Average Episode Length: 40 min
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m fascinated by people and their stories. I’m that person who can spend hours on any form of public transport and just people watch. I’m imagining their lives, trying to understand who they are, what drives them, and how am I different. I’m not sure why I’m so intrigued, but I am endlessly entertained by listening to peoples’ stories and trying to understand their life choices and how these have shaped who they are. You’ll notice this through many of my podcast recommendations, and this week’s podcast recommendation is no different. I’m Not a Monster is one of my favorite podcasts as you are taken on a fascinating journey of one huge choice and how it has impacted so many lives.
I’m Not a Monster is a story about an American mother, Sam, who finds herself in the throws of ISIS. Crazy, right?! Along with her young family, her and her husband move from Indiana, USA to the heart of the ISIS caliphate in war-torn Syria. It is here that her 10-year-old, American son, is forced to threaten the U.S. president in a propaganda video that is shown across the world. His American accent sending shockwaves across the screen. It is this video that captures, Josh Baker, journalist and podcast host. His intrigue sends him on a 4-year journey seeking to understand their story and ultimately attempt to safely find Sam and her family. He shares this story through this podcast.
Each episode will keep you on the edge of your seat as you ride along with Baker. You will join him in the dangers of the Middle East as he attempts to meet with those who knew Sam and her family. Through his travels, you begin to understand the danger Sam and her children are in. You’ll come to know Sam’s immediate family back in the States, and most importantly you will hear from Sam herself. It's an incredible story, and one in which I'm still pondering how and why Sam made the decisions she did.
Ultimately, you will need to decide if Sam, is indeed a monster or not. What role did she play in uprooting her children’s lives? What choice did she have, if any? As an added bonus, Baker just released two new episodes which help us get a little more closure into the lives of those impacted throughout this podcast. Listen now.