On November 1, 2004 Roy Hallums ducked out of a dinner party hosted by his employer in the upscale Mansour district of Baghdad to finish some work in an adjacent office building of the Saudi Arabian Trading and Construction Company. At the same time a gang of ruthless thugs, later identified as members of the Jaish al-Mujahideen or Mujahideen Army, were finalizing their plans to storm the company’s compound. Little did Roy Hallums realize, as he crossed the secured and protected distance from the dinner party to his office, that he was also crossing over into a brutal 311 day nightmare during which time he would be virtually Buried Alive.
Warning: Buried Alive is a white-knuckle firsthand tale of terror, torture, and triumph that will leave the reader’s fingernails permanently imprinted on the book’s front and back covers. On the 241 pages between those two covers readers will glimpse, if only as from beneath a blindfold, a surreal world in which kidnapping and human traffic is considered a legitimate form of business and where the adhan, or Islamic call to prayer, is accompanied by the sound of torture induced cries and screams. The book however is not without its lighter (if that is a word that can be used in such circumstances) moments. Case in point: upon being pistol whipped by a guard because President Bush had won reelection in the U.S. Roy Hallums quipped “I guess he was a Kerry supporter”.
This is a book that should be read by everyone who wishes to have greater insight into events in the Middle East. Be warned though, although it is not overly graphic and never sensational, the facts portrayed within leaves of this book are indelible.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”