Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, the critically acclaimed, eye-opening memoir of her Muslim childhood in Africa and Saudi Arabia and her eventual escape to the Netherlands to avoid a forced marriage. After a Dutch film director with whom she made a documentary about the mistreatment of Muslim women was murdered by a radical Islamist, death threats forced Hirsi Ali into hiding, ultimately leading her to move to a more secure life in the United States ...

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Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations

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Overview

Ayaan Hirsi Ali captured the world’s attention with Infidel, the critically acclaimed, eye-opening memoir of her Muslim childhood in Africa and Saudi Arabia and her eventual escape to the Netherlands to avoid a forced marriage. After a Dutch film director with whom she made a documentary about the mistreatment of Muslim women was murdered by a radical Islamist, death threats forced Hirsi Ali into hiding, ultimately leading her to move to a more secure life in the United States working with a political think tank.

Nomad is the story of everything that happened after Hirsi Ali left Holland and moved to America in a brave bid to start an entirely new life. In it she recounts her renewed contact with her family after her father’s death, and her attempts to live her newly adopted principles in the face of continued attempts by Islamists to stifle her free speech. Through vivid anecdotes and observations of people, cultures, and political debacles, she weaves together her recent personal story with the stories of other women and men she encounters. With a deep understanding of the situation of Muslim women in the world today and her singular, unwavering courage, Hirsi Ali offers her always notable, often controversial analysis of Islam from her new vantage in America.

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  • Biographies and Memoirs Audio/Nomad_BB_241d821f66351ecd30bfcd1f93fa314f00943ceb
    Biographies and Memoirs Audio/Nomad_BB_241d821f66351ecd30bfcd1f93fa314f00943ceb  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

The one-word title of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's new book describes not only her recent emigration to the United States, but also her entire life. Somalia-born, she was only eight when her radical politician father uprooted the family, relocating it to Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and then to Kenya. In 1992, Ali, now a feminist activist, received political asylum in the Netherlands, where she became not only a member of the Dutch parliament, but also the center of an unprecedented firestorm about the mistreatment of Islamic women. Infidel, her first memoir, describes all these events. Nomad, her second, continues her story, tracking her as she receives numerous threats, goes into hiding, indirectly causes a major Dutch cabinet shakeup, and settles in the United States. Ali's personal experiences at the front lines of the clash of civilizations is truly unforgettable.

Nicholas D. Kristof
Since Hirsi Ali denounces Islam with a ferocity that I find strident, potentially feeding religious bigotry, I expected to dislike this book. It did leave me uncomfortable and exasperated in places. But I also enjoyed it. Hirsi Ali comes across as so sympathetic when she shares her grief at her family's troubles that she is difficult to dislike. Her memoir suggests that she never quite outgrew her rebellious teenager phase, but also that she would be a terrific conversationalist at a dinner party. She is at her best when she is telling her powerful story.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
After a harrowing childhood lived according to a particularly strict interpretation of Muslim law, Somali-born Ali (Infidel) escaped to Europe rather than move to Canada to marry a man she'd never met. Arriving in Holland, she soon became an international cause célèbre for her willingness to publicly denounce the uglier sides of Islamic culture, particularly as in certain regions it oppresses women and girls. Many personal stories are repeated from her earlier accounts, but here Ali adds the story of her immigration to the U.S., and as always, her writing can be moving, as she bares heartrending moments such as her father's death. But with this third memoir, she has become tiresomely repetitive, and her wholesale condemnation of an entire religion and the multiple cultures it has engendered is so sweeping and comprehensive, and her faith in Western values (particularly her romantic view of Christianity) is so wide-eyed, that the book ultimately reads like a callow exercise in expressing the author's own sense of aggrievement. (May)
From the Publisher
“Illuminating analysis… [NOMAD’s] special strength…lies in the way that her arguments and perceptions are rooted in personal experience…. She rages eloquently…writes revealingly. NOMAD is an excellent read.”

