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A Man of Good Hope

A Man of Good Hope In January when civil war came to Mogadishu the capital of Somalia two thirds of the city s population fled Among them was eight year old Asad Abdullahi His mother murdered by a militia his f

  • Title: A Man of Good Hope
  • Author: Jonny Steinberg
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 129
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • In January 1991, when civil war came to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