Abdi Nor Iftin biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Abdi Nor Iftin

Abdi Nor Iftin

Abdi Nor Iftin Biography

Abdi Nor Iftin currently lives in Portland, Maine, where he works as an interpreter for Somalis who have immigrated to the state. Abdi was accepted to the University of Southern Maine, where he will be studying political science.



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Interview

Abdi Nor Iftin, author of the memoir Call Me American talks about his life growing up in war-torn Somalia, what coming to America means to him and his fears for American under President Trump.

How old were you when the civil war started in Somalia, and how did it change your life?

I was six when the civil war erupted; it felt like a doomsday. It spread all over the city very fast and destroyed everything. It was excruciating to see how much damage the guns could do to an entire city. My dad's years of building a beautiful life for our family were destroyed within a day. His basketball trophies and earnings were looted at gunpoint. The house where I was born was reduced to ashes. The war split my family apart; our father ran for his life and disappeared. My siblings, my mother and I wandered in the wilderness, barefoot, without knowing where we were going, and later stayed on the streets with dogs while dodging bullets. We lived everyday like it was our last. It was almost impossible to survive as a child because the war had also brought malnutrition and disease. Every day that passed felt like a year of hell fire. We all prayed for death, but death refused to come to me.

You write about your teacher at the madrassa, Macalin Basbaas, and the "education" offered through his school. What did he and his school represent to you?

Koran is the highest education that one can attain in Somalia. ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Abdi Nor Iftin at BookBrowse
Call Me American jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Abdi Nor Iftin but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Dave Eggers

    Dave Eggers

    Dave Eggers grew up near Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the founder of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Call Me American

    Try:
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    by Dave Eggers

  • Boris Fishman

    Boris Fishman

    Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, Belarus, and immigrated to the United States in 1988 at nine. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and Book Review, The New ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Call Me American

    Try:
    Savage Feast
    by Boris Fishman

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