Six years with Al Qaeda
The Stephen McGown Story
"Not just an incredible story of mental strength, physical endurance and the resilience of the human spirit, but also a unique, nuanced perspective on one of the world's most feared terrorist organisations. Not only did Steve survive his ordeal, but in many respects he came out of the desert both a changed man and a stronger, more positive human."
Best seller in South Africa with in the first 5 weeks of sale
Won the Adult non-fiction category at the South African Book Awards for 2021
Six Years with Al Qaeda
Gain an inspiring and gripping account of Stephen McGown's transformative journey of survival, mental fortitude, and the resilience of the human spirit.
A powerful testament to the human capacity for strength and growth in the face of extreme adversity.
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About the Book
In a life-altering moment, Stephen McGown's motorcycle journey from London to Johannesburg came to an abrupt halt when he was taken captive by Al Qaeda in Timbuktu, Mali. With nothing to offer and everything to lose, Steve found himself reluctantly playing a game of chess for six long years, in what he now calls "the greatest chess game of my life." As the news of his kidnapping shocked his family thousands of kilometers away in Johannesburg, they left no stone unturned in their pursuit to free him, exploring every option from diplomatic channels to the murky world of kidnapping.
As the months turned into years, Steve had to fight to survive both his prison and captors, with his sole focus being to make it back home. In his efforts to raise his status among Al Qaeda, Steve taught himself French and Arabic, converted to Islam, and accepted a new name, Lot. Even though he holds the record for being Al Qaeda's longest-held prisoner, his time with them provided Steve with a unique perspective on the captive-captor dynamic that no Westerner had ever experienced before.
In his book, "Six Years with Al Qaeda," Steve shares his incredible story of mental strength, physical endurance, and the resilience of the human spirit. It is not just a tale of survival but also an insightful and nuanced perspective on one of the world's most feared terrorist organizations. Steve's ordeal transformed him into a stronger, more positive human, making his journey both gripping and inspiring.
What you'll learn
Praise for Stephen and the Book
Georgie Mitchell (Cole) | Practice Lead | Salt | South Africa
"I'm sure you get loads of these random messages but I coudn't not message you after I finished your book in 1 day! Absolutely incredible story, my mind is left racing with so many questions!"
Jude Amara, US | Amazon Review
"This book is a brilliant read. Stephen brought his captivity to life in this book. It's such a wonderful read. I might just read it again, in case I missed something. Easily one of my best summer reads so far."