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Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed Hardcover – Apr 2 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 2 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455503762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455503766
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #270,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Keeping Hope Alive is the inspiring story of how one woman educated, fed and healed thousands of the world's vulnerable in one of the most dangerous places on earth." --Angelina Jolie, Actress and Activist

"Dr. Hawa Abdi embodies the resilience, compassion, and grace of the human spirit. In this poignanttestament of her life's work, she reminds us that we are deeply interconnected and compels us to act. If we seek to create lasting peace, to preserve freedom and protect dignity, we need to stand with leaders like Dr. Abdi." --Alyse Nelson, President & CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership

"One of the great heroes of our time, Dr. Hawa Abdi, has written a beautiful, heart-gladdening book about what she created against a tide of violence and destruction. Everyone should read this book to find the hope within themselves." --Tina Brown. Editor, Newsweek and The Daily Beast

"Dr. Hawa Abdi is the fiercest, most compassionate frontline humanitarian and doctor on the planet. She has faced the risk of near-certain death and is called Mama Hawa by the hundreds of thousands of Somali people whose lives she has saved. Her extraordinary life defies imagination and instills courage in each of us." --Eliza Griswold, Journalist and author of The Tenth Parallel

About the Author

Dr. Hawa Abdi, a Somalian human rights activist, lawyer, and doctor, specializing in gynecology, founded the Doctor Hawa Abdi Foundation, which runs a hospital and school in one of the largest internally displaced persons camps in the country, offering sanctuary to nearly 90,000 people. Glamour named her "Woman of the Year" in 2010 and dubbed her and her daughters "the Saints of Somalia, equal parts Mother Teresa and Rambo." She was featured as one of the top "Women Who Shake the World" in Newsweek in 2011, was interviewed by Tina Brown at the 2011 Women in the World Summit, and this year has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kendra on Jan. 30 2014
Format: Hardcover
The resilience and strength of this brave woman is inspiring. Dr. Hawa Abdi is very real with her life's journey and the sacrifices she's willingly endured for the sake of the Somali people, as well as some of her regrets. The book is well written and very engaging. I appreciated how Somali tradition was explained throughout the book as I would have had no idea otherwise. I picked this book to read for my global health class in university. If you're on the fence about this book I would encourage you to read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Del J. H. on Aug. 9 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To find one person that did so much for others and all the challenges along the way is pulling at the heart.
Anyone with a compassionate heart would enjoy this book and anyone without a compassionate heart should read it.
Every chapter I would read spurred me on to the next one. Definitely a 5 star book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Asha Ali on May 16 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing book I recommend it was very inspiring and this woman have a heart of a gold. May God bless her.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Keeping hope alive: One Woman April 11 2013
By Obah K. Mohamed - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A telling story about resilience and strength, for whom they called a saint in Somalia! She manages to work through the many transitions in war torn Somalia, for decades helping who needed her the most! In addition to, legacy building through her (2) remarkable daughters who are also doctors. To read the stories during these hard times, was remarkable. She is a lion. I love Learning more of the beauty and the heartbreak of Somalia, while as Dr. Hawa Abdi challenges us "To Keep Hope Alive".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Interesting book about the conflict in Somalia June 10 2013
By Nanci - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dr. Abdi worked for many years to save the lives of and shelter her fellow Somalians amid the continued conflicts and war in this country. I live in Minnesota in a city that has a large Somalian
population, and this book was very helpful in understanding what these people went through in
their homeland before settling here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
UN Women Book Club Loves Dr. Hawa Abdi Sept. 23 2015
By Leita Kaldi Davis - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The UN Women/USNC Gulf Coast Book Club met on Monday, September 14, 2015, to discuss Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman, 90,000 Lives Changed, by Dr. Hawa Abdi with Sarah J. Robbins. Dr. Hawa Abdi is a heroic Somalian woman who studied medicine in Kiev under a scholarship from the Women's Committee of the Soviet Union, and also earned a law degree from Mogadisu's Somali National University. In 1983 Abdi opened the Rural Health Development Organisation (RHDO) in the Lower Shebele region of Somalia, which evolved into a 400-bed hospital. During the civil war in the early 1990s, Dr. Abdi established a new clinic and school for the displaced and orphans. In 2007 the RHDO was renamed the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, and expanded into a relief camp which, during the 2011 drought housed 90,000 people, providing shelter, water and medical care to mostly women and children, aided by volunteers, fishermen and farmers who live on the compound. During endless civil wars in Somalia, Abdi and her vast compound have been invaded many times by henchmen of brutal warlords who attacked the hospital and surrounding buildings and fields, killing tenants and devastating property. Dr. Abdi has courageously defied soldiers who threatened her life, and politicians who tried to destroy her mission.

A history of Somalia is included in this book, from pre-colonial days to Italian and British occupation, along with accounts of Somalian clans. Outside aid from the UN, International Red Cross, and other agencies is recounted, including her friendships with several people involved. The American “Blackhawk down” debacle in Mogadishu is poignantly remembered. There are photos of George Bush's visit in 1992, as well as pictures of hospital staff and family.

Dr. Abdi's personal life has been fraught with struggles and heartbreak: desertion by her husband, the death of her beloved son, betrayal by her sisters, and constant worry about her daughters, who both became physicians, and serve by their mother's side at the hospital.

This book is rich in history, geopolitics, and culture of the horn of Africa. Readers were awed by this seamlessly written memoir of an extraordinary woman and her achievements in the face of unimaginable challenges. Dr. Abdi has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; readers agreed that she certainly deserves it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One Woman's Leadership April 22 2013
By J. Kabat - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Hawa Abdi has been caring for others most of her life. This book tells her story from her youth through her adult years as she works as a doctor in Somalia while the government and the country has been falling apart. Dr. Abdi, her family and the people who work with her have given medical help , food and much more, to thousands of people and done so for thirty years while living near the often violent city of Mogadishu. This story is Hawa's story, in her voice, telling her personal trials and how she overcame them. She started life as a traditional African girl, was married as a young teen to someone of her parents choosing and had a baby very young. Life's tragedy began early for her but she became a medical doctor and developed the skills which would enable Dr. Abdi to give life giving and tradition changing help to many thousands. She passes her skills along to her daughters and they continue to provide medical care and life sustaining aide as she has.
Somalia's thirty year unrest and violence among tribal groups has been a cruel tragedy with many groups trying to stabilize the country with limited success. The deaths and starvation of multitudes of citizens is hard for us to comprehend and to read about but Hawa's persistence is inspiring. The writer, Sarah J. Robbins, who tells the story in Hawa's voice, has done an excellent job. The writing is always Dr. Abdi's voice; it is clear, and moves forward with vivid narrative energy, bringing the reader with her to learn about Hawa's dedicated efforts and personal dilemmas and griefs. Ms. Robbins' writing makes this a story which grabs us with its energy and compels us to keep reading this sorrowful but hopeful story. J. Kabat
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Overcoming Incredible Adversity and Danger to Save Lives May 20 2013
By B'klyn66 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is hard to imagine Dr. Abdi's life, and the level of personal and family sacrifice she experienced to save so many of her fellow Somalians. This is a short, emotionally wrenching book. At the end I felt great relief that she had survived, and that her work continues. Her co-author successfully writes in Dr. Abdi's voice, which is not so easy to do. In addition to it's historical and human rights information, Keeping Hope Alive is a useful reminder that despite our daly challenges, we are really very fortunate, and should do everything we can to maintain a stable, functioning government. Things do fall apart, and when thèy do, life can become dire very quickly.