclaimer: I'm heavily biased towards any book written by a Times/Post journalist who covers war zones. With that being said, this book was so interesting since Mekhennet is a Muslim woman who interviews al Qaeda, Isis, Egyptian, Iraqi, and Syrian war zones. I'm so impressed with her ability to tell both sides of the conflicts and her tenacity. The common theme of understanding "Why do they hate us" gave me insight. Great book!

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Yellowpigeon
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Priorities. 😂

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Reecaspieces
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🍭🍭🍭🍭 review is up on my blog. Pretty dang interesting. You can read it here. https://reecaspieces.com/2018/01/14/i-was-told-to-come-alone-my-journey-behind-t...

whatsthEStorey I really enjoyed this too. Interesting and unique perspective! 2y
Karkar I just picked this book up from Book Outlet...glad to hear it was good! 2y
Reecaspieces @whatsthEStorey agreed! Plus she is a tough woman! 2y
Reecaspieces @Karkar let me know what you think 2y
Yellowpigeon I just started this. Great timing 2y
108 likes5 stack adds5 comments
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Reecaspieces
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Peanut was not happy about me disturbing her. Had to show off my pug socks I got for Christmas for #socksunday #newyearsreadathin @CocoReads

CocoReads Those are awesome socks. 2y
Reecaspieces @CocoReads I know!! Perfect for me!!! Hope you had a great Christmas and are not too cold today 2y
CocoReads It was a very good Christmas, thanks. It‘s a bit chilly right now at 3 degrees but except for the brief time I‘m out this morning—I plan on staying in for the next couple of days. 2y
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[DELETED] 206653737 Love how she‘s peaking out from under the blanket. Socks are super cute! 2y
AmandaL I love both the socks and Peanut's face in this photo. 2y
Reecaspieces @AmandaL she does have some great expressions! 2y
Reecaspieces @bookish22 thanks! 😜 2y
cathysaid Huh...Peanut and I feel the same way...now TURN OFF THE LIGHT! 2y
Reecaspieces @cathysaid 😂😂😂yep and COVER ME BACK UP 2y
125 likes10 comments
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KGlibrarian
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Pickpick

This thrilling memoir uncovers unknown facts about Muslim culture and the radicalized strains within it. The author, born in Germany, is a modern, courageous Muslim journalist, whose unique perspective gives her words depth and credibility. The shocking adventures she faces (she is a real-life Carrie Mathison!) are both terrifying and enlightening.

ReadingSusan I loved this book so much. 2y
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Cinfhen
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My two newest reads feature #orangeandblack covers & both are NF. I have tremendous respect for journalist Souad Mekhennet, at such a young age she has traveled to some of the most dangerous places on earth & met with dozens of the world's most wanted terrorists. My small complaint is that for such a fascinating subject matter it's told in a very bland straightforward manner. I was hoping for more dynamic storytelling but still an interesting read

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Cinfhen
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Started a new book today, it's interesting but there is something about the writing that's a little impersonal. For a journalist I thought this memoir would be better written 😔but my smoothie & salad is perfect 💞#ThirstyThursday #OldCityJerusalem #SpookyOctober

TrishB That looks like a lovely lunch place 👍 2y
Kalalalatja Yum! 2y
Cathythoughts I read All At Sea by Decca Aitkenhead. A journalist too. The writing was a bit stilted , but her true story was really true & sad. I would highly recommend! Maybe you have read it. 👍❤️ 2y
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Cinfhen I've heard of that memoir @Cathythoughts it sounds so heartbreaking 💔not sure I can read it. Have you read 2y
Cinfhen It's one of my family's favorite cafes in Jerusalem @TrishB @Kalalalatja the views are stunning 2y
Cathythoughts I have not read Wave, but I'll have a look 👍 2y
Chelsibeau I just finished this one. I wasn't impressed. Try "Terrorists in Love." That one did a much better job of what I think this book intended to do. That is, Let you see inside the minds of jihadists. 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen it does look wonderful 💝 2y
Cinfhen Thanks for the suggestion @Chelsibeau and I'm glad I'm not the only one who's not 💯about this book 2y
119 likes9 comments
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ReadingSusan
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My July books stats. I had a slower month than usual but I actually peopled more this month 🤣

melbeautyandbooks Nicely done! 2y
SilversReviews Great month!! 2y
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ReadingSusan
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Pickpick

This book is a must read. Very difficult subject matter but I learned a lot. Souad is a journalist who has been able to get up close and personal to interview a variety of jihadists. It's chilling to read how a lot of these men feel. But I also liked how Souad tried to explore the reasoning behind the radicalization without excusing what they have done. This book really made me think. I highly recommend it.

Equinm Oh man, I'm in! This sounds fascinating! 2y
ReadingSusan @Equinm it was an amazing book. 2y
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ReadingSusan
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Interesting question from a terrorist. At what point can you stop claiming the moral high ground? Who has the right to do so? Hard questions to think about.

