UC Berkeley junior Celeste Throckmorton experienced a rude awakening last month when she arrived at an undisclosed location in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan to begin her semester abroad with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“When I rushed ISIS last year, I was promised a fun semester abroad in the desert with a tight-knit community of like-minded individuals,” said Throckmorton, 21, speaking to The Free Peach from the Canadian consulate in Jalalabad. “Their recruitment video made their study-abroad program look so fun. And it was, at first! They even gave me a cute nickname – “الكافر الأبيض”. But as a whole, my experience with ISIS has been a total nightmare.”
Throckmorton went on to explain how the airline lost her luggage at the airport, the traditional food didn’t fall within the guidelines of her Whole30 diet, and how the other students in her program appeared to be middle-aged aid workers and journalists of diverse national origin.
“All I wanted to do was get white-girl wasted in a foreign country, but I couldn’t even go out drinking because my homestay family was so strict,” said Throckmorton. “They kept saying ‘submit to the might of Allah’, and ‘how do you keep breaking out of these handcuffs?’. And don’t even get me started on the toilets here. I know I wanted an authentic experience, but, oh my God, the hole is so small.”
The Free Peach reached out to Throckmorton’s friends and family for comment.
“Yeah, um, I don’t talk to Celeste anymore,” said Jenna Morgan, 20, one of Throckmorton’s roommates. “When she was taken hostage, we were all worried that she’d been threatened or coerced, but then she posted an Instagram story from the Tang-e Gharu mountain pass and captioned it ‘sunset vibes>>>>’, so I guess she just… joined ISIS?”
The Islamic State released a statement regarding Throckmorton’s status in a now-deleted Twitter video.
“The West will taste the Sword of Islam,” a masked man on the video states, seated with Throckmorton beneath the ISIS flag. “But first, you will take this infidel back.”
Throckmorton is set to be escorted from Jalalabad by officials from the Canadian embassy this Friday. She will be returned to the United States under court-martial.