Abdi Nor Iftin, Call Me American Presented by City of AsylumMonday, May 11, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
In August 2019, Abdi Nor Iftin visited City of Asylum to share his memoir Call Me American, first told on BBC’s World Service and This American Life. We revisit highlights from an awe-inspiring re-telling of trying—against long odds—to make it to the United States.
Streamed on The Show Must Go On(line) Pittsburgh channel. (run-time 60 minutes)
Abdi Iftin has invited us into his life with a stunning memoir, telling the story of his path to American citizenship. As a Somali refugee who fled to Kenya for fear of the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab, he recognized the futility of tribal warfare, taught himself English, and imagined a future for himself in America. In Kenya he won the lottery to land on a short list for a U.S. visa.
Abdi’s deeply stirring memoir, and moving live discussion, is truly a story for our time and we find it an important and powerful message in these times of deep global change.
This highlighted program is the staff pick of City of Asylum’s Manager of Special Projects, Erin Roussel. You’ll hear Erin’s excitement about connecting with Abdi in person, four years after hearing his story on the radio.
Abdi Nor Iftin currently lives in Maine. He is studying political science at the University of Southern Maine, and he plays soccer every Saturday in a melting-pot league of Americans and immigrants from around the world. Abdi’s naturalization ceremony took place in Portland, Maine in January 2020.