Celebrating eight years in freedom

On November 7th, 2013, I traveled to Lebanon to interview sources for an article about the involvement of the terrorist organization, Hezbollah, in the Syrian civil war. While at a cafe, waiting to meet with a member of the Syrian opposition who was going to provide me with evidence of Hezbollah’s war crimes, three masked men rushed towards me. One of them slapped me across the face, while another handcuffed me and covered my head. They accused me of being an Israeli intelligence officer using journalism as a cover. I was then taken to a prison in the southern suburbs of Beirut, where I was held in solitary confinement for two years in a small room.

Despite the difficulty of my situation, I held onto hope and was eventually released on October 9th, 2015, and expelled from Lebanon. I was denied entry for life. Those two years were incredibly challenging, but I learned that even in the darkest of times, hope can prevail. Now, after nine years, I am living freely in my home country, Norway, surrounded by loved ones.

I am grateful to my friends and supporters who stood by me throughout my ordeal. I also feel a responsibility to take action against Hezbollah by filing a lawsuit in the international court on behalf of the victims who cannot speak up. I want to encourage others to never give up hope and to continue fighting for a better future. Even when faced with adversity, there is always a glimmer of hope.