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An American Journalist Survives His Kidnap By Somali Pirates

An American journalist gets kidnapped my Somalian pirates. Read how his lens of the Journalist world has changed including his life.

Op-Docs" by The New York Times

“No story is worth your life. That’s just a hard and fast rule”

Recently, The New York Times, released a short Op-Ed documentary revolving around Michael Scott Moore’s story of his kidnapping by Somali Pirates back in early 2012. The short documentary covers Michael’s perspective through the brutal two years and eight months he was captivated and how his view on journalism was changed after he had been rescued.

Moore had arrived in Somalia in early January to investigate Somalian pirates, so he could cover a story on them for his job. Although his travel insurance didn’t go through, Moore was still determined to go through with his trip. Little did he know that his ambition and job would cost him his safety and almost his life.

It all started when Moore was driving back to the town he was staying at after he had dropped off a colleague at an airport. As the car neared by, he was pulled out of the car and surrounded by armed men. He later found out after being taken that these men were Somalian pirates. The pirates had recorded a video of Moore explaining who he was and what nationalities he was, so they could ask the following governments for ransom in exchange for Moore’s safety. This was only the beginning of Moore’s rescue journey.

From “How I Survived Being Kidnapped by Somali Pirates | Op-Docs” by The New York Times

Michael Moore had two passports- An American and German one. The only thing is that The United States was one of the only western governments that did not pay ransoms. Negotiations were constantly happening, yet nothing was being resolved since no special forces were put on the job to rescue him. This resulted in Moore staying as a hostage longer, which made him begin to lose hope as the months dragged on.

From “How I Survived Being Kidnapped by Somali Pirates | Op-Docs” by The New York Times

The initial ransom amount had fallen from $20 million to $1.6 million through the years, in which Moore’s mother raised through the support of others to get his freedom back. Finally, after two and a half years later, Moore was being released under strict negotiated terms and on his way back home. Moore first flew to Nairobi where he stayed a little before reuniting with his family and he describes the overwhelming feelings of feeling safe and free again. For instance, being able to shower and sleep whenever without guards following and watching him and not feeling fearful for his life.

From “How I Survived Being Kidnapped by Somali Pirates | Op-Docs” by The New York Times

After returning back home, Moore contributed money for the other hostages since paying ransoms were the only way to get them out. He knew what they were going through living in those severe conditions and was focused on granting their freedom like how he was granted his. After another two year journey, he returned to the very place to greet the new freed hostages where he was welcomed with open arms and tons of happy tears.

From “How I Survived Being Kidnapped by Somali Pirates | Op-Docs” by The New York Times

Since Moore’s been back, he’s been shedding light on the raw truths of the dangers journalists face in going to these crisis zones to write stories. He calls out the flaws in the American government covering up stories like his own and the other thousand kidnap cases that occur every year due to journalists not being aware enough. How could they if there’s no news on the dangers of traveling to crisis zones? This results in journalists blindly traveling to write a risky story only for their safety and lives to be jeopardized due to the lack of awareness.

Moore continues to speak out about his own experience, in order, to give some insight to future journalists that carry a similar ambition he had during his career. He wants every journalist to understand that no story is worth their lives nor the distress their families have to go through if they’re kidnapped.

From “How I Survived Being Kidnapped by Somali Pirates | Op-Docs” by The New York Times

In regards to Somalia, check out Changing Views On The Stigmatised Arab World Since Trump’s Travel Ban to see how they’re recently being stigmatised…

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