Ridley Yvonne was born on 23 April 1958 in Stanley, County Durham, England. She is British, an author, and a journalist, as well as being the youngest daughter of her parents with a Christian foundation mainly standardized in the Church of England. Being a journalist was her first job after school. She began her career at the local Stanley News, one of her experiences in the Durham Advertiser series, where she shifted to Newcastle upon Tyne.
Other places of employment were the Sunday Times, the Independent on Sunday, the Observer, and the Daily Mirror, holding a vital post as the deputy editor and acting editor of Wales on Sunday. With her experience, she was sent to Afghanistan after 9/11.
Captured By The Taliban
As a journalist, Ridley needed to travel with her camera while on duty, along with her guide, expected to deliver a perfect assignment in the course of duty. Due to the use of the device, Ridley was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan on 28 September 2001 and was held for 11 days after being refused an entrance visa into Afghanistan. She forcefully entered on 26 September through the border after disguising herself while riding on a donkey with her guide, only to be recognized by a Taliban soldier. This individual made life tide for her as she underwent punishment.
Moreover, a request was sent by an express newspaper to a team demanding her release from the Afghanistan embassy, yet they denied her freedom. It became clear that Afghanistan needed neither money nor help to grant her freedom, but rather proof of her sincerity as a trained journalist. And as well as the place of hunger throughout her stay in Afghanistan prison.
In respect of authority, a quick order was carried on her release when Hilary Synnott, the British commission, intervened on 8 October and, as such, reveals how Ridley could write down her experiences while being in prison, as well as the reveal of her stationary inside a box, although she was not physically interrogated or hurt, aside from the hunger torture in prison.
Apart from the British commissioner, some men contributed to her release. Among them was her guide, a relative from Afghanistan. They were said to have been arrested, especially Jan Ali and Najibullah Muhammad, as well as their five- year- old daughter Basmena, held in prison in Kabul. Ridley made several appeal demanding their urgent release with the pretense of not revealing them as her guide had agreed not to admit any involvement in the event of their capture.
Conversations To Islam
According to Ridley, despite being placed on starvation, she was able to gain respect from the Taliban men while in prison and was overwhelmed by their concern. She was first taught to have this as her last respect before execution. Little did she discover that they were showing her respect.
Being a Muslim country and one that needed freedom, the Taliban could turn her down. However, she stuck to her promise, which she described as an academic exercise, discovering in the Quran that women are equal in standards in both spirituality, worth and education. She also reminded the people that Islam is perfect, as she fulfilled her promise in the middle of 2003.
As now an Islam, she was offered a job by the Qatar- based media organization, a post as a senior editor at Al Jazeera, but it couldn’ t last. As a result of her being so vocal and intelligent, Ridley, with her language understanding and proof of excellent English, was able to develop the Al Jazeera lunch into an English- language website in the same year of her appointment.
Meanwhile, the release of her captivity was revealed with an Israeli agent threatening to kill her either with the use of a co- intelligent agent or by planning to execute her life to boost public support for the war in Afghanistan. And that led to her resignation from Express Newspapers with a plan to work on a writing manuscript in Afghanistan. In respect to her resignation, she produced a program for BBC Radio Four which she called The Return in 2002, in line with her traveling character with her daughter Daisy, before being employed by Al Jazeera.
Ridley’ s Personal Life
In 2004, Ridley built an interest in politics with which she was listed first in the European election for the northeast England region, yet failed to be elected. Ridley failed all her political pursues.
Meanwhile, Ridley had been married five times, the first when she was 22 years old, her second marriage to a policeman, which lasted seven years, before a big catch with Daoud Zaaroura, the CEO of the North England refugee service, whom she met while performing in her career, and with whom she had a daughter before marrying an Israeli and finally an Algerian husband.