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Cinfhen
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I have #ZeroSelfControl walked into the library to return 2 books~ ended up buying 5 📚 super excited for them all 😍#bookhaul

LeahBergen Oooo! 👏🏻👏🏻 2y
Cinfhen I know 🤗🤗🤗 @LeahBergen I'm screwed when it comes to getting these books back to israel ~ that freakin weight restriction 😤 2y
LeahBergen What about in your carry-on? I may have resorted to this a time or two. 😂 2y
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LDuffN I'm headed to the library in a couple of hours. I hope I can resist. I always buy at least ok me book and check out 5 or more. 2y
emilyhaldi You're really rackin 'em up! 2y
shawnmooney Can't wait to hear what you think of Idaho! 2y
Cinfhen I know @emilyhaldi I'm a bargain shopper ~ can't resist 💸💸💸the struggle is real @LDuffN 🤑 2y
Cinfhen It'll probably be awhile before I get to it @shawnmooney but I'm pretty sure you LIKED it, right? Otherwise you bailed! I know it's either/or😜 2y
shawnmooney A top read of 2017! Not everyone's cup of tea tho. 😘😘 2y
Cinfhen They now weigh your carry on @LeahBergen damn airlines 😝 2y
Cinfhen I know, it's kind of love or hate with that book @shawnmooney - I paid $2 so I figure I'd go for it! 2y
Reviewsbylola I hated Idaho. But I think you may like it. Anxious to see. 2y
Hooked_on_books The tagged book is great--very quotable. 2y
Cinfhen Oh good 😊 @Hooked_on_books love to hear that! I know you hated Idaho @Reviewsbylola and so did @britt_brooke but I couldn't pass it up for $2 2y
DebinHawaii You are going to need an extra bag for books! 😆👍📚📚📚📚📚 2y
britt_brooke I thought the writing in Idaho was beautiful, but there's a central thing in the story that I could not understand. You'll know when you get there. I just could never get past it. I will definitely try the author again when she writes a second novel. 2y
irre I really liked 2y
TrishB I loved Idaho 💟 not for everyone though I know. 2y
Cinfhen Now I'm really curious about Idaho- I think I may need to read ASAP @irre @TrishB @shawnmooney @Reviewsbylola @britt_brooke 😆 2y
Cinfhen About to post my review @shawnmooney @irre @TrishB @Reviewsbylola @britt_brooke @Kalalalatja @merelybookish I thought the writing was visceral and lush! I understand what you couldn't get pass @britt_brooke but I was completely absorbed in the story. Some parts left me wanting **more** but overall this is a winner! 2y
shawnmooney You're talking about Idaho, right? I am so pleased! Can't wait to see your review. 😘 2y
Cinfhen Yes @shawnmooney brilliant! So glad I didn't skip this book 2y
merelybookish Yay! It makes me so happy when people like this book too. Like @shawnmooney , it is one of my faves of the year! 2y
irre I'm glad you liked it!! 2y
Reviewsbylola I actually loved the story too. Just not the way it was told. I'm glad you enjoyed it tho! 2y
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

Uniquely positioned to explore the world of radicalization as a German Muslim, Mekhennet is a neutral journalist who strives to give voice to all sides of terrorism and the radicalization of Islam. She collects some of her experiences here. I struggled through this book because it broke my heart and hurt to read, but it is so important for the world to understand more fully what is happening right now and this really helps explain.

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Hooked_on_books
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"Religion doesn't radicalize people; people radicalize religion…Opportunists have created their own ideology within Islam, and this is profoundly dangerous. If no one is willing to speak up for what the religion actually requires, anyone can use it for his own ends."

This book is tearing me apart. There is such a similar story to radicalization, no matter what group of people one refers to.

Moray_Reads Stacked, even if I'm not sure I can bear to read it, I really admire your strength 👏💪 2y
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Anovelobsession
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Found this at B&N yesterday and it sounds fascinating. It may be a July read for me.

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Kimlayman7
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ScrappyMags
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Pickpick

With recent terror attacks plaguing our world, this book valiantly peels layers to answer the question "Why do they hate us?" Mekhennet's honesty and bravery in journalism led her to critical interviews with inside government officials and yup - straight up jihadists. Fascinating and terrifying and one of my best of 2017 more on the blog... http://scrappymags.com/2017/06/12/book-review-a-2017-must-read-i-was-told-to-com...

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EvieBee
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Today's #BookMail is courtesy of a Goodreads giveaway! Too bad I need some space from reading about Jihadists at the moment. 😭

Megabooks Understandable 2y
ScrappyMags I'm only 20% in but FASCINATED!! 😯😯😯 2y
EvieBee @ScrappyMags Nice! I need to get on it. 2y
66 likes1 stack add4 comments