—New York Review of Books

“Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new memoir is the most powerful book you will have read in a long time.” —Christian Science Monitor

"Brilliant” —Tunku Varadarajan, The Daily Beast

Library Journal
A charismatic public figure and the author of a previous memoir—the best-selling Infidel about her Muslim Somali upbringing and her second life as a refugee in the Netherlands—Ali is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. She presents her second memoir with the explicit ideological motive to counter what she sees as naive liberal responses to Islam, but she dedicates a large portion to her struggles with culture shock as she seeks to find her footing first in Europe then the United States. The book's emotional power lies in her efforts toward a personal reckoning with her family. Those who accept Samuel P. Huntington's theory of the "clash of civilizations" will welcome this smoothly written, emotionally vivid memoir. Readers willing to accept that there is such a thing as "the Muslim mind" will take Ali's arguments at face value. Many readers, however, will reject her assertion that all Muslims think and behave as her tribal community does. Others will question her view that Islam is to be blamed for the social and political problems in predominantly Muslim third world regions and will ask how she would explain similar problems in non-Muslim countries. VERDICT A controversial book accessible to the general public, unlikely to change any minds.—Lisa Klopfer, Eastern Michigan Univ. Lib., Ypsilanti
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743599122
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 5/18/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 6.02 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was raised Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia. In 1992, Hirsi Ali came to the Netherlands as a refugee. She earned her college degree in political science and worked for the Dutch Labor party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and now serves as a Dutch parliamentarian, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

PART I A PROBLEM FAMILY

1. My Father 3

2. My Half Sister 13

3. My Mother 23

4. My Brother's Story 41

5. My Brother's Son 61

6. My Cousins 73

7. Letter to My Grandmother 85

PART II NOMAD AGAIN

8. Nomad Again 95

9. America 109

10. Islam in America 127

PART III SEX, MONEY, VIOLENCE

11. School and Sexuality 149

12. Money and Responsibility 165

13. Violence and the Closing of the Muslim Mind 185

PART IV REMEDIES

14. Opening the Muslim Mind: An Enlightenment Project 205

15. Dishonor, Death, and Feminists 219

16. Seeking God but Finding Allah 237

Conclusion: The Miyb1s and the Magaalo 255

Epilogue: Letter to My Unborn Daughter 263

The AHA Foundation 275

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 57 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(10)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An important, timely book.

    Ms. Hirsi Ali's compelling personal story supports her cry for reform in the Muslim world, particularly in its treatment of women. She has lived in several Muslim societies and has wide ranging experience which has shaped her beliefs and ultimate rejection of Islam.

    Her story is also warning to a compliant, multicultural-obsessed sleeping Western civilization not to allow the slow creep of radical Islam to seep into the fabric of Western democracies.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Infidel: the Sequel

    This is in response to the one-star review posted by Anonymous. I have read only a little of this book, but if Anonymous thinks Ms. Ali's "feelings" about Islam are based on Western media distortions, I doubt she has read "Nomad" either. Most of Ms. Ali's first autobiographical book, "Infidel," is devoted to her growing up in four countries where Islam is the dominant religion: Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia. She came to Europe when she was 22. I suggest she is a reliable witness to the reality of being a Muslim.

    I have read "Infidel" and have been eagerly awaiting the publication of "Nomad" to find out what has happened in the intervening years.

    As a sort of post script to this review, I would remind Anonymous that feelings are not under our control. They just happen. We can, though, control the actions we take based on our feelings.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Truth

