Sara Miran, a Kurdish American real estate developer, was kidnapped while she was working in Iraq in 2014. She was held hostage by an Iranian-backed militia and eventually escaped with the help of a metal spoon. Miran’s harrowing story had been buried among secret Iranian documents, which were then leaked to The Intercept.
On a human level, Miran’s story is an anatomy of a kidnapping, an underreported scourge on unstable countries like Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis and foreigners living and working in the country have been kidnapping victims since the U.S. invasion in 2003, many disappearing without a trace even after ransoms have been paid. Most kidnappings in Iraq are conducted by militias and criminal gangs for money, but Miran’s kidnapping was one of the unusual cases that had both political and financial overtones. Miran is also one of the few high-profile kidnapping victims in Iraq to escape, survive, and tell her story.