Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations
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Nomad: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  2,292 ratings  ·  359 reviews
Nomad is a philosophical memoir, telling how Ayaan Hirsi Ali came to America in search of a new life, and the difficulties she faced in reconciling her two worlds. With vivid anecdotes and observations of people, cultures, and political debacles, this narrative weaves together Hirsi Ali's personal story -- including her reconciliation with her devout father who had disowne...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 13th 2010 by Simon & Schuster UK (first published 2010)
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Nicki Hill
very pertinent to me: "Social workers in the West will tell you that immigrants need to maintain group cohesion for their mental health, because otherwise they will be confused and their self-esteem destroyed. This is untrue. The idea that immigrants need to maintain group cohesion promotes the perception of them as victim groups requiring special accommodation, an industry of special facilities and assistance. If people should conform to their ancestral culture, it therefore follows that they s...more
Trish
Undoubtedly an exceptional mind here. There is no surprise that she has attacted so much attention. One only wishes that her personal life could have been richly rewarding, but then, one can't have everything. Perhaps if she had a family that loved her, we would not be the recipients of her mental largesse. A couple of things stand out: 1) this is yet another woman from a Muslim background telling us Islam an irreparable and damaged religion focused on doing harm to women and non-Muslims and we...more
Milan/zzz
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s books are not the type of books for which you can say “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. Those sorts of evaluations are just too trivial and utterly inadequate. ”Nomad” is not exception. Her Infidel” blown me away and this one is a sort of sequel.

She’s an exceptionally brave woman and in her books she’s not compromising with very sensitive issues which leaves two options to the reader: to agree or disagree. But then she elaborates her statements incredibly strongly so when you...more
Marjorie
Ok, no more pussy foot'in around about the conflict between tribal and urban, western, traditional. 'In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn't translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance, and abuse.'

Women, girls bare the weight of Islamic violence of male domination; physically, legally, psychologically. Female genital ci...more
Meneesha Govender
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia into a strict Muslim family.

When her father sent her overseas to marry a man she did not know, Ali chose to ignore her family's wishes and carve out a new life for herself in the Netherlands.

After studying political science and getting a degree, she joined the Labour Party.

After 9/11, Ali denounced Islam and this paved the way for her to become a member of the Dutch Parliament.

She captured the world's attention with her first book Infidel - a coming-of-age me...more
Gaby
I wonder what it would have been like to read this book without having read Infidel first. I feel that without reading the author's experiences as she describes them in Infidel, and the bravery and strength that oozes out of the pages of that book, it would be hard to understand where she is coming from. That personal connection was missing from Nomad, with the exception of the first part of the book. She still makes very interesting arguments, but due to some bad editing or writing, ends up rep...more
Mikey B.
This, again, is a most striking work by the maverick Somailian, ex-Muslim writer. She is begging the West not to give away its’ values of liberty and secularism, and to stop giving into and appeasing Islamism. She provides many useful warnings – as in honour killings (in the U.S. and Canada) not recognized as being linked to Islamic beliefs for the fear of being offensive to religious values.

This book is even more personal than her previous books. She describes in some detail her family and the...more
Megan
She is a courageous woman but this book, I'm sorry to say, is disappointing, disjointed and ranting.
Tripleguess
I respect the author for the journey she has made. However, just from glancing through the book, I can see that I have huge ideological disagreements with her.

According to the book, the "good" Christians are those who don't take the Bible seriously but only regard it as a book of parables with some good ideas for being nice.

I would question whether such people are Christians at all. Jesus said "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46) As C. S. Lewis said, either Je...more
Chris
Blast you Marty Moss-Coane! I was going to buy this book when it came out in paperback, mostly because I enjoyed Infidel. Then who does Marty Moss-Coane have on Radio Times? Yes, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. As usual for Moss-Coane, it was an excellent interview and made it impossible for me to wait for the book to come out in paperback. (As an aside, Radio Times is one of the reasons why NPR should be supported. Excellent, unbiased interviews. Hurtful to your wallet though).

This book is not a sequel or fol...more
Jillian O'connor
Hirsi Ali's second polemic is a personal story of her disillusionment with Islam and her infatuation with the West. Her romantic interpretation of American ideals through show tune lyrics smacks of a newcomer's naivete. Her assertion that her family's dysfunction is entirely the result of Islam ignores the role that mental illness seems to have played in her family's history.

