Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop and watching action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies. Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. Eventually, though, Abdi was forced to flee to Kenya. In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin's dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why America still beckons to those looking to make a better life.
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"This harrowing story of a childhood in Mogadishu, Somalia, and the path to adulthood as an immigrant in the U.S. is told in a baritone voice by narrator Prentice Onayemi. He is an excellent choice for the true coming-of-age story of the author. Onayemi recounts both ordinary and harrowing experiences in a compassionate tone that draws listeners into the world of Somali exiles and helps mitigate the tragedies that take place. Listeners are treated to an epilogue read by the author, which further cements their feelings of connection after hearing about his remarkable life. M.R. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"
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