News & Interviews

MISSING: When a young man disappears in Syria, Daniel Levin embarks on a dangerous mission to find him

Proof of Life by Daniel Levin

The email slipped into Daniel Levin’s inbox while he slept. It was just one email among hundreds, but this one was different. It was from Huby Mazerius, an acquaintance of a mentor of Daniel’s who had always been kind and supportive. 

Please meet me in Paris. It’s a matter of life and death. 

Huby wasn’t a dramatic person, and Daniel was worried—and intrigued. 

Read the article at Ami Magazine

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Published December 15, 2021

Jews You Should Know: The Hostage Negotiator – A Conversation with Daniel Levin


Daniel Levin has traveled a wide ranging and fascinating path in his lifetime. Having grown up in several different cultures in the Middle East and Africa, he has devoted his life to working in geopolitical spheres to help governments navigate their way through political reform and economic development.

Ari and Daniel discuss modern power dynamics and their use and misapplication by our own government in our efforts at nation building in the Middle East. By drawing on contacts and relationships he’s fostered worldwide, Daniel has used his experience in the realm of hostage negotiation. He details a gripping series of events in his one man search to find a missing person, lost in the chaos of Syria, in his latest book, “Proof of Life”. The lessons learned over those twenty tense days resonate in many events in our current times.

The Live Drop: Daniel Levin Negotiates Hostage Release and Mediates Armed Conflict in the Middle East

“In his new book Proof of Life, American author Daniel Levin dives into the Syrian shadows – an underground industry of war where everything is for sale: arms, drugs, even people. In this thriller/memoir he draws on his perceptions and experience as a a lawyer turned armed conflict negotiator who, for the past twenty years, has worked with governments and development institutions worldwide. After a fairly worldly upbringing, he served in the Israeli Special Forces, studied law, taught in Arabic, and now uses his extensive Middle Eastern contacts and cultural understanding for diplomatic and mediation efforts as well.

“In this interview, I showed up for the story of a Syrian hostage negotiation, and stayed for the wide-ranging discussion of the importance of historical context in any conflict resolution and the potential institutional reforms that must also take that into consideration. We talked about the government/ruling situation in Afganistan, Lebanon, and Isreal – and the author’s uncanny sense of smell.”

Off the Beaten Path Bookstore: Daniel Levin in conversation with Bob Lingle

Off the Beaten Path Bookstore: Daniel Levin in conversation with Bob Lingle, August 19, 2021

In Proof of Life, Levin dives deep into the shadows–an underground industry of war where everything is for sale, including arms, drugs, and even people. He offers a fasci­nating study of how people use leverage to get what they want from one another and of a place where no one does a favor without wanting something in return, whether it’s immediately or years down the road.

The Burn Bag Podcast ‘Proof of Life’

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The Burn Bag Podcast: “Proof of Life”: Vanishing into the Middle Eastern Underworld with Daniel Levin, August 16, 2021

In this episode, A’ndre and Ryan talk with Daniel Levin about his new book, Proof of Life: Twenty Days on the Hunt for Missing Person in the Middle EastDaniel recounts the thrilling, brutal, and real-life story of how he was tasked with finding a Westerner who had gone missing in Syria, navigating the Middle Eastern underworld to find this man whose story had largely been ignored by governments and those in power. The backdrop of hostage executions by ISIS in Syria and Iraq looms large over the story, but Daniel’s journey to find this man takes him to meetings with sheikhs, drug dealers, and other powerful and seedy individuals, while encountering others who are of noble and honorable spirit and victims of circumstance, juxtaposing the significant dynamics that present itself in a region racked by conflict. Daniel, who is an armed-conflicts negotiator, gives us a deep insight into the war economy that has come to dominate parts of the Middle East, with a unique, on-the-ground perspective that is at times tragic but hopeful.

Canada Talks on Sirius XM with Dahlia Kurtz: Proof of Life – true stories from Daniel Levin, international hostage negotiator in the Middle East

Canada Talks on Sirius XM with Dahlia Kurtz: Proof of Life – true stories from Daniel Levin, international hostage negotiator in the Middle East, August 5, 2021

“Daniel Levin (Writer, Attorney, & Political commentator) joined Good Mornings with Dahlia Kurtz on Canada Talks, SiriusXM channel 167.”