Read Kidnapped by the Taliban Online

Authors: Dilip Joseph

Tags: #ebook

Kidnapped by the Taliban

BOOK: Kidnapped by the Taliban
12.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

PRAISE FOR
KIDNAPPED BY THE TALIBAN

“Dilip Joseph, MD, is a physician and humanitarian, but he’s also my friend, and he endured an unimaginably difficult ordeal—being kidnapped at gunpoint in Afghanistan. This gripping book is a page-turner from start to finish; however, what I found most surprising and enduring is what Dilip taught me, and will reveal to you, about the mind of the Taliban terrorists. It will challenge everything you think you know.”

—W
ALT
L
ARIMORE
, MD
B
EST-SELLING AUTHOR
,
T
HE
G
ABON
V
IRUS
AND
T
HE
I
NFLUENZA
B
OMB

“Dr. Joseph is a friend, a colleague, and a person with whom I share a passion for serving the underserved, especially in Afghanistan. Having worked closely with him, when I heard he had been taken by the Taliban, I was deeply concerned for his health and his life. When I learned of his rescue, I was greatly relieved. His moving, transparent account of his experience is both exciting and revealing, as he shares his true care for his captors and his appreciation for his rescuers as well as his deep remorse for those who lost their lives in this tragic event. I was caught up in the story from the very beginning and couldn’t put it down!”

—M
ITCH
D
UININCK
, MD
P
RESIDENT
, H
OPE
P
ARTNERSHIPS
I
NTERNATIONAL

“I was very pleased to meet Dr. Joseph in Afghanistan, where he impressed me with his heroic willingness to serve others in a dangerous place. When I heard that Dilip had been captured by criminal thugs, I feared the worst, especially after having witnessed multiple tragedies in that dark corner of the world. This book is a riveting account of that harrowing story.

“Dilip tells the tale remarkably well, but for me, his most moving tribute to the men in uniform who served with him is of great personal significance. Dr. Joseph and his comrades got a one-in-a-million opportunity for rebirth through these horrific events, and this book offers readers a similar shot at redemption by confronting the inexpressible value of our own personal liberty. Dilip got to see firsthand what the price of freedom looks like. We all can be better people through hearing what he has to say about it.”

—T
IM
K
IRK
C
OLONEL
, U.S. A
IR
F
ORCE

“Dr. Dilip Joseph’s vivid, authentic storytelling offers a rare view into the physical, psychological, and spiritual experience of Taliban captivity. While the threat of death from the captors’ pointed AK-47s and Kalashnikovs was unmistakably real, so was the strange intimacy shared between captives and captors around meals of fresh naan and green tea, the human connections that were possible even under the most hostile circumstances.

“Dr. Dilip’s unbreakable personal faith in God, along with the courage and resilience of his beloved teammates and fellow captives, Dr. Rafiq and Farzad, resonate throughout the pages of this book. Their ongoing commitment to serve some of the most destitute people on earth living in rural Afghanistan is a moving testament.

“Finally, the sacrifice made by the SEAL rescue team serves as a sobering reminder of the costliness of freedom and the preciousness of each moment of life.”

—F
ARZANA
M
ARIE
P
RESIDENT
, C
IVIL
V
ISION
I
NTERNATIONAL

“You will be amazed, inspired, and humbled by this remarkable story of one man’s journey through terrorism, kidnapping, and threat of death.
Kidnapped by the Taliban
is an amazing story of God showing His love to a world filled with hatred. It’s an amazing story of how God provides grace and strength in the most horrific of trials. It’s a story of God’s faithful provision to Dilip Joseph, a dedicated, compassionate doctor who literally laid down his life for the sake of a people in desperate need of God’s love.”

—W
AYNE
P
EDERSON
P
RESIDENT
, R
EACH
B
EYOND

“I couldn’t put this book down. Dr. Joseph’s passion and willingness to go wherever God directed him, even when it was away from his family and into a war zone in Afghanistan, show the heart of a humanitarian.
Kidnapped by the Taliban
is also a tribute to the sacrifice and courage that the men and women of the U.S. military serving in Afghanistan show every day.”

—C
HRISTOPHER
B
RAMAN
S
ERGEANT
F
IRST
C
LASS
, U.S. A
RMY
R
ANGERS
(
RETIRED
),
AND RECIPIENT OF THE
P
URPLE
H
EART AND
S
OLDIER

S
M
EDAL

 

 

 

© 2014 Dilip Joseph, M.D.

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson.

Author is represented by the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc., 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920, www.alivecommunications.com.

Thomas Nelson titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected].

The events described in this book are true. Some names and a few locations have been changed to maintain military security, protect identities, and increase safety for the people involved.

All photographs courtesy of Dilip Joseph, Morning Star Development, and James Lund.