    To call Hirsi Ali an "expert" on Islam is like calling Sarah Palin and "expert"
    on geography. She can spout out "facts" that are completely unfounded. She has
    never had any formal education on the religion nor carries any sort of
    legitimate degree in the studies of Islam
    First of all, I do admire her as a woman to leave the "oppression" of her
    uneducated native somali tribe to lead a live based on her own personal
    convictions and to pursue her own dreams and decisions.
    What I don't understand is how an "educated" woman like Hirsi can not understand
    the difference between culture and religion. That is the mystery of Islam in
    that it does embody multiple ethnicities and cultures. Different people from all
    over the world are muslim from Indonesia, Pakistan and the the Middle East.
    A few "facts" Hirsi claims about Islam include:
    1) genital mutilation of female----- does it happen in somali families? yes. Is
    it something ordained by the Quran.. NO!!! nowhere in the quran is genital
    mutilation endorsed. If anything, any type of mutilation to the body is strictly
    forbidden by the quran even customs such as tattoos.
    2) honor killing --- does it happen in certain countries by certain ethnicities
    like somalia and india? yes!! Is it stated in the Quran? NO...Honor killing is
    strictly a cultural phenomenom and not religous. Does it happen in muslim
    families? yes. Do christian husbands kill their wives out of jealousy or
    insanity? yes.
    3) Does the Quran promote violence ? NO! if anything it does condemn violence
    but it allows it under extreme conditions if one is begin oppressed after
    non-violent measures do not work. Unfortunately, Hirsi uses only part of the
    verses in the quran without the actual meaning and reasoning behind the verse
    like a "husband may beat his wife lightly" in cases of adultery, yes. Do people
    of islam commit violence in the name of islam? yes. Do christian people commit
    violence in the name of christianity? yes. What about the Ku Klux Klan? ARe they
    considered christian? They hold the cross and uses verses of the bible to
    promote violence.
    4) Does Islam oppress women? NO!!! Islam teaches us that women need to be
    protected by the evils of society. I find it funny that Hirsi believes women in
    America are "free" because we can walk around in bikinis and have been elected
    to Secretary of State!!! Seriously?!?! It is the year 2011... why have we not
    had a female president? Women recieved their right to vote in 1932. What about
    women's salary? Why are women who are just as qualified in the same position as
    men paid less? Is that a christian issue? NO, it's culture.
    Also, the way a woman dresses is subject to various opinions. A muslim woman who
    covers herself either with a headscarf or full sleeves and pants feels a sense
    of "freedom" because she does not feel compelled to show off her body to the
    pressure of society where a woman must be skinny and voluptuous. A woman should
    be judged by her merits and not her appearance. The "need" to look beautfiul and
    have the perfect "10" body has emanated so vastly that it leads to "oppression"
    of women in terms of poor self esteem especially among our young american women
    who "binge" and "purge' and suffer from depression because they don't look like
    a model. It has reached t

    4 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Distorts Islam!

    THIS DOES NOT GIVE A BALANCED ACCOUNT OF Islam. The author seems intent on just trying to gain sympathy for growing up in a really abusive family and culture. She should not blame Islam for all the evils in her life.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2010

    truly saddening

    It is truly upsetting to read about someone's condemnation of a religion. It is undoubtedly true that there are some sects or people who take the meaning of Islamic teachings to whole other levels, especially in remote parts of poor countries - such as Somalia. The practices of these extremists are disrespectful and appalling, but are not in any way the whole face of the Muslim religion.
    The true believers of this much-criticized religion know that the main teaching of Islam is peace. Not oppression of women, forced marriage, murder of innocent people, or extremists' very wrong interpretation of the Muslim concept of fighting for God or 'jihad'.
    I sympathize with the author for her terrible experiences. I would not want to go through what she did! However, she should also not base her feelings about a religion on a few crazed people or what the media portrays Muslims as.
    Islam teaches people to be peaceful and to respect other people's religions. Unfortunately, it is people -extremists- like the ones who terrorized this woman that give Islam and Muslims a bad name.
    I sincerely hope that people will, as I have, research Islam through it's true source, The Muslim Holy Book. It is an inspirational and enlightening read about Islam - much different from anything the average American hears about on the news. Also, a word of advice - research is better done in a non-Jewish or non-Christian translation of 'The Quran', only due to the fact that several translations made by those religions contain false information, which is truly a pity.
    My vision is to see America as an honestly open society - one that welcomes all religions and does not pick one to condemn. I hope many people take the time to learn the truth about this religion and all religions. Knowledge is power, and a society with true knowledge of religions will be a beautiful, powerful one!

