Your audiobook is waiting…

I Was Told to Come Alone

My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (272 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

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.

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.

©2017 Souad Mekhennet (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The thrilling narrative brings up critical, persuasive insights while trying to answer the questions of where terrorism comes from and why it's so difficult to eradicate." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    220
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    177
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    209
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy
  • Coconut Grove, FL USA
  • 10-31-17

Narrator

Such a riveting story, but would have been so much more authentic if narrated by someone who sounded more like the author instead of someone with an American accent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DHL
  • WASHINGTON, DC, US
  • 08-13-17

Amazingly Badass and Beautifully Told!

Brave. A story that raises cultural consciousness,eyebrows and awareness for what really happened behind "enemy" lines. A must read for every aspiring journalist who needs to understand what it means to hold a confidence, work hard to seek the truth and believe in your ability to understand a world beyond cultural borders.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting perspective worth listening to. Poor narration.

I have heard the author on the radio. Listening to her narrating the book would have made me much more authentic. It is un aceptable for a narrator not to learn how to pronounce the few German words prior to recording and for the author not to hear the narration and scream. To hear the name of Der Siegel magazine massacred was painful. Other than than I truly enjoyed and learn from the work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

eye opening

must read/listen to anyone who cares about the future world. loved it and am buying the book do I can also read it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A timely book with poor narration

Loved the balanced content. it is timely because the author looks beyond the events she has covered- she strives to understand the sociological and political reasons on an individual level. An important book for Muslim and other immigrant parents raising children in the West. There are many memorable lines such as:

"People who see themselves as victims often do not notice when they become oppressors"

"Children inherit their parents' hatred"

"Religion does not radicalize people, people radicalize religion"


The book is filled with Arabic terms and names that the narrator simply cannot pronounce - her pronunciation, while wrong, is not even consist from one sentence to the next. This makes the performance irritating at times.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Souad Mekhennet is a truth seeker.

This book was riveting, eye opening and life changing. I’m a college history professor and I’m amazed at her methods of truth finding and her personal integrity. Her research methods align with academia, perfectly. One of the best books I’ve ever read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Must Read for Every American

Ms. Mekhennet goes deep into the Middle East to discover the truth about Isis and other terrorist cells. With courage, fortitude and a heartfelt desire to understand, she enters the most dangerous territories to go directly to the source. I find her to be a brilliant human of great depth and courage, a wonderful storyteller of a truly complex story. A must-read/must-listen for everyone, especially Americans. Challenge your beliefs. Read this story. Took me to the next level of understanding. Recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, life changing, book

This is an amazing book that gives you a new perspective on Middle Eastern conflicts and terrorism. She went behind the lines and interviewed countless men, women, and children who are affected by these conflicts and twisting of religion/ideology. This book gives you a more complete understanding of how the world has gotten to its current state, and if that doesn't convince you, its also a very well written book that is impossible to put down. Thank you Souad for your great work!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • USA
  • 07-09-18

Insightful

A very intelligent and unique account of the situation. I would recommend everyone to read this book. One of the best books I have read. Thank you Souad Mekhennet, your work is so important. You are a real inspiration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Living History

Very interesting and informative story!
Kirsten Potter’s narration is outstanding!
I highly recommend this audiobook.