CNN's Jomana Karadsheh On How She Convinced Gunmen To Free Journalists From Rixos Hotel (VIDEO)

08/26/2011 12:31 pm ET | Updated Oct 26, 2011

CNN producer Jomana Karadsheh -- one of the key people who negotiated the release of the journalists held hostage in the Rixos Hotel in Libya -- described how she managed to convince gunmen to free herself and her colleagues on Thursday's "AC360."

Speaking to Anderson Cooper, Karadsheh explained that she and other Arabic-speaking colleagues spent time talking, drinking tea and building rapport with one of the friendlier gunmen who took time to check in on the journalists.

She described a turning point on Wednesday when the desperate situation turned more violent, and the journalists became absolutely unwilling to remain in the hotel for another day. "We really did not feel safe," she said, recalling sniper bullets coming in through the windows. "So I just sat with him, I just sat on the floor and I looked at him and I'm like 'We need to get out of here.'"

She told the gunman that she missed her family and seized her opportunity sensing that he could relate. She said, "I knew he was going through that because he hadn't seen his family for days and he was telling me and other journalists about his five children."

Karadsheh recalled, "He got all teary when I was telling him that i miss my family and he said, 'OK, let's try to get you out of here.'" WATCH: