How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 May, 2011, 12:00am


How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone
by Rosie Garthwaite
Bloomsbury HK$169

How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone contains sage advice from scores of people, 30 of them journalists, including Jon Swain and John Simpson. Swain's warning that the most dangerous time in war for reporters is always the first few weeks - when they feel invincible and take risks - is included in a postscript, after chapters that tackle such issues as how to spot a fake checkpoint, what to include in a grab bag, how to react if shots are fired near your house and what not to eat if forced to forage for food. Rosie Garthwaite, an Al-Jazeera journalist with six years' experience working in the Middle East, includes a section on love and war - danger apparently turns some people on. Anecdotes make the book, which should be read by not only reporters in foreign lands but also NGO workers, medics and even idiotic adventure seekers who thrill in travelling to dangerous places. One chilling piece of advice is to memorise the words of the call to prayer. Repeating them to her kidnappers saved the life of an aid worker in Chechnya. The kidnappers, believing it was a sign from God, decided not to shoot her.