Yvonne Ridley was born in 1959, in Durham County, England. Yvonne Ridley was determined to become a journalist. At 16, she wrote to every newspaper group in the UK and subsequently she attended a journalism course at the London College of Printing.
Yvonne Ridley worked as a journalist in several British newspaper, radios and TV stations. She used to travel all over the world and to report from disturbed and violent conflict and war zones. After The 9/11 Yvonne Ridley was assigned by the Sunday Express tabloid to Afghanistan.
Yvonne Ridley has married twice. Her first husband was Daoud Zaaroura, a former Palestinian PLO Colonel, who she met in Cyprus in one of her assignments. They had one daughter called Daisy who was born in 1992.
Yvonne Ridley came to prominence on 09/28/2001, when she was captured with her guide near Jalalabad, on the border with Pakistan, by the Taliban in Afghanistan. She was repeatedly refused an entrance visa to Afghanistan so she decided to follow the example of BBC reporter John Simpson, who had crossed the border anonymously in a veil (Burka). Most naturally Yvonne Ridley was initially suspected to be a British or American spy. She was released about two weeks later, on 10/09/2001.
According her own account after her release, during her captivity she was asked by one of her captors to convert to Islam; she refused, but gave her word she would read the Quran after her release. In freedom, Yvonne Ridley kept this promise, as she said partly to find out why the Taliban treated women as they do. She said it changed her life. She said the Quran, in her point of view, is the “Magna Carta” for women. Yvonne Ridley converted to Islam, eventually, in summer 2003. Yvonne Ridley has written two books called “In The Hands of the Taliban” and “Ticket to Paradise” and is currently writing and researching for two other titles including a biography of Osama Bin Laden.
In 2003 Yvonne Ridley worked for a short time with the Qatari TV network Al-Jazeera and since 08/01/2006, Yvonne Ridley has joined the Free Gaza Movement operating from Cyprus.
In 11/2008 Yvonne Ridley and the young award-winning film maker and journalist Hassan al-Banna Ghani headed for Afghanistan to produce a documentary about female prisoners being held by the US. In Search of Prisoner 650 is expected to be broadcast by Press TV in the spring of 2009. During the making of the film the two came under fire amid a clash between the Taliban and Afghan police on the road to Ghazni. The drama was filmed and is expected to be used in their film.
In 27/01/2010 Yvonne Ridley was declared Persona Non Grata in India when she tried to enter the country to attend Jamaat-e-Islami Muslim women conference. To day (03/2010) Yvonne Ridley is fully committed to the Radical Muslim cause. .
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