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Amanda Lindhout

Kidnap Survivor, Bestselling Author & Journalist

Amanda is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker and journalist. Her multiple award winning memoir, A House in the Sky, has been on the bestseller top ten list for over three years and her work as a journalist has included writing feature stories in Maclean’s, National Post and Flare, with photography for Flare.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Freedom in Forgiveness
As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, she began to travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda converts to Islam as a survival tactic, receives “wife lessons” from one of her captors, and risks a daring escape. Moved between a series of abandoned houses in the desert, she survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark, being tortured. Vivid and suspenseful, hers is the searingly intimate story of an intrepid young woman and her search for compassion in the face of unimaginable adversity. A captivating, unforgettable speaker, Lindhout alights on the positive and leaves the audience with a fuller understanding of the freedom we can all experience when we choose to embrace compassion. What emerges is a celebration of resilience — a powerful portrait of the strength of the human spirit.



Libris Award
Doctor of Laws, honouris causa from the University of Lethbridge

  • She was PHENOMENAL...you could hear a pin drop in the room this morning. I'm proud to say that Ottawa did not disappoint...she ended her keynote with a standing ovation from all 300 people in attendance. It was truly a pleasure, for me personally, to have met Amanda. While I may never completely understand what she endured during her captivity, I can say that her story has left an indescribable mark on my life and will never forget her message.

    - Marketing & Events Coordinator, Salvation Army
  • Amanda Lindhout is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable people I have ever had the honour of hearing speak. Her groundbreaking peace building work in Somalia is made all the more extraordinary by her willingness to work alongside former extremists and exemplifies the true meaning of forgiveness. Her message of peace deserves to be heard by all.

    - Google Ideas' Against Violent Extremism Network
  • She was amazing, spectacular, lovely, uplifting, articulate...the list goes on and on. She is in my humble opinion the best speaker we have ever had! Not sure how or if we will ever be able to top her.

    - Atlantic Psychiatric Conference
  • Amanda is an inspiring speaker with a message that is absolutely vital for our times.

    - Eckhart Tolle Best-selling author of The Power of Now
  • She was amazing as promised- the room of 1500 was silent- you could have heard a pin drop- she has an amazing story and its told in such an authentic manner- Wow- thank you so much for helping make this happen for us
    - President & CEO YMCA of Greater San Antonio
  • Amanda is an inspiration! Her messages of hope, forgiveness, peace and reconciliation are an example for us all.

    - President of the United Nations Association in Canada
  • Amanda is someone to look up to. Someone who instils a sense of hope and goodness in humanity.

    - PCMA 2013 Attendee
  • I just want to let you know that we have had an overwhelming number of positive responses to Amanda’s speaking engagement. I must tell you, once she started speaking, no one in the audience moved; their total attention was on Amanda - you could hear a pin drop. She received a standing ovation, which is a first for our Leadership Series. I don’t think people will easily forget what she had to stay.

    - Director, Annual Programs, University Hospitals Kingston Foundation

Summary Profile

Amanda Lindhout traveled to Somalia as a freelance journalist to research a story on the millions of people affected by two decades of war, drought, and famine. Kidnapped by teenage criminals outside of the capital city, Mogadishu, Amanda spent 460 days enduring unimaginable hardships as a hostage in one of the world’s poorest countries.   Today she’s asked by audiences around the world to share her story of forgiveness and resilience. 

She captured international headlines again after her 2009 release when she returned to Somalia to lead famine relief efforts in 2011. She founded the Global Enrichment Foundation, a non profit organization that raised close to 3 million dollars to help educate and empower women and children in Somalia and Kenya.

An internationally renowned public speaker, notable clients include Google, Bill Clinton and Richard Branson. In recent years Amanda visited over 25 countries as a keynote speaker at events as large as 16,000 audience members.

Amanda has been featured in publications including Vogue’s September Issue, O Magazine, ELLE, The New York Time Magazine and The Globe and Mail and appeared on Dateline NBCThe Today ShowAnderson Cooper 360, CNN, Sanjay Gupta MD, NBC Nightly News, BBC, MSNBC, CBC’s The National, Radio Canada International, and a variety of other TV and radio programs both domestic and international.

Amanda’s memoir,  A House In The Sky, is a New York Times bestseller and is slated for development as a major motion picture with Annapurna Pictures. Oscar nominated actress Rooney Mara is set to produce and star in the film.

RT @MichelleRempel: I firmly believe in the right of Canadians to bare arms. https://t.co/FER9iWrR0I (2018-02-14 01:51:55)
RT @macleans: In Canada, the earnings gap between men and women who work is about 31 per cent, according to StatsCan https://t.co/52qAu8dRIt (2018-02-11 03:21:19)
@k_rellihan @WomenTravelFest @OneikaTraveller @TravelBareFeet @KelleeSetGo @yTravelBlog @lilitmarcus So excited!!! (2018-02-10 10:22:41)