AUGUSTA — The University of Maine at Augusta Student Life is proud to host author Abdi Nor Iftin at its next virtual Moose Book Club event. A Conversation with Abdi Nor Iftin will be held on Tuesday, April 6 at noon via Zoom. The Moose Book Club will discuss Iftin’s memoir “Call Me American” and learn more about his experience as an immigrant in Maine as part of UMA’s Cultural Celebration Day activities. The event is open to the public; however, registration is required: https://forms.gle/FFbLGa76yoa3KUJDA.
Born in Mogadishu to nomadic parents, Abdi Nor Iftin survived famine, war and child soldiering. Thanks to the movies available to him, he taught himself English by watching American action films. By repeating and imitating the carefree actors, he earned himself the nickname “Abdi American”. Through guerrilla journalism, Abdi dispatched stories about his life to a series titled “Messages from Mogadishu” on American Public Media. His stories were short-listed for Peabody Awards in 2016. These stories were later picked by NPR, the BBC and later This America.
After surviving a bombing at his house one evening in 2009, Abdi finally said goodbye to his home country and moved to Kenya where he and his brother lived as refugees. In an amazing stroke of luck, he won entrance to the U.S. in August 2014 in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America — ending in a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairob i— did not come easily.
Now a bestselling and award-winning author based in the State of Maine. Featured on CNN, NPR, NYT, Washington Post, The Boston Globe. Abdi is an advocate for refugee and immigrant rights. He is dedicated to bringing people together through his stories of survival and resilience. He is currently working on a documentary based on his memoir “Call Me American.”