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Nomad [Paperback]

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 8 2011

A celebration of free speech and democracy and a rousing call to action from the widely acclaimed author of Infidel, this #1 national bestseller is now available in trade paperback from Vintage Canada.

In Nomad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her story of her emotional journey to freedom to build a new life following her flight from a tribal world that limits women's every thought and action. After breaking with her family, she struggled to throw off restrictive superstitions and misconceptions--sometimes with very funny results--in order to assimilate into Western society. She has endured death threats and the horrendous murder of her collaborator and friend by an Islamic fanatic, but has not ceased to call on women and key institutions of the West to enact innovative remedies that could help Muslim immigrants everywhere overcome similar challenges--and resist the fatal allure of fundamentalism and terrorism.


Frequently Bought Together

Nomad + Infidel + The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam
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Review

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Here is the story of a young African woman, born into Islam, who was given every possible occasion to feel grievance, resentment and humiliation yet who has employed her own life as an example of internationalism, tolerance, multiculturalism and the redemption of others. Her humor and irony and fortitude constitute the finest counterpoint to the surly cult of death that presses itself against us. For me, the three most beautiful words in the emerging language of secular resistance to tyranny are Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”
— Christopher Hitchens
 
“There is more wisdom and compassion in this book than can be found in most university libraries — and surely more than has been published in the Muslim world since the time of the Prophet. I can think of no one who better exemplifies the hard-won gains of the Enlightenment or who can speak more effectively in their defense, than Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Nomad is both a moving account of her personal journey out of bondage, and [a] trumpet blast to awaken Westerners at all points along the political spectrum: there is a war of ideas that must be waged and won in the Muslim world, and we misunderstand the true tenets of Islam at our peril. Hirsi Ali’s voice and example are simply indispensable. There is no one like her — and we need thousands like her.”
— Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation
 
“This moving account by a remarkably brave woman of her personal journey from the pre-modern mindset of nomadic Somali society to a modern Western one provides a searing indictment of the cult of ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘diversity’ which are disabling other Muslims in the West from making a similar transition, and making their youth turn to radical Islam and becoming ‘jihadis.’ More than many academic tomes this personal memoir provides a cogent account of how and why Islam poses the gravest threat to Western liberal societies.”
— Deepak Lal, author of In Praise of Empires

“A brilliant introduction to the dynamics of Muslim families in the West. . . . Hirsi Ali is a compelling writer who is neither strident nor shrill. Her life story is a triumph of the human spirit.”
— Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail
 
“Hirsi Ali is a gifted storyteller, and Nomad’s vignettes are precise and evocative and they often underscore strong socio-political arguments.”
— Winnipeg Free Press
 
“Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who is still only in her later 30s, has already ensured her place in history and is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable people in the world.”
— Theodore Dalrymple, The Globe and Mail
 
“If Infidel was her wake-up call to the West, Nomad is her battle cry. . . . It would be a mistake to dismiss Hirsi Ali’s passionately argued ideas.”
— Elle (US)
 
“I am on Hirsi Ali’s side. . .  Nomad circles round and round the incidents, people and themes of her life. . . . She writes movingly about her [family]. . . . Her explicit and insistent belief — that Islamic societies enforce the closing of the Muslim mind to the detriment of living standards, personal development and peace — is her driving force.”
— John Lloyd, Financial Times


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

AYAAN HIRSI ALI, author of The Caged Virgin and the bestselling Infidel, was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" in 2005, and Reader's Digest "European of the Year." She received Norway's Human Rights Service Bellwether of the Year Award, the Danish Freedom Prize, the Swedish Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for Commitment to Conflict Resolution, Ethics, and World Citizenship. Born in Somalia, raised Muslim, she fled to the Netherlands in 1992 to escape a forced marriage to an elderly cousin she had never met who lived in Canada. She learned Dutch, earned her college degree in political science, and worked for the Dutch Labor party, serving as a Dutch parliamentarian. She denounced Islam after the September 11 attacks, speaking out for the rights of Muslim women, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West. Since the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by an Islamic fanatic she has lived under constant threat for her outspoken beliefs.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book. You'll understand a few things. July 3 2010
Format:Hardcover
*"Nomad" is easy to read; and it makes many things very clear.
*Part 1 describes what happened to the author's relatives. These case histories already make you think a lot and draw a few conclusions.
Part 2 recounts how Ayaan left Holland for the United States. Her impressions about that new country are very interesting.
Part 3 explains the troubled relationship that many people from her background have with sexuality, money, and violence.
Part 4 lays down the solutions she offers. Juicy material.
*Particularly touching is her "Letter to my unborn daughter", found towards the end of the book...
*If you go to the website of the AHA foundation and click on the link following WHAT DO WE KNOW, you'll access a very complete and informative document.
*This book is about undoubtedly one of the major challenges of the century. Buy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read Aug. 2 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to everyone. It is so informative and as a true story breaks your heart to read how women are treated in different cultures and religions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must read May 6 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ayaan tells her amazing story of her moral struggles between her family, religion, cultural expectations and her own sense of right and wrong. A great insight into the many faces of Muslim faith.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good book... Jan. 27 2013
By krizzyP
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
But not a great one. I enjoyed Infidel,(Mz. Ali's first book) more.
However I found Nomad informative and insightful. This is a brave woman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring July 28 2012
By Maxine
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nomad is one of the best books I have read this year. This woman is unbelievable and I could not put this down. Lots of valuable insights from first hand experiences. Brilliant!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gender, bucks and violence June 7 2010
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Ayaan's sequel to Infidel arranges memories, philosophy and activism in elegant measure to explain, warn and inspire. The voyage she describes here leans more to the intellectual than the physical of Infidel while still integrating events since the murder of Theo van Gogh which ultimately brought her to America. The narrative of a farewell visit to her dying father, analyses of her family as microcosm for the whole Muslim world and the medicines she prescribes - the non-allopathic ones in particular - reveal a generous spirit and loving heart.

Devoted to the family, Part One deals with the death of her father and her relations with her mother, half-sister, brother and his son, and her cousins. She holds up the history and experiences of several of her relatives to demonstrate the plight of Muslim families, particularly those in the West. Her observations correspond closely to those of Dr Wafa Sultan who grew up in Syria and those of Egyptian-born Nonie Darwish as related in Now They Call Me Infidel and Cruel and Usual Punishment.

In the letter to her grandmother she appeals to Somalis and Muslims to admit that the old ways go round in circles now, that new thinking is needed and that progress necessitates giving up some traditions and certainties. Alfred North Whitehead showed why symbolism needs to be constantly adapted and modified by new forms of expression. Worn symbols have to be remolded in accordance with changes in societal structure. Stagnation leads to regression that brings forth toxic fruits like tyranny and the terror of Jihad.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nomad Aug. 13 2010
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent read. I was going to recommend it to all women, but I want to widen the scope and suggest women, men and children can learn from this book. Yes, it shows man's inhumanity to man but it also gives the reader a sense of Ayaan's triumph over overwhelming odds. It is also an wonderful celebration of enlightenment. She is a storyteller and her story should be heard.
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