I haven't been doing as much reading as usual this past month, but since I picked up Ayaan's memoir, I really haven't been able to put it down. The book details her life growing up in Somalia, escaping with her family to Kenya, and escaping an imposed marriage to Holland, where she gained refugee status, put herself through university, worked as a translator for other Somali refugees and eventually ran for Parliament, winning a seat and advocating for Muslim women's rights, by controversially promoting integration, closure of Quran Schools and challenging Muslims to question Islam.
While there is much to be learned in this book about the development of the current situation in Somalia, the persecution and abuse of women in many Muslim countries, their subsequent continued denial of rights even upon immigration to Western countries, and Islam in general; there is a second story in Ayaan's memoir that I found equally fascinating.
Through the book and her life, the reader has a front row seat on her mind and beliefs as she changes from a devout and proud Muslim to an 'apostate', 'infidel', unbeliever. You get to see the cracks in her belief form while she is still in Africa, and spring wide open when she studies psychology and political science in Holland. The reader is able to share in her journey from unquestioning submission to questioning, reason and embracing life to the fullest.
I highly recommend her book, to readers of all faiths and belief systems. I suggest you read it with an open mind and an open heart, as well as with the hunger to learn more about the way of life of people so different from your own that carried Ayaan through her own life.
I plan to follow up by reading Ayaan's other two books: Nomad and The Caged Virgin.
Have you read any of Ayaan's books? What book are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments.