Amanda Lindhout is an award winning humanitarian, social activist, public speaker and writer, as well as the Founder and former Executive Director of the Global Enrichment Foundation.
A woman whose compassion and determination are a powerful portrait of the strength of the human spirit, she founded the Global Enrichment Foundation to empower, educate and provide aid in the very country where she lost her freedom. Amanda’s trajectory as a woman of unique resilience, vision and action has made her an inspiring example of how one person can enact positive change on a worldwide scale. In 2012, the Women’s Executive Network named Amanda one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
Her memoir, A House in the Sky, co-written with New York Times contributing writer Sara Corbett, is the story of a young woman aspiring to live a significant life. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth”, where she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road.
Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Amanda Lindhout reads her spectacularly dramatic memoir of a woman whose curiosity about the world led her from rural Canada to imperiled and dangerous countries on every continent, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity in Somaliaa story of courage, resilience, and extraordinary grace.At the age of eighteen, Amanda Lindhout moved from her hardscrabble Alberta hometown to the big cityCalgaryand worked as a cocktail waitress, saving her tips so she could travel the globe. As a child, she escaped a violent household by paging through National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. Now she would see those places for real. She backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each experience, went on to travel solo across Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a TV reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Mogadishu, Somaliathe most dangerous place on earthto report on the fighting there. On her fourth day in the country, she and her photojournalist companion were abducted. An astoundingly intimate and harrowing account of Lindhouts fifteen months as a captive, A House in the Sky illuminates the psychology, motivations, and desperate extremism of her young guards and the men in charge of them. She is kept in chains, nearly starved, and subjected to unthinkable abuse. She survives by imagining herself in a house in the sky, looking down at the woman shackled below, and finding strength and hope in the power of her own mind. Lindhouts decision, upon her release, to counter the violence she endured by founding an organization to help the Somali people rebuild their country through education is a wrenching testament to the capacity of the human spirit and an astonishing portrait of the power of compassion and forgiveness.