Posted by: Andrea | November 13, 2008

strength and humility

CBC news released today a full 60-minute interview with Mellissa Fung, an up and rising reporter who was kidnapped by a family-run criminal group from a refugee camp in Afghanistan on October 12, 2008.  Held in captivity for 28-days in a small, dark, damp hole in the ground, there are three things that strike me as incredible about her story.

“dying is not an option.”

Her determination to survive and resourcefulness is clearly outstanding.  Even throughout the interview she is calm, thoughtful, somber yet not without hope.   She talks about hiding her second cell phone in her pocket, trying to move it in a location so it won’t be found when she’s initially kidnapped and held captive at the floor of the car.   She also talks about creating a false illness to convince her captors to expedite the process of her release.  These are things one would expect from Jack Bauer but not necessarily a small, nice Canadian asian young woman.

As soon as she was released into the safety of Afghan intelligence custody, Mellissa was able to make a phone call home.   Her father, who picked up on the other line, felt rightfully relieved to hear his daughter’s voice.  But when asked how she felt when she heard his voice, Mellissa said:

“I was so relieved he was okay…I was way more worried about my parents than I was myself. I knew they had to be worrying, they had to be so upset.”

Her interviewer, Anna Maria Tremonti of CBC Radio One, commented that one of the first things Mellissa did after being released was to apologize all the trouble she put everybody through.

“I just felt bad that everybody was so worried.  I knew I was okay, but what was hard was that my parents, my friends didn’t.  That was the hardest part about all of this.”

Her humility and thoughtfulness under the worst of circumstances just astounds me.



  1. I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks, Eric!

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