Lynsey Addario had been a photojournalist working in war zones for 10 years when she was kidnapped in Libya in 2011 while covering the fighting between Muammar Qaddafi's troops and rebel forces. In her book, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War,” Addario writes:


“I have been kidnapped twice. I have gotten in one serious car accident. Two of my drivers have died while working for me, two tragedies I will always feel responsible for. I have missed the births of my sister's children, the weddings of friends, the funerals of loved ones. I have disappeared on countless boyfriends and had just as many disappear on me.”


Addario Joined Boston Public Radio to discuss her book and her time spent covering the Middle East.


Lets begin with one of the most frightening experiences you went through, the kidnapping.


“I was on assignment for the New York Times, and I had missed the uprising in Tunisia and Egypt, and I was sort of determined to cover Libya. Like so many journalists, we snuck in illegally, without visas, from Egypt into Libya. That’s the only way to cover a popular uprising, because the government obviously didn’t want us there. We snuck in, and we were covering the push towards the frontline. We were with rebels, who were doctors and engineers. We spent about two weeks covering very heavy combat. Finally, on March 15, we were in the town of Ajdabiya, and it was very clear, the city was about to fall. All the signs were there; civilians were fleeing, the frontlines were moving closer, the mortar rounds were literally walking towards our position. We were deciding what to do; do we stay, or do we go? This is the decision any journalist has to make in a combat zone.


And you’re feeling queasy about this?


I sort of had a premonition that day, and those premonitions are not always right, but for whatever reason, I felt like I had spent too much time on the frontline, and I was ready to go. [photographer] Tyler Hicks and I were in one car, Anthony Shadid, and Stephen Farrell were in another car. Anthony and Steve’s driver’s brother got shot on the frontline, so he pulled over and dumped their stuff on the side of the road. Suddenly, there were four of us in one car. We all had different needs, journalistically, so we stayed longer than we should have. The driver started getting calls that [Former Prime Minister of Libya Muammar] Gaddafi’s troops were in the city, and anyone who’s covered war knows that you listen to your driver. We did not, and by the time we ended up pulling east towards Benghazi, we ran directly into one of Gaddafi’s checkpoints. You have to make a decision: do you keep driving and blow past that checkpoint and hope they don’t open fire on you, or do you stop and say, ‘hey, we’re journalists, please don’t kill us.’ Naturally, everyone is screaming something different, and we’re headed towards this hostile checkpoint, and our driver panicked, and he stopped the car and jumped out, and told them we were journalists. In that exact moment, the rebels that we had been covering started opening fire on that checkpoint, and we were caught in a complete gun battle. There were bullets everywhere. Each one of us had one of Gaddafi’s soldiers holding on to us and trying to pull our stuff away. This is all happening in the middle of a gun battle. We all tried to make a run for it, and we did eventually make it safely to cover. We never saw our driver again. We were told to lie face-down in the dirt, and we each had a rifle to our head, Gaddafi’s troops were about to execute us.


To hear more from Lynsey Addario’s interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio link above.