    3 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2010

    Not recommended AT ALL

    This is definitely insulting to read as a Muslim. This is not true Islam. Please read another book.

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2011

    Exceptionally written

    I found Nomand, and Ali's Infidel, compelling and informative. Shame on anyone saying these books are not to be recommended because the works don't jive with their gauzy look at Islam. Don't be afraid of another point of view. Look beyond yourself and see if you can learn anything, including something about yourself. There are just as many Muslims who practice Islam resembling the what we see in this book as there are who practice a welcoming and generous interpretation, to varying degree. The latter fall in the category of those who have diluted the faith to match the progress of modern day. Sadly, the former practice the faith as it is actually prescribed. I would compel reformed Muslims to own up to their "hijacking" of the Islamic faith. Yes, it is YOU who has thankfully hijacked a very backward and hateful religion. Try reading the Koran and the Hadith with an objective view...if you can. I doubt very much you can because freedom to question is not allowed for you.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Misty

    Reminds me a bit of Danu Talis... sounds awesome!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    XY

    Descriptive and superb-love it! Beautifully written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    Broken

    Love it! Continue!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    City of Wonder- Prologue part 2

    ((Whoops. Accidentaly posted the last one beore it was finished. Here's the rest. Sorry it was so short.))<p>The Nomads were quickely forgotten by the other ponies, as well as written history. Most presumed they died or split up into feral wild ponies. But this was not the case...<p>The Nomads, after months of dense rainforest, blistery hooves, and the other general hardship, found what they were looking for: a great, vast desert. Never again would they be shivering and cold. They rejoiced. Next, thy needed to create a place to live. Using a mixture of clay and ground-up sandstone, they made tough brick houses that would withstand even a sandstorm, for sandstorms did blow through on occasion. The sandstone in the clay bricks gave each brick a hue much like the sand itself, providing a wonderful camoflauge from desert predators such as Vultures and the rare Hyena (barbarous, doglike creatures, very much uncivilized and pugnacious). Because of this camoflauge, the makeshift city was known as "Sand City."<p>To govern the ponies, a leader was elected. This leader was the Sheikah. A Sheikah was a pony with high status amogst the Nomads, but unlike the queens and princesses of Canterlot, a Sheikah acted more as a judge and mediator between the races of ponies. After all, no one wanted something like the Great Feud, as they called it, to reoccur. Luckily, this job was quite easy. Because there were no clouds in the desert, wings weren't good for much else other than stirring up dust devils, and magic was only useful to the craftsponies, makers of pots and bowls and such.<p>As time went on, Sand City grew less worried about the fate of Ponyville and more about their own city. Many metal mines were discovered: Gold, Silver and Copper baubles were soon the norm in Sand City. As the city grew, so did it's glamour: Gold jewlery, silver platters, lush foods (farming was tough, but the Nomads quickely found the crops most suited to intense heat), and other extravagant measures were common. Thus, the city became known to the Nomads who still wished to wander as the City of Wonders.<p>Many tales surround this great city, brought down to Ponyville by wandering Nomads. These tales are filled with wonder and magic: flying plates, Djinnis, ancient artifacts filled with ancient power, powerful sorcerers and enchantresses, great pyramids. These are just a few...<p>((Well, I know it's a little off-beat, and that the characters are gonna be very different from the typical MLP fanfic, but tell me what you think!!!! -Knife Gleam))

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  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Highly Recommended!

    Extraordinary story. Everyone should read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    Hirsi seems to apply her experiences can be attributed to the re

    Hirsi seems to apply her experiences can be attributed to the religion of half the world itself, and occasionally gives a very biased opinion on Islam itself. More over, her experiences are in the most underdeveloped countries in the Islamic world, and of course, Saudi Arabia, a Wahhabi hotspot. Neither does the majority of the Muslim world treat women as she claims, neither does 'radical' Islam deem a greater threat than any other form of religious radicalization.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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