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  • Nomad
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Customer Reviews

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2010
*"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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2013
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2014
it felt like this book was written from a very honest open place. A rare thing today to write about such a sensitive topic. Although some may accuse Ms. Hirsi of writting only from her personal point of view and that it may not reflet what other muslims feel or believe, I dont buy this argument. Her writing is precise, her thought process clear, and frankly she is braver than anyone to tell it like it is.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 24, 2015
Another excellent book from Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Having read her book Infidel, I was looking forward to this one as well and I am not disappointed.
The author is a gifted writer, with the unique ability to make you feel as though were literally present during her experiences. She is very adept at presenting her story in an intelligent, easy to read manner.
Only someone with a first hand account of Islam, can expose the hypocrisy of this religion in such a forthright manner.
In the latter section of the book she has has given space to the topic of remedies. Here she offers some very sound, straightforward solutions to liberate Muslims form the bondage of their religion. She offers enlightenment through the encouragement of free thought, among other things. Regardless of your opinions on the Islamization of the West, I am sure you will benefit from reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2013
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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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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. But disruptive inversions like the evil trinity of postmodernism, multiculturalism & moral relativism give the same result. The extremes of relativism & absolutism both defile the world with corpses.

Born in Somalia, Ayaan lived in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia as a child and in Kenya as a teenager. She observes that her journey from Africa to the Netherlands and thence to the United States has been a mental trek from tribalism to truth. In an appealing way the reader rediscovers the marvels of America through Ayaan's eyes. Well, the marvels and the multiculturalists for whom she has little patience. She confronts them and the faux feminists with vigor, exposing their hypocrisy and explaining why the postmodernist dream of a magical "mosaic" of cultures is a dangerous delusion. Their perverse agendas create only pockets of abuse, oppression and misery. Standards of behavior apply to all, the author insists.

Hirsi Ali identifies fear and self-loathing as the poisons that inactivate some westerners' capacity to differentiate between the rights & dignity of the individual and a blind embrace of a culture which denies that dignity and tramples on those rights. Multiculturalism condemns the children of immigrants to a maze empty of meaning or purpose. Recognizing the sadism hidden in sweet-sounding phrases of postmodernist piety, she correctly diagnoses the mental disorder as a cover for racism.

Ayaan identifies gender, buck$ & violence as the main obstacles to the integration of immigrants into Western society. Muslim attitudes to the status of women, education of girls, credit, debt and financial planning weaken people's ability to honor their obligations or avail themselves of opportunity. And blind belief in the inerrancy of the religion's scripture and the literal interpretation thereof draws the flame of violence into minds already made unstable by envy, shame and taboos against the expression of normal needs.

Antidotes against these pathologies encompass an overdue revision of gender roles for the emancipation of women so that they may contribute their talents to society. Another treatment would be immersion in Enlightenment values in order to free the captive soul from the harsh absolutism that breeds fatalism, rigid thinking and spiritual morbidity. To the surprise of many and the indignation of some, Ms Hirsi Ali even calls on the churches for help as she considers a religion of love and forgiveness superior to one of fear and guilt. She is quite correct in doing so and this ought not to be viewed as a betrayal of the Enlightenment.

By putting compassion first, she places herself within the framework of what Gertrude Himmelfarb termed the Anglo-Saxon Enlightenment. It differed markedly from the Continental which was dominated by French intellectuals' total rejection of religion. Since most human beings need external, timeless referents or at least a sense of purpose and meaning, this sinister strain produced the utopian movements or Secular Salvationist Ideologies that have so severely tormented humanity. The violence of the French Revolution foreshadowed the atrocities of the previous century's murderous collectivisms as well as Islamism and its aforementioned mirror images of today.

No ideologue, Ayaan Hirsi Ali yearns to free shackled minds and comfort anguished souls. Her enthusiasm for the Enlightenment does not blind her to the fact that spirituality offers solace and guidance to many and healing to the wounded soul. She evidently recognizes the cynical self-indulgence & cold indifference of those who reject all absolutes. Preserving a free society requires respect for tradition as well as the constant reappraisal and revision of symbolic codes. In this regard, Michael Polanyi's views in Science, Faith And Society are highly instructive. Nomad delivers a treasure trove of insight, compassion and powerful remedies to help heal a hurting world.
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on November 10, 2014
I loved the clear, decisive prose style. No beating around the bush! I was basically ignorant about the Muslim people and lands. This book is a good introduction to the subject matter. The author's varied experiences and very clear analysis of them allows readers to easily grasp the issues. Ayaah is very rational.
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on November 7, 2015
Am enjoying the book. Having read Infidel, her earlier book, and working with Muslim refugees encouraged me to read this. I would like to learn more about their customs and traditions to understand these people better.
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