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Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed
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message 1: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 4 stars


message 2: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (last edited Jul 15, 2018 07:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane  | 12974 comments About the Book (from Business Live)

The story of Somalian physician and lawyer Hawa Abdi is a salutary tale of vision, bravery and persistence. Keeping Hope Alive offers readers a first-hand account of determined courage against the vexing and brutal history of this war-torn region.

This astonishing account reveals the persistence that ensured the realization of her vision. It describes Abdi’s humanitarian efforts and the effect she has had on an enormous number of people since starting her own hospital 30 years ago. In 1983, she moved to the outskirts of Mogadishu as a young doctor with two small children. She realized the need for primary healthcare for the area’s women and children. What began as a part-time one-room clinic developed into a 400-bed hospital that remained neutral during the harshest internecine fighting. As refugees flooded in and the need for education, food and shelter arose, Abdi rose to meet the challenge and the compound and clinic grew.


About the Author (from dhaf.org)

Dr Hawa Abdi Diblaawe was born in 1947 in Mogadishu. Her father was a worker in the city’s port and her mother died when she was very young. As the eldest child, Hawa was forced to raise her four sisters in conditions of poverty. But she never lost hope sight of her dreams.

“My father was an educated man,” she recalls, “He made sure I had the chance to become a doctor.”

With the help of a Soviet scholarship, Hawa studied medicine in Kiev and soon became Somalia’s first female gynecologist. She then completed a Law degree at the Somali National University in Mogadishu, where she later became an Assistant Professor of Medicine. She soon opened a clinic on her family’s ancestral land in the Afgooye Corridor, using the profits from her family land to provide free health care to all of her countrymen.

When the civil war began in 1991, Dr. Hawa started housing her employees on her land, feeding them and caring for them. Soon their friends and relatives came seeking shelter, then after the friends and relatives of their friends and relatives. Dr. Hawa welcome them all, providing shelter to all those who came regardless of where they came from. In 2012, Dr. Hawa’s land housed more than 90,000 refugees, most of whom are women and children.

Today, Dr. Hawa Abdi continues to fighter for the women, children and elderly people of the Hawa Abdi Village. With the help of her two amazing daughters, Deqo and Amina, both of whom are doctors who have followed in her footsteps, Dr. Hawa continues to keep a candle of light lit for the people of the Afgooye Corridor.

Dr. Hawa has won numerous distinctions and awards, including the John Jay Justice Award, Vital Voices’ Women of the Year Award and a nomination for the Noble Peace Prize in 2012. U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called Dr Abdi “a perfect example of the kind of woman who inspires me”.


Ruth | 450 comments For me this was an eye-opener, I knew very little about Somalia (apart from the problem of piracy and Al Shabab). In this memoir Hawa Abdi gives a fascinating and account of her life and country. I'm full of admiration for a woman who has overcome so many difficulties and who has managed to do so much to relieve suffering and stand up for women's rights. One passage that will stick with me is the way she says Somali people consider life: "... in the early morning, you see a dark shadow falling on one side of the tree. But then the situation changes; by the late afternoon, the shadow is on the opposite side. Today you are powerful, and maybe tomorrow you will become weak. Your responsibility is to try to do right by everyone."


message 4: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diane  | 12974 comments Ruth wrote: ""... in the early morning, you see a dark shadow falling on one side of the tree. But then the situation changes; by the late afternoon, the shadow is on the opposite side. Today you are powerful, and maybe tomorrow you will become weak. Your responsibility is to try to do right by everyone." "

That's a great quote.


Missy J (missyj333) | 234 comments Initially I was hesitant to read this book, but I'm so glad I did. It was truly a candid account of her life and the experience running and maintaining a hospital in the middle of war. She speaks very openly about the difficulties in her marriage (clan differences) and how at times, she had to leave Somalia, and take care of herself in Nairobi, while managing the hospital from a distance. She doesn't present herself as a 24/7 hero, which I thought is very inspiring. Besides that, I was very stunned to read how Somalia changed from the time the author was a young girl to the present day. Right after independence, there were opportunities to study and develop Somalia. But as time went by, the clan fighting got worse, resulting in a complete obliteration of the government and finally, post-9/11 the cancerous spread of radical Islam in Somalia. I highly recommend this book.


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