Jill Carroll's terrifying ordeal began with the death of her friend and translator, Allan Enwiya.
"I saw them kill Allan. Then, they got in the car, and we drove off," Carroll said. "And they were screaming, 'Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!' They were overjoyed, like they had won the lottery. And they were just so happy and excited. They would look at me, and they would ask me questions like, 'Are you an American? What's your nationality? What's your religion?'"
Carroll said her captors later told her they weren't sure she was American because of her brown hair and eyes.
"They think all Americans have blond hair and blue eyes, 'cause you see them in movies," she said.
In an exclusive interview with her employer, The Christian Science Monitor, provided first to ABC News, she described those 82 days in captivity.
For full coverage of Carroll's story, visit www.csmonitor.com
Carroll said that her captors seemed confused at first about what to do with her. On her first day in captivity, she was taken to a small home in a field.
"And they made me change all my clothes there, all my clothes, including my underwear," Carroll said. "I think they were afraid I might have a cell phone on me, or something on me to like, communicate with someone else, or warn people that I had been kidnapped."
Carroll said she was then taken to another home. She said her second captor and his family seemed eager to impress her.
"He had gotten on the phone to call home to say he was coming home, and then he got off the phone and said, 'Oh, my mother, and my sister, and my wife, say they love you so much!' They are so happy that you are coming. You are going to meet them all. They love you very much. They can't wait to meet you!" she said.
He also asked her what she liked to eat, she said.
"I don't understand why they would want to kidnap you, and kill your friend, and then bring you food. I didn't understand that at all," Carroll said.
"They wanted me to like them, it seemed, or something. So, I wanted them to think I liked them. … I didn't use any Arabic, because I was afraid that if I spoke too much Arabic they would think that I was listening to something I shouldn't be listening to. I was scared to death."
Watching 'Oprah', Forced to Eat
It was that same fear that compelled Carroll to agree to learn the Koran.
"But it became a slippery slope. Because after a while, the question became, 'OK, you've been learning about Islam for the past three days, why haven't you converted yet?'" she said.
Carroll said it would have been very easy to pretend she would convert, but she told them she wasn't ready to make a decision about changing her spiritual beliefs.
"Then, I would really be under their control, having to follow their rules," she said. "It's one thing if I am an infidel, and I'm not Muslim and may do something wrong. I eat with the wrong hand. I look a man in the eyes. My hijab is not proper. My hair is showing. That's one thing. But if I'm a Muslim woman, and I do that kind of thing and violate that law as a Muslim, they can kill me."
Carroll said everything she did in captivity was a survival strategy, even what she chose to watch on TV.
"I was like, 'News is out. Politics is out. Anything with Iraq was out, 'cause I didn't know what was going to make him mad."
"Anything that is inappropriate, for a pious, pious person, no scantily clad women. I don't want any of that stuff. I don't want to see any violence. I didn't want to give him any ideas," she said.
Finally, she came across an English-language channel from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
"I came across 'Oprah'. … I thought, 'OK, this is good. She won't have anything weird on. She won't have anything bizarre. No naked women running around, or, whatever," Carroll said. "So we watched 'Oprah'."
Carroll said she had expected to be put in a basement somewhere, but living in a house with a family had its own problems.
"It's hard to describe. All the food they gave, I couldn't bare to eat. … They want you to eat so much. You have to eat a lot just to be polite. So, I would just choke down this food."
"The bread would just stick in my throat. I felt sick to my stomach, like I wanted to throw up. I remember chewing chicken in my mouth that first day, and trying to swallow it, and having this gagging in my throat. 'Cause your adrenaline's going, and you're terrified and your heart is racing, and you're sitting there. You don't know what's going to happen at any minute."
At one point, Carroll said she was so frightened of being beheaded, she begged for a quick death by pistol rather than a knife.
"We had all seen those videos on TV, of people getting beheaded, and people being killed. We all know [what] happens when someone gets kidnapped," Carroll said. "And, I saw them kill Allan, so I knew they didn't have a problem with that."