For some reason, I've been attracted to books about the Middle East, Islam and especially women's experiences as Muslims.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has a new book out titled Nomad, which I picked up off the shelf at our library. However, when I read the front flap, I realized she had written another book titled Infidel. It sounded like I should read Infidel first, so I did.
I appreciate Hirsi Ali's brutal honesty throughout this book. She describes her childhood - born in Somalia, moved to Saudi Arabia, Kenya, back to Somalia, then back to Kenya. She struggled in school, her mother physically abused her, and she worked hard to be a good Muslim.
Her story of how she escaped her father, an unwanted marriage, and her religion held my attention throughout the book. What I didn't know is that she is such a controversial figure in Dutch politics, which is all explained in the book as well.
I appreciate books like this which helps me to understand different perspectives of people in our world. In addition to a better understanding of the Somali culture, this book highlights the struggles Muslims face when confronting the west. Hirsi Ali helps us to understand that Muslims deal with the dissonance between what they're taught and what they encounter in very different ways. She also stresses the importance of integrating Muslims into Western culture instead of allowing refugees to isolate themselves into Muslim enclaves.