Escape from Saddam: The Incredible True Story of One Man's Journey to Freedom

Front Cover
Crown Publishers, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 295 pages
8 Reviews
At the age of seventeen, Lewis Alsamari was conscripted into Saddam Hussein’s army. The training was brutal, with discipline enforced by regular beatings, and desertion punishable by mutilation or imprisonment. Somehow Lewis made it through and, thanks in part to his fluent English, was soon offered a post in Iraqi military intelligence. The job would have made him powerful, comfortably wealthy . . . and a cog in Saddam Hussein’s massive machine of terror.

Unable to accept becoming a member of Saddam’s secret police, yet knowing that turning down this “honor” would be considered treasonous, Lewis made plans to flee Iraq. His escape was fraught with peril–he was shot, detained at borders, even pursued by hungry wolves across the desert–but the teenager made his way to Jordan, then Malaysia, and finally to England, where he was granted political asylum.

Lewis began building a life for himself, even falling in love and getting married. But he was haunted by thoughts of the loved ones he left behind in Iraq, his uncle’s words echoing in his ears: we are sending you to freedom so that one day you may rescue us from this place.

One day, shocking news arrived: because of his escape, Lewis’s family–including his mother and sister–had been interrogated, beaten, and thrown into prison. Frantic with guilt and worry, Lewis was forced to steal the thousands of dollars he needed to buy their release and smuggle them out of Iraq. Then, accompanied by his wife, he embarked on a desperate journey in hope of bringing his family to freedom.

Escape from Saddamis a powerful nonfiction thriller that, even as it plunges the reader into a netherworld of crooked border police, military checkpoints, counterfeiters, and smugglers, provides a fascinating window into a totalitarian regime. It is also a remarkably inspirational story of a resourceful young man who refused to accept his fate . . . and then risked everything he’d achieved to save his family.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Veeralpadhiar - LibraryThing

This is a good book but the thing that stayed with me was Lewis Alsamari's teenage feelings for a girl while he was on the run. It was just a brief not-so-deep feeling (it was infatuation really) for ... Read full review

Review: Escape from Saddam: the Incredible True Story of One Man's Journey to Freedom

User Review  - Clay Williams - Goodreads

I personally thought that the whole book would be about his escape just from Iraq. This book made me realize that it is a real blessing to live in America. This book was really good ,and I enjoyed it cover to cover. Read full review

About the author (2007)

LEWIS ALSAMARI is an award-winning actor best known for his role as the lead hijacker in Paul Greengrass’s acclaimed film United 93. He lives in London.

Bibliographic information