Terry Waite

Terry Waite

  • Beirut Hostage
  • Humanitarian, Author & Middle East Expert
  • After Dinner & Keynote Speaker

Terry Waite is a well-known humanitarian and author. A former Assistant to The Archbishop Of Canterbury, the late Right Reverend Robert Runcie, Terry travelled throughout the world as part of his duties, visiting China, Australia, the USA, the Caribbean, South Africa and other countries to promote peace and reconciliation. He was famously kidnapped in Beirut in 1987 whilst working as a hostage negotiator, remaining in captivity for almost five years.

Through his work, Terry became a skilled hostage negotiator. In 1980, he successfully negotiated the release of several hostages in Iran. From 1985, he became involved in hostage negotiations in Lebanon, assisting in successful negotiations that secured the release of Lawrence Jenco and David Jacobsen.

Against advice, Terry arrived in Beirut in January 1987 with the intention of negotiating with the Islamic Jihad Organization for the release of hostages. Though he was promised safe conduct, the Islamic Jihad group he was negotiating with broke trust and took him hostage on 20th January 1987. Terry remained in captivity for 1,763 days, the first four years of which were spent in solitary confinement. He was finally released on 18th November 1991.

Following his release, he was elected a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he wrote his first book, Taken On Trust, an account of his captivity in Lebanon. It quickly became a best-seller in the UK and overseas. Terry subsequently wrote Travels With A Primate, published in October 2000. This was a more light-hearted read, being a humorous account of his journeys with Archbishop Robert Runcie. He has also contributed articles to many journals and periodicals, ranging from The Reader's Digest to the Kipling Journal, and has also supplied articles and forewords to numerous books.

Terry returned to Beirut in December 2012 to reconcile with his captors and lay to rest what he described as "the ghosts of the past".

An internationally respected peace-maker, Terry Waite is in constant demand as a lecturer and broadcaster across the world, talking to audiences ranging from business representatives to religious leaders. To book him as an After-dinner Speaker for your event, contact Prime Performers via the online booking enquiry form or alternatively call us on 020 3500 3331.

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