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Micah Garen

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Title: Micah Garen  
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Subject: Foreign hostages in Iraq, Barrington Hall (Berkeley, California), August 2004, Cornell University alumni, 1968 births
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Micah Garen

Micah Garen
Born 1968 (age 46–47)
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Cornell, Archaeology
Occupation Journalist,
documentary filmmaker
Notable work Identity and Exile: an American's struggle with Zionism
Call Me Ehsaan
Partner(s) Marie-Hélène Carleton
Parent(s) Alan Garen, Yale professor
Awards Golden Nymph award, 2014[1]
Gallery Photographica, prize-winning photograph[2]
Website .netfourcornersmedia

Micah Garen is an American journalist and documentary filmmaker who focuses on war zones in the Middle East.[3] He is notable for surviving a kidnapping ordeal in Iraq in 2004. He wrote a book about the kidnapping incident which included his confinement as well as the efforts of friends and relatives to secure his release; according to a report in Kirkus Reviews, the book was "extraordinarily compelling" and "gripping."[4] In addition, Garen is a prize-winning photographer.[2][5] He has written for Vanity Fair[6] and Newsweek[7] and other publications. His work with documentary filmmaker Matthew Cassel on the documentary Identity and Exile: an American's struggle with Zionism was awarded the top Golden Nymph prize at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in 2014.[1] He made a documentary describing the lives of four Egyptian women during the political upheavals in 2011.[8] With Marie-Hélène Carleton, Garen is working on the films entitled The Road to Nasiriyah and If.

Garen (third from left) answering questions from the audience, 2011.


  • Kidnapping ordeal 1
  • Publications 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Kidnapping ordeal

Garen spent months in Iraq documenting the "systematic dismantling" of the nation's cultural and archaeological legacy, according to one report.[9][10] On August 13, 2004, while he was in a market taking photographs with a regular camera, Garen and his Iraqi translator, Amir Doushi, were kidnapped by Shia extremists[9] and they were held hostage in Nasiriya in southern Iraq.[9][11] On August 19, a video aired on al-Jazeera in which Garen appeared sitting on the floor in front of masked insurgents with weapons making demands for his release. The kidnapping story drew international media attention. During the captivity, there was a strong behind-the-scenes effort to encourage Iraqi authority figures to secure his release, partially by his partner, Marie-Helene Carleton, as well as people within Yale University, where Garen's father is a professor.[12] His captors eventually turned Garen and his translator over to representatives of Moqtada al-Sadr in Nasiriya, unharmed, on August 22, 2004.[13] He said he was very thankful to the cleric and his aides for their efforts at getting him released.[14] After being released, he said he wanted to stay in Iraq to continue with his documentary project.[15]


  • Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carlton, American Hostage: A Memoir of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq and the Remarkable Battle to Win His Release. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN 0743276604 (hardback). New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007. ISBN 1416586318 (paperback).


  1. ^ a b 17 June 2014, Media Update, Al Jazeera English honoured at Monte Carlo Television Festival, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...Filmmakers Marie-Helen Carleton and Micah Garen (Four Corner Media) joined Cassel at the ceremony...."
  2. ^ a b Jeff Curto, February 26, 2012, Camera Position, Camera Position 96 : Three Prizewinners, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...three “prizewinner” photographs for the Gallery Photographica exhibition and competition. Photographs by Micah Garen, ..."
  3. ^ Mark Thompson, March 26, 2012, Time magazine, Call me Eshaan, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...Air Force Lieut. Colonel John Darin Loftis ... Thankfully, documentary filmmaker Micah Garen was able to capture some video of Loftis,..."
  4. ^ Oct. 30, 2005, Kirkus Reviews, AMERICAN HOSTAGE: A Memoir of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq and the Remarkable Battle to Win His Release, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...Gripping account of journalist Garen's kidnapping ... The authors do an admirable job of leading the reader through the chaos ... their story remains extraordinarily compelling...."
  5. ^ Gallery Photographica, 2012, Finalists for the 2012 San Francisco International Photography Exhibition, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...Afghan Poppy Farmer in Marja 1st Place..."
  6. ^ Micah Garen, July 26, 2010, Vanity Fair, Marja’s Hearts and Minds, Accessed July 11, 2014
  7. ^ Micah Green, September 21, 2010, Newsweek, Marja: The New Afghan Battleground, Accessed July 11, 2014
  8. ^ ETHAN G. LOEWI, October 25, 2011, The Harvard Crimson, Documentary Highlights Concerns with Egyptian Military Leadership, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...chance to hear from ... journalist Micah Garen, one of the film’s directors ... stories of four middle-class Egyptian women during the dramatic political upheaval ..."
  9. ^ a b c Adnan R. Khan, July 11, 2014, Macleans magazine, Understanding Iraq’s real tragedy: The nation is suffering a crisis of identity so fundamental that recovering from it will be more daunting than defeating ISIS, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...Micah Garen, an American filmmaker who spent years attempting to document the systematic dismantling of Iraq’s cultural legacy...2004, after months of work on a film ... he was kidnapped by Shia insurgents in Nassiriya...."
  10. ^ Rory Stewart, 2006 Harcourt Books, The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq, Accessed July 11, 2014, (see page 375) "...Micah Garen ... making a documentary about archaeological looting..."
  11. ^ CNN International, August 23, 2004, Kidnappers free journalist in Iraq: Shiite leaders prepare for handover of shrine in Najaf, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...Garen, 36, was kidnapped August 13 along with his Iraqi translator, Amir Doshe, ..."
  12. ^ AMY KAPLAN, September 23, 2004, Yale Daily News, Prof’s son freed by Iraqi captors, Accessed July 11, 2014, "... professor Alan Garen’s son Micah hostage in Iraq this summer, Yale stepped in to support the Garen family and aid efforts to free Micah Garen...."
  13. ^ "Al-Sadr gets US journalist released", Al-Jazeera, 23 August 2004.
  14. ^ 22 August 2004, BBC News, Kidnapped reporter freed in Iraq, Accessed July 11, 2014, ".. journalist, who is the founder of US company Four Corners Media, told al-Jazeera TV he was "very thankful" to the cleric and his aides for helping to secure his release....."
  15. ^ JANIE HOAP, August 22, 2004, CBS News, Freed Journalist Wants To Stay, Accessed July 11, 2014, "...Hours after being freed by kidnappers ... U.S. journalist Micah Garen said he hoped to stay in Iraq to continue working on a documentary project ..."

External links

  • Four Corners Media
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