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version
®
, NIV
®
. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

ISBN 978-0-7180-3156-5 (IE)

ISBN 978-0-7180-1130-7 (eBook)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014942499

ISBN 978-0-7180-1128-4

14 15 16 17 18 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1

 

 

 

 

To my mother, Rosamma “Jolly” Joseph
When you were alive, you were my anchor. Even in death, your memory propels me to serve God and others to the best of my ability. Thank you for the amazing example of your selfless sacrifice of time, energy, and resources to not only our family but also many around the world. My hope is that people who knew you well will be reminded of you in these pages.

CONTENTS

Prologue: Kidnapped

1. Finding My Way
2. Afghanistan
3. Anguish and Peace
4. Taliban Hospitality
5. Bad News
6. “We’re Going to Kill You”
7. Whatever This Is
8. Demands
9. The Conversation
10. Connections
11. A Precarious Peace
12. Shifting Demands
13. “Papa’s in Trouble”
14. On the Run
15. The Taliban Dry My Tears
16. The Last Night
17. Rescue
18. Reborn
19. Home

Epilogue: Heartache and Joy

Acknowledgments

Notes

Glossary

Recommended Resources

About the Authors

Photos

PROLOGUE

KIDNAPPED

10:00
A.M
., W
EDNESDAY
, D
ECEMBER
5, 2012

P
UL-I-ASSIM
, A
FGHANISTAN

“ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN IN YOUR DIET? ARE YOU getting enough carbohydrates?”

The questions in Pashto come from Miriam, a local midwife and employee of the same nonprofit I work for. She’s addressing twenty moms and kids jammed into a fifteen-by-twenty-foot office. About half of the visitors sit in metal folding chairs while the others stand. Miriam points with a stick to a board beside her. Tacked to the board are plastic baggies filled with nuts, beans, and rice.

Two and a half weeks ago, I was at home with my wife and four children in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Now I am at a medical clinic in Pul-i-assim, a village in eastern Afghanistan. I am the medical director for Morning Star, a non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to helping this nation’s people rebuild their country and their lives. This is my tenth visit to Afghanistan. I’m here to deliver a dose of medical training and hope to people who desperately need both.

What I don’t know is that I will soon be the one in desperate need of help and hope.

As Miriam speaks, my gaze is drawn to a mother standing near a corner in the back of the room. Her eyes appear locked on the board as she absorbs each word, though I can’t tell for certain because she is covered head to toe in a light-blue burqa, which includes a
chadri
, or veil, to cover her face. She holds an infant no more than two months old in her arms. A toddler stands to the mother’s left, one hand gripped tightly to his mother. He’s coughing repeatedly. On her other side a three-year-old leans against her and wipes her runny nose on her sleeve.

I wonder about this young mother’s life. I guess that she is nineteen and lives in her husband’s home in a nearby village. I imagine that in addition to caring for her husband and three young children, she takes care of and does all the housework for her extended family—perhaps a mother-in-law and two brothers-in-law. She breastfeeds her younger children but can’t produce enough milk to fully feed them, so her husband is forced to buy low-quality formula during his monthly visit to the closest town, straining an already meager family budget. I have no doubt that this young mother often feels overwhelmed.

She is surely not an educated woman. Most girls in rural Afghanistan are expected to quit school after the second or third grade. Yet I can see that she is highly motivated to care for her family. She leans forward, eager to see the pictures describing good nutrition and hygiene and hear every word of advice.

I smile. This is why I am here. It’s hard to describe the sense of fulfillment that wells up in me when I view the clear need in the innocent faces of these young children and the strong desire to improve their health and lives in the attentiveness of their mothers. Medical services
in rural Afghanistan are so rare. In moments like these I know my team and I are helping to bridge the gap between what is and what can be. The gap is still wide, but we are making a difference.

I am glad to finally be back among these people. It’s been a year and a half since my last visit to this clinic. Six previously scheduled trips to the region were canceled due to threats of violence.

The threat is from the Taliban, the Islamic extremists who use terror and force to impose their strict interpretations of Islamic law. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until December 2001, when they were forced out of power by the U.S.-led invasion that followed the 9/11 attacks on America. Yet the Taliban influence here lives on in an insurgency that claims thousands of lives each year. During the Taliban rule, the villagers in Pul-i-assim fled to Pakistan, returning to their homes only after the regime collapsed.

For people living in rural areas where the Taliban influence is strongest, including where we work, the danger is a shadow that never goes away.

After serving at the clinic all morning, my two native coworkers—Rafiq, a physician and local program director for Morning Star, and Farzad, his assistant—and I enjoy a sumptuous lunch hosted by the local police chief. At two thirty in the afternoon, we drop off the police chief and another local doctor near the medical clinic then begin the four-hour drive back to Kabul.

BOOK: Kidnapped by the Taliban
12.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Everlost by Neal Shusterman
The Glass Castle by Priebe, Trisha; Jenkins, Jerry B.;
The Hollow Man by Dan Simmons
Claiming Carina by Khloe Wren
Sugar Pop Moon by John Florio
Little Fish by Ware, Kari
Dawn of the Demontide by William Hussey
All Due Respect by Vicki Hinze
Firewall by Sierra Riley