LOVELL — The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library in Lovell is honored to host radio journalist and author, Abdi Nor Iftin, as the featured speaker (following the annual meeting which begins at 6:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, June 23 at 7 pm. Join us on Zoom as Iftin, author of the award-winning memoir “Call Me American” shares the true story of his heroic survival in war-ravaged Mogadishu and his incredible journey to a new life in America, where he eventually settled in Maine.

Born in Somalia in 1985 to nomadic parents, Abdi Nor Iftin survived famine, war, and child soldiering. Thanks to the movies available to him in Mogadishu, he taught himself English by watching American action films, earning the nickname Abdi American. Incredibly, Abdi was able to dispatch stories about his life to a series titled “Messages from Mogadishu” on American Public Media. Eventually, his stories were shortlisted for Peabody Awards in 2016. These stories were also picked up by NPR, the BBC and This American Life.

In an amazing stroke of luck, Iftin 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 Nairobi, Kenya – did not come easily.

Booklist calls Iftin’s memoir, “Absolutely remarkable.”

“Riveting,” proclaims The New Yorker magazine.

“Told simply and well,” says Jane Constantineau, reviewer for The New York Journal of Books, “Iftin’s story explains the incredible bravery and hope necessary to live in the crosshairs of war and to find a way out.”

We hope you will join us for what promises to be a profound and powerful interview with Iftin, which will take place virtually following the library’s annual meeting. Please visit the library website for more information and for the Zoom link to this free event or call the library at 207-925-3177.