Western Staff and Leaders' ConferenceWestern University

Amanda Lindhout

Image: Amanda Lindhout"Freedom and Forgiveness"

Thurs. Feb. 20th, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
SSC 2050

In 2008, Amanda Lindhout traveled to Somalia as a Canadian freelance journalist to research a story on the millions of people affected by two decades of war, drought, and famine. Just outside the capital city of Mogadishu, Amanda was kidnapped by teenage criminals and for the next 460 days endured unimaginable treatment as a hostage.

In her talk, Amanda reveals how her journey ultimately led her to discover that as long as she retained her ability to feel compassion, her humanity could never be taken from her. During her weakest moments, she found the opportunity to experience her greatest power: the power to forgive. Amanda’s story is a celebration of resilience and survival - an illustration of the remarkable strength of the human spirit. Amanda’s memoir, "A House In The Sky," is a New York Times bestseller and #1 bestseller in Canada in 2013.

Amanda will be available for book signings outside of SSC 2050 after her session.  "A House in the Sky" will be available for purchase at this time OR in advance at The Book Store at Western.


Amanda Lindhout was born in Red Deer, Alberta, and grew up with a passion for travel. By age 26 she was in Afghanistan trying to find work as a self-trained photo-journalist. In August of 2008 Amanda was working in Somalia with an Australian photographer friend when a group of gunmen abducted them both.

After her release in 2009, she founded Global Enrichment Foundation (GEF), to ignite leadership in Somalia through education and economic initiatives. Since the GEF’s inception, Amanda has raised millions of dollars to support development and aid in the war-torn country reaching over 300,000 people.

Amanda has been featured in a variety of publications including O Magazine, Canadian Living, The New York Time Magazine and The Globe and Mail. She has appeared on Dateline NBC, CNN, NBC, BBC, CTV’s Canada AM, CBC’s The National, and Radio Canada International.