The incredible true story of a boy living in war-torn Somalia who escapes to America--first by way of the movies; years later, through a miraculous green card.Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these real 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 suddenly became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and the Internet, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. But as life in Somalia grew more dangerous, Abdi was left with no choice but to flee to Kenya as a refugee.In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America--filled with twists and turns and a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairobi--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 western democracies still beckon to those looking to make a better life....
|Title||:||Call Me American: A Memoir|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Call » Call Me American: A Memoir|
Call Me American: A Memoir Reviews
I wasn't excited about reading this book, not sure I was the audience that would appreciate it. Turns out, I would highly recommend Call Me American to everyone. This memoir is a first hand account of the atrocities of living with war for more than 20 years. It discusses the complexities of civil war, one country fighting another, and the ever changing rules as warlords and terrorists exchange control, as well as the parts that both America and Russia have played in this on going war. It discuss ...more
I read this book early as a digital galley thanks to the First To Read program through Penguin Books. In Call Me American, Abdi Nor Iftin tells his life story, the story of a child growing up in Somalia who is enamored by American culture and hopes to someday make it to the United States. It is a remarkably moving and powerful memoir, focusing on the real events that happened during the lives of Abdi Nor Iftin and those close to him. By writing about what he witnessed in such a raw and open way, ...more
This should be required reading for...everyone. I believe it resonated with me more because the author is a year older than me, so just contrasting our upbringings really changes your perspective on life. I was humbled by this book, and educated on Somalia (and how the US played quite a large role in militarizing that nation). Read it, please.
Gripping memoir that checked all the boxes for me
I really enjoyed this book. I first heard a bit of Abdi's story on This American Life. This book covers so much more about life in Somalia which I found fascinating. I never understood before how a country could arrive at such a tragic situation but Abdi as a Somali American explains it very well. I personally think this book would make an incredible movie. I hope it gets made.
In the dictionary, as a definition to the word "optimist" should be Abdi Nor Iftin's photograph. He grew up in Somalia where he learned English by watching American movies (Arnold Schwartzenegger?) and listening to American music (Michael Jackson). He taught "American" to his friends and family.
Once war breaks out in his homeland, he decides it is time for his dream - to move to America and become a citizen. His first step was to escape to Kenya where time and time again, law enforcement shake ...more
"I didn't want to die for them; I wanted to live in a beautiful American city with paved roads, gorgeous women, money, cards, and jobs."
I received a copy of this book from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review.
While I learned from this book and the content is interesting something about the way it was written took me out of the story. The author shares the harrowing story of his life growing up in war torn Somalia and his desire to be an American. He shares how he survived in Mogadish ...more
True-life story of a young Somalian Muslim man, who suffered the ravages of his home country, and emigrated to the US.
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Young Abdi loved everything American, so much so his nickname was “Abdi American”. His early years were marred by deep poverty, born into a rural backwater of an already poor country. Although they were poor, he tells a story of a happy life. He describes his parents' wedding (the meeting of the tribes to discuss, ...more
In his Call Me American: A Memoir, Abdi Nor Iftin provides an indispensable and eloquent addition to the canon of American immigrant literature. Iftin adroitly relates his story of growing up in Mogadishu with parents forced to abandon their beloved nomadic life. Applying his intelligence, ingenuity, and curiosity, Iftin teaches himself English and American cultural tropes through watching American movies. ”My passion for American was ignited by Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Iftin becomes known in Mog ...more