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Call Me American: A Conversation with Abdi Nor Iftin
Join the Elliott School of International Affairs for a conversation with Abdi Nor Iftin, author of the Elliott School common reading, "Call Me American." This event will feature a keynote followed by a Q&A session where students can ask questions about the author himself, the book, or topics raised within the story. All new Elliott students received a complimentary e-book over the summer and have had opportunities to dive into parts of the book during new student orientation and IAFF 1001. However, all Elliott students are warmly invited to attend, as the talk will be beneficial to anyone interested in Abdi's experience. Thank you to the Elliott School's Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising, LEAP Initiative, and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and GW's Office of Student Life for sponsoring this event.

Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop and watching action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies. Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate Western culture... In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why America still beckons to those looking to make a better life.

Oct 19, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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