Woodstove Alliance hosts at High Mountain Hall

Author Abdi Nor Iftin to talk about his efforts to get to U.S., and become American citizen

Posted:  Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 2:45pm
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The Woodstove Alliance will present a talk with author Abdi Nor Iftin at High Mountain Hall, in Camden, on Sunday, November 19, from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. There will be a suggested donation of $10 and any amount will be gratefully accepted.

Abdi Nor Iftin was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, around 1985. When he was six years old his country descended into a civil war that has now been raging for more than a quarter century. Abdi grew up on the streets, dodging bombs and bullets in a daily search for food and water.

He watched his sister starve to death, then buried her himself.

His playground was the wreckage of the two American Black Hawk helicopters shot down by rebels. His only escape from the misery was a ramshackle video parlor where he would watch American action movies on a small TV.

Inspired by the exploits of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, he vowed he would someday become an American—and so he taught himself English by watching movies. In 2012 he escaped to Nairobi, Kenya.

The next year he applied for the United States visa lottery, which offers foreigners the chance to come to America. Against overwhelming odds—it is easier to get into Harvard—he won the lottery, and in 2014 he settled in Maine.

The story of Abdi’s heart-stopping efforts to secure his U.S. visa under deadline was the subject of "Abdi and the Golden Ticket," a one-hour special on This American Life and one of the show’s highest rated broadcasts. Abdi’s memoir, Call Me American, will be published by Knopf in August 2018. He currently works as an interpreter in the Maine Somali community and is studying political science at the University of Maine.

For more information about the event, contact Frances Wheeler-Berta at luciferlucyloo@gmail.com.

Event Date: 
Sun, 11/19/2017 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm