This autobiographical narrative is told by Warda herself, looking back on her life, her struggles, and the people who helped her along the way. The book doesn’t just tell Warda’s story though. It tells the story of her family, the many countries she’s called home, and of how war and turmoil can tear apart families and dreams.
We begin with Warda’s father, learning about this own struggle for an education in the face of many obstacles. We learn about his passion for education and his drive to both obtain his own education and ensure his daughter’s. We also meet Warda’s grandfather: an old-fashioned man, a farmer, someone who knows his place and what he believes to be the place of others in the family. Then we meet Warda.
Warda was born in Saudi Arabia to Somali parents, but due to lack of opportunity and discrimination, Warda ends up moving all over Africa living with different family members, meeting new people, and receiving a different kind of education everywhere she goes. From farming to Islamic studies to eventually pursuing an education in the United States, Warda’s adventure is full of excitement and turmoil, but she never gives up.
Just in time for World Refugee Day, Warda is a memoir for anyone who wants to read a book that provides new perspectives, offers a unique lens through which to view the world, and that steps outside of traditional memoir storytelling. Warda illuminates the many inequities refugees face not only to survive but to maintain their wellbeing, peace of mind, and even the simplest of human rights: for families to remain together.
Published by Beaver’s Pond Press in December 2020, Warda: My Journey from the Horn of Africa to a College Education by Warda Mohamed Abdullahi is available for purchase now.
FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.