6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Somali author and Maine resident Abdi Nor Iftin has an incredible story to tell. As a young refuge, he asks his family and friends to “Call Me American,” and went about learning English by watching the same 7 American films over and over. When NPR heard about his English-speaking skills, they signed him on to report about what was happening behind-the-scenes in Somalia. That’s how the BBC heard about him, which lead to a featured piece on Ira Glass’s This American Life.
And that’s how his publisher, Penguin Random House, came to ask him out to write his memoir, Call Me American.
This could be a fairytale story if it didn’t include so much loss and struggle. But Abdi tells his story with charm and humor – about what it was like to survive in Somalia at a time of intense unrest. And what it’s like now as he continues to adjust to the realities of the new life he dreamed of in America.