A Rope and a Prayer

In November 2008, en route to an interview in the Afghan desert, New York Times reporter David Rohde was kidnapped by the Taliban, along with his translator/fixer and driver. The three men were held hostage in various locations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On the other side of the world, Rohde's wife Kristen Mulvihill and a team based in three countries worked to coordinate a state-of-the-art response to the kidnapping. In the end, however, all came to naught, and Mulvihill and Rohde—who had only been married two months when he was taken—both realized they were in fact utterly on their own to find a solution.

Rohde and Mulvihill spoke at this panel event about their book A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides, which was written with funding from the Open Society Foundations. The book recounts Rohde’s experience in captivity in the tribal regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Mulvihill’s struggle back home in New York City.


  • David Rohde is a reporter for the New York Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for uncovering the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia for the Christian Science Monitor, and a second in 2009 as part of the New York Times team covering Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Kristen Mulvihill has been a fashion and photography editor at various women’s magazines, including Marie Claire and Self. Most recently, she was the photography director of Cosmopolitan magazine.
  • Aryeh Neier is president of the Open Society Foundations (moderator).
Date: December 16, 2010
Time: 12:00 p.m.

OSI-New York

Kristen Mulvihill, Aryeh Neier, and David Rohde