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I Was Told to Come Alone Audiobook

I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad

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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

What the Critics Say

"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 Rating

4.8 (79 )
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4.6 (71 )
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Performance
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  •  
    James L. Cox 09-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DHL WASHINGTON, DC, US 08-13-17
    DHL WASHINGTON, DC, US 08-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. AHMAD Houston, Texas 07-15-17
    F. AHMAD Houston, Texas 07-15-17 Member Since 2015
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward 07-14-17
    Edward 07-14-17
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    "Captivating "

    Is the book factual or some fluff. If actual, and I have no reason to think otherwise, the author is one tough Hombre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory 07-14-17
    Gregory 07-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    "an eye opening to the Muslim world"

    starts off a bit slow but wow how it opened up to the Muslim world and makes you think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eugene K 07-10-17
    Eugene K 07-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate L. Rosenblatt 07-09-17 Member Since 2016
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    "One dimensional story about a journalist"

    The author's focus in this book is belied by the first word in its title.

    The overemphasis of the author in writing about herself - which could have been interesting if self-reflective, but comes across mostly as self-congratulatory - comes at the expense of any serious thought about the supposed subject matter of the book (what it's like "behind the lines of jihad"). It's a shame because the author has a wealth of experience and has interviewed many interesting people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    captainramius 07-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Lost me at 30 minutes"
    What would have made I Was Told to Come Alone better?

    After listening for 30 minutes all I've had is a personal account of the author's family, filled with excruciating, pointless details about what her grandmother liked to cook, her mother's hairstyle, her father's looks, how her parents' met and dated, etc. I can't stand another minute of this completely unnecessary autobiography. If the author wanted to make a point about immigrant families -- as a prelude or groundwork for the book's subject -- it could and should have been done with far less details about her family life.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Anything that has not been written by Souad Mekhennet.


    Which character – as performed by Kirsten Potter – was your favorite?

    None


    What character would you cut from I Was Told to Come Alone?

    The author and her family.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Martensen 07-03-17
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    "A view from a different perspective."

    Souad does a great job of helping us see the whole issue of Jihad and the trouble in the middle east from a muslim immigrant perspective. Things always have multiple sides and are more complex than what we see in cable news. It is a great read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne 07-03-17
    Dianne 07-03-17 Member Since 2015
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    "It's a 5 star read!"

    Such an incredible and determined young woman! I admire her tenacity! Beautifully written and read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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