BREAKING NEWS: Amanda Lindhout’s lead kidnapper, Ali Omar Ader, has been caught. Amanda Lindhout wrote about her fifteen month abduction in Somalia in A House in the Sky. It is the New York Times bestselling memoir of a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most remote places and then into captivity: “Exquisitely told…A young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph” (The New York Times Book Review).As a child, Amanda Lindhout escaped a violent household by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself visiting its exotic locales. At the age of nineteen, working as a cocktail waitress, she began saving her tips so she could travel the globe. Aspiring to understand the world and live a significant life, she backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and emboldened by each adventure, went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq she carved out a fledgling career as a television reporter. And then, in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda survives on memory—every lush detail of the world she experienced in her life before captivity—and on strategy, fortitude, and hope. When she is most desperate, she visits a house in the sky, high above the woman kept in chains, in the dark. Vivid and suspenseful, as artfully written as the finest novel, A House in the Sky is “a searingly unsentimental account. Ultimately it is compassion—for her naïve younger self, for her kidnappers—that becomes the key to Lindhout’s survival” (O, The Oprah Magazine).
When the world held its breath …It is 25 years since the end of the Cold War, now a generation old. It began over 75 years ago, in 1944—long before the last shots of the Second World War had echoed across the wastelands of Eastern Europe—with the brutal Greek Civil War. The battle lines are no longer drawn, but they linger on, unwittingly or not, in conflict zones such as Iraq, Somalia and Ukraine. In an era of mass-produced AK-47s and ICBMs, one such flashpoint was, and is, the Horn of Africa … Few countries in Africa have had such powerful links with both the Soviet Union and United States – each for several years at a stretch – as Somalia. From a quiet Indian Ocean backwater that had once been an Italian colony, it remained aloof from the kind of power struggles that beset countries like Ghana, the Congo, Guinea, Algeria and others in the 1970s. Overnight, that all changed in 1969 when the army, led by Major General Siad Barre, grabbed power. His first move was to abrogate all security links he might have had with the West and to invite Moscow into his country as an ally. The Soviets moved quickly, establishing several air bases in the interior and stationing their ships in Somali ports. Baledogle, a small airport north of Mogadishu, became a major air base from where Soviet military aircraft operated through much of the Indian Ocean. An impetuous man, Siad Barre believed his links with Moscow were secure enough to annex several neighboring regions. But when he invaded Ethiopia’s Ogaden Province – Addis Ababa was then Washington’s staunchest friend in Africa’s Horn – the Soviets had had enough. To the consternation of the West they abandoned Somalia and embraced Ethiopia, which resulted in the Russians giving full support in the Ogaden War to Addis Ababa and establishing the largest airlift of arms to an African country since the Six-Day War.For more than a decade thereafter conditions within Somalia deteriorated. Various tribal leaders established themselves as ‘war lords’, some with Soviet support, others getting succor from Western sources. It got so bad that in 1992 the United Nations eventually stepped in with Operation Restore Hope, a multinational force created for conducting humanitarian operations in Somalia. The move was always controversial with many tribal leaders retaining either clandestine Soviet links or receiving aid from radical Arab forces that included al-Qaeda. Though the United Nations and the African Union (AU) both maintain a strong presence in the country, hostilities – and killings – go on.
Soon to be a major motion pictureThe first close-up look at the hidden world of Somali pirates by a young journalist who dared to make his way into their remote havens and spent a year infiltrating their lives. For centuries, stories of pirates have captured imaginations around the world. The recent ragtag bands of pirates off the coast of Somalia, hijacking multimillion-dollar tankers owned by international shipping conglomerates, have brought the scourge of piracy into the modern era. Jay Bahadur’s riveting narrative exposé—the first of its kind—looks at who these men are, how they live, the forces that created piracy in Somalia, how the pirates spend the ransom money, how they deal with their hostages, among much, much more. It is a revelation of a dangerous world at the epicenter of political and natural disaster.
The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia
"This is a triumph of a book: surprising, informative, and humane." ―Alexander McCall Smith"Stunning." ―Foreign Affairs"Pieces together Nur's astonishing biography and follows him when he became mayor in 2010 and tried to restore confidence and bring back investment to the battered Somali capital." ―NPR“Part on-the-ground war reporting, part investigative biography, Harding’s book captures both the fragile hopes and the appalling violence of Somalia . . . .” ―The New York Times**A Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2017****One of Book Concierge's Best Books of 2016**In The Mayor of Mogadishu, one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents, Andrew Harding, reveals the tumultuous life of Mohamoud “Tarzan” Nur - an impoverished nomad who was abandoned in a state orphanage in newly independent Somalia, and became a street brawler and activist. When the country collapsed into civil war and anarchy, Tarzan and his young family became part of an exodus, eventually spending twenty years in north London.But in 2010 Tarzan returned, as Mayor, to the unrecognizable ruins of a city now almost entirely controlled by the Islamist militants of Al Shabab. For many in Mogadishu, and in the diaspora, Tarzan became a galvanizing symbol of courage and hope for Somalia. But for others, he was a divisive thug, who sank beneath the corruption and clan rivalries that continue, today, to threaten the country’s revival.The Mayor of Mogadishu is a rare an insider’s account of Somalia’s unraveling, and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey.
The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia
Although the war in Afghanistan is now in its endgame, the West’s struggle to eliminate the threat from Al Qaeda is far from over. A decade after 9/11, the war on terror has entered a new phase and, it would seem, a new territory. In early 2010, Al Qaeda operatives were reportedly “streaming” out of central Asia toward Somalia and the surrounding region.Somalia, now home to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, was already the world’s most failed state. Two decades of anarchy have spawned not just Islamic extremism but piracy, famine, and a seemingly endless clan-based civil war that has killed an estimated 500,000, turned millions into refugees, and caused hundreds of thousands more to flee and settle in Europe and North America.What is now happening in Somalia directly threatens the security of the world, possibly more than any other region on earth. James Fergusson’s book is the first accessible account of how Somalia became the world’s most dangerous place and what we can—and should—do about it.
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From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis
From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis gives readers an invaluable insider's look into the lives and culture of our Somali neighbors and the important challenges they face. Designed with a diverse audience in mind, this book is a must-read for students, health-care professionals, business owners, social service agencies, and anyone who wants to better understand the Somali people. In providing a great understanding of Somali culture, tradition, religion, and issues of integration and assimilation, this book also focuses on why thousands of Somali refugees came to live in this cold, snowy area with people of predominantly European descent.
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