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11 September 2008

a must read book

This brave, inspiring memoir is a excellent read for anyone who wants to gain more insight on the Muslim faith. I picked up this book (actually, the audio recording) on a recommendation from my friend Val, to which I owe a huge thank you.
FYI: the audio recording was especially enjoyable because it was read by the author- so names, places, and Arabic phrases I would have never been able to read correctly rolled off her tongue smoothly with her beautiful voice and accent.

It is an absolutely amazing tale of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's life growing up in Somalia, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia where she endured violence and female circumcision, but was lucky enough to be educated unlike most young African girls. She escaped from an arranged marriage and took political asylum in Holland. In the Netherlands she worked hard to learn Dutch, graduated from Leiden University, became a member of Dutch Parliament, a spokeswoman against radical Islam and advocate for women's rights.

This book was inspiring and insightful, I felt like I gained such a greater understanding of so many things including the political situation in Africa, and the unbelievable repression of women within Islam. I feel so grateful for my education, and the freedom and privileges I enjoy everyday living in the West.
I am almost the same age as Ayaan, It was hard to believe that the barbaric and backward fanaticism against women she endured in her life was taking place also simultaneously with my life and not decades earlier- and, even worst, continues today.
Every human being, male or female, deserves inalienable human rights- the right to an education and to chose for yourself how to live your life. I respect Ayaan immensely and her ability to speak out denouncing Islam, enduring death threats and alienation from her family and clan, and working to make this world a better place for everyone. Women with guts make the world go around.

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