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Somalia is an important story in the world, and it needed to be told.
Christmas was the one time of year when my brothers surfaced at home, when my parents and grandparents congregated to eat my mother's roast turkey.
The same men who are placing all these outrageous restrictions on women's freedoms in southern Somalia - that type of mentality - that's what I had to deal with in captivity.
The road to recovery will not always be easy, but I will take it one day at a time, focusing on the moments I've dreamed about for so long.
My faith in human decency was sorely tested at times during my captivity; however, after my release, I am humbly reminded that mankind is inherently good by the tremendous efforts and support of fellow Canadians.
Accompanied by an Australian photographer named Nigel Brennan, I'd gone to Somalia to work as a freelance journalist, on a trip that was meant to last only ten days.
I went through an extremely trying ordeal, but I never forgot the world outside was a beautiful place.
It was a slow understanding that the lack of education in a country like Somalia creates these huge social problems.
Somalia is very dangerous, and no one knows that better than I.
Women in Somalia face almost unimaginable oppression.
After being in captivity for so long, I can't begin to describe how wonderful it feels to be home in Canada.
What happened to me in Somalia doesn't define me.
Going into Somalia, I didn't anticipate how many people's lives would be affected by it. In hindsight, I certainly wish I had taken more time to think about that, but I can't change it.
A little goes a long way in Somalia: $5 will feed a person there for about two weeks.
Many, including the Canadian and U.S. governments, try to provide family support while also maintaining a hard line about further fuelling terrorism and hostage-taking through ransom payments ... Still, try telling that to a mother, or a father, or a husband or wife caught in the powerless agony of standing by.
The book is called 'A House in the Sky' because during the very, very darkest times, that was how I survived. I had to find a safe place to go in my mind where there was no violence being done to my body and where I could reflect on the life I had lived and the life that I still wanted to live.
You have a responsibility to move your dreams forward, no matter what.
I made a vow to myself while I was a hostage that if I were lucky enough to live and to get out of Somalia, I would do something meaningful with my life - and specifically something that would be meaningful in the country where I'd lost my freedom.
The greatest gift you have been given is the gift of your imagination - what do you dream of wanting to do?
Hamdi Ulukaya and Chobani have made the decision to feed 250,000 victims of the Somali famine. Their compassion speaks for itself, and is a shining example of how the business community can have an enormous positive impact on the world.
Contemplating Christmas when you are isolated and far from home brings its own unique pain.
I think it's the human spirit inside of all of us that has an enormous capacity to survive.
I'm afraid of elevators, because they are an enclosed space, but I get in.
Forgiving is not an easy thing to do.
I have watched lives change. I have seen women gain confidence.
I have a general sense of excitement about the future, and I don't know what that looks like yet. But it will be whatever I make it.
I'm afraid of the dark, but I choose to sleep in the dark. I can fall right to sleep with the lights on. But I want to be someone who can sleep in the dark, so that's the choice that I make.
With awareness come responsibility and choice.
The countries with the greatest problems have the kindest people.
I think that I find a lot of my healing out in the world.
I'm not afraid of IED's, bullets, mortars.
Sometimes, you have to make the choice to forgive 10 times a day when you have these pockets of anger come up. That's a lot of work, but to me it's worthwhile.
Sometimes it's nice for people not to know anything about me.
For a while, the world for me was like a set of monkey bars. I swung from one place to the next, sometimes backward, sometimes forward, capitalizing on my own momentum, knowing that at some point my arms... would give out, and I'd fall to the ground.
I never felt an obligation to say every single terrible thing that happened to me.
When you see a 14-year-old boy who has never known what peace looks like for a day in his life, there's part of you as a human being that feels some degree, you can say, compassion for the fact that these boys have known war, famine, violence and death from the day they were born.