BookBrowse Reviews Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin

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Call Me American

A Memoir

by Abdi Nor Iftin

Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin X
Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin
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  • Published:
    Jun 2018, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Cynthia C. Scott

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A memoir about a young man growing up in war-torn Somalia, his love for American pop culture, and his harrowing escape to the United States.

As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action movies in a makeshift theater. By doing so, he learned enough English to translate the films for the rest of the audience. As a teen, he also enjoyed hip-hop. Iftin's parents condemned him for his embrace of American pop culture, as did the sheikh at the local madrassa, where he was scolded and beaten. Through years of loss, poverty, and destruction, the one constant in Iftin's life was his enduring love for all things American, earning him the sobriquet, Abdi American.

Born in the mid-eighties to nomadic parents who moved to Mogadishu to escape drought, Iftin grew up in relative stability despite the civil war raging just beyond the city's borders. He and his brother listened to their mother's stories about life in the countryside and marveled at the relative celebrity his father had ...

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