"S" is a thirty-five-year-old Iraqi aid worker who worked for an American charity in Iraq until last January when he was kidnapped with his friend "W" (we have withheld their names at their request). After a gruesome 8 days in captivity the two were released on condition their organisation withdraws from Iraq and "S" was given 72 hours to leave the country.
"And I was thinking we have done nothing wrong. Why was this happening to us? Is this the reward for someone who helps and gives something to his country? Especially, I am an Iraqi. I should be treated differently. I am Iraqi and I am giving something to my country and they know perhaps and everyone there knows that I have done the right thing. I have been giving food stuff and presents to children."
Later "S" was forced to watch the beheading of an Iraqi policeman.
"They were saying look, this is the fate of everyone who has dealings with the Americans. The fate of any person who gives evidence where the mujaheedin are, and every person who cooperates with the occupiers, this is his fate and what will happen to him and this will be the way his life will end."
"I was hoping I would die in a different way to the police officer. I was saying please God let me die without going through such a terrible thing. I also wished I could see "W" for the last time, to see my friend."
"S" is currently in the UK preparing for his wedding to a British aid worker whom he met in Amman after fleeing Baghdad and they're hoping to emigrate together with "W" to Australia. He says of his ordeal that
"In these circumstances I can't go back. But in the future I would love to. My dream is to return to Iraq and continue the same activity and to give something to my country, to keep on contributing and helping my country."