Her passionate arguments for feminists to stand up and call out the mistreatment of women within the Muslim community are...more
Libby
Nomad exists as one of the best books I have ever read.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali presented herself as an incredible, multi-faceted, dynamic human being, and her book did not waste a single word in its effort to directly and thoughtfully convey her Somali clan culture, Muslim history, and personal growth that paved the way to an atheistic position.

She clearly defined how the Muslim religion manifested itself in numerous familial generations and those around her. This belief system was stagnant, fanatical,...more
Lady Jane
In Nomad, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's sequel to Infidel, Ms. Ali takes a different tactic. She uses her story of being a nomad, and that of relatives who remained ensconced in Islamic culture, as a vehicle and springboard to share her political views on Islam and Islam's impact on culture--both of predominantly Islamic and Western democratic societies.

Ms. Ali communicates bold insights, conclusions and remedies to the conflict between Islam and Western democratic societies, providing a clarion call to Am...more
Adella
Mixed feeling about the book. Very glad I read it. But prefer Infidel. Nomad attempts to explain how to deal with fundamentalist/jihadist Islam, and while I think Ayaan makes some good points based on her personal experience, I am bothered by her political ideas about how to combat breeding grounds for Islamic fundamentalists. For instance, one solution she describes is to get the Church involved. Really? Combat religion with religion?

Yet she makes no reference to the rise of political power in...more
Kevin
This book was a real eye opener for me. As a left wing liberal I was totally opposed to Bush's invasion of Iraq. And I'm still opposed to the reason U.S. troops were sent in. Lets face it the U.S. didn't invade Iraq to spread democracy, we went in for the oil.
But what I learned from reading Nomad is that perhaps offensive actions against Islam do need to be taken. Liberals believe in acceptance of foreign cultures. That it's wrong to force our beliefs and ideas on cultures universally. But what...more
Elizabeth


I very much enjoyed reading her story. I thought it was heartfelt, honest, and very informative. This book is based soley on her experiences, thoughts, and opinions and the reader should remember that throughout.
Chris Aylott
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an excellent writer. The events she has seen with her own eyes are gripping and worth serious consideration. However, I'm also convinced she's a paranoid wingnut who throws out a bunch of wild assertions instead of facts.

She is convincing when she describes the abuse she and the women she knows have suffered in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and other lovely hotspots in Africa and the Middle East. "I saw this and that happen" is great evidence. However, there is no evidence that sugge...more
Faith Spinks
I was expecting this to be a continued biography picking up from her move to the USA and where she left off in Infidel. But Nomad is so much more than that and it far exceeded my expectations! She thinks beyond just her own life and compares her own experience to those of other members of her family, either as migrants to the west or remaining in Africa, and with other Muslim women.

Throughout the book Ayaan is highly critical of Islam and the threat she perceives that it could pose to western c...more
Robin

This book tells us why the West should be wary of Islam. I found it interesting, but a bit scary (that the Muslims can do real harm to the world). The author grew up Muslim, then when she was being forced into marriage with a distant cousin, "escaped" to the Netherlands. She tells us many of the differences between Western culture and the Moslem culture.

The author seems incredibly intelligent. After she escaped, she learned 2 new languages (Dutch and English). She went to college and studied, a...more
Chris Hubbs
If Hirsi Ali's previous book, Infidel, was a smashing Movie on DVD, Nomad would be the DVD extra features and director's commentary. Hirsi Ali reinforces her point that strict adherence to Islam will cause subjugatioin and oppression of women. Fair point, but makes for a dull book. Read Infidel instead.
Emilie
IIIH! I've had this book unread on my shelf since like 2011 and well, this is a perfect example that some books are totally worth the wait.

Lately I have read comments etc. on goodreads from various people. It has never been directed towards me personally, more or less other people, but it doesn't mean it doesn't affect me. Anyway. The rudeness of some people! How they totally harrass someone for merely expressing their opinions about a book. So damn low, you people should be ashamed.

Anyway, th...more
Verna Seal
One of the most amazing books I've ever read. And I quote: "Free speech is the bedrock of liberty and a free society. And yes, it includes the right to blaspheme and to offend.
Jake
"We make our sons. This is the tragedy of the tribal Muslim man, and especially the firstborn son: the overblown expectations, the ruinous vanity, the unstable sense of self that relies on the oppression of one group of people--women--to maintain the other group's self image."

I found the above quote to be one of the most powerful statements in Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Nomad. It is all the more significant because it occurs in a chapter devoted to her brother who, Ms. Hirsi Ali argues, is as much a...more
Katherine
Nomad covers a lot of the same group as Infidel but from a different perspective. Ail makes a strong case for the dangers that Islam poses to Western societies. In the name of sensitivity and multiculturalism Europeans and Americans refuse to recognize the violence inherit in the Islamic faith and the fact that Muslim women in the West are being killed by their brothers and fathers in honor killings, that female genital mutilation occurs on kitchen tables in the US and Europe, that most Muslim i...more
David
I wanted to add to my review of this book now that I have a little more time. Ayaan's main purpose in writing this book was to enlist the help of the West in protecting Islamic women (website www.theahafoundation.org). She describes the practices she is concerned with: denial of education for girls, genital mutilation, forced marriage, honor violence, and restrictions on girls' freedom of movement. Her personal experience with these abuses is disturbing. Critics of her book argue that her experi...more
Anne
Nomad is a genuine book that will definitely open people's eyes about Islamism and its followers. I think it is very brave on Ayaan's part of speaking out about such a controversial and strict religion.

She believes in the freedom of speech,equality and women's rights ...she believes in a better world where women won't be oppressed,judged nor killed for wanting to choose their own path...Ayaan like many other islam women was destined to marry an unknown man...she chose another fate,she chose f...more
Paul
For me, this book is a real conundrum. For atheists like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens who endorsed the book, it seems to be a hit, although I have to wonder if it's just because she professes to be an atheist herself.

The book is part autobiography in that it describes her life in Holland to which she fled from her father's arranged marriage to a distant cousin, to gaining her education in Holland and serving in the Dutch Parliament, to her life being threatened after co-producing a film o...more
Bistra Ivanova
Доста по-слаба от предишната й книга Infidel (букв. My Freedom в оригинала на нидерландски), най-малкото защото в голяма степен я повтаря. (Кратко ревю от мен - http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... )

Първата част на Nomad е озаглавена "Problem Family" и главите вътре са съответно "My Father", "My Mother", "My Brother's story", "My Brother's Son", "My Cousins" и т.н. Излишен подробен разказ за семейството й, голяма част от който (а именно съществената част) вече е позната на читателите на Infi...more
Shay
I am so disappointed with this book. Having read Infidel before Nomad, my eyes were opened to the life of Muslims, especially for women. I was inspired by Ali's story and courage to escape, start a new life, and advocate for others.
I expected Nomad to continue the story of Ali's life journey and progress. In a way, Nomad discusses where she is now, but it also backtracks over her previous book. Ali tells more in depth stories of certain family members and how being Islamic has affected their...more
Sarah
Well, I read this because Hitchen's supports her. Well written, well argued book. She had a horrible childhood - abusive in about everyway. I really don't know how much that affects her view of Islam. In her 20's she was granted asylum in Holland and took advantage, somewhat haltingly at first, of every opportunity that came her way. She went to University and learned about world views other than moslem. She worked. Eventually she abandoned her faith entirely and adopted western humanist values....more
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  • 23 سال
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"Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Somali: Ayaan Xirsi Cali; born Ayaan Hirsi Magan 13 November 1969 in Mogadishu, Somalia) is a Dutch feminist, writer, and politician. She is the estranged daughter of the Somali scholar, politician, and revolutionary opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse. She is a prominent critic of Islam, and her screenplay for Theo Van Gogh's movie Submission led to death threats. Since van Gogh'...more
More about Ayaan Hirsi Ali...
Infidel The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam De zoontjesfabriek: Over vrouwen, islam en integratie Jeg anklager Adan en Eva

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“It is easy to be disgruntled if you are denied rights and freedoms to which you feel entitled. But if you are not coherent, if you cannot put into words what it is that displeases you and why it is unfair and should change, then you are dismissed as an unreasonable whiner. You may be lectured about perseverance and patience, life as a test, the need to accept the higher wisdom of others.” 22 likes
“In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn't translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance, and abuse.” 9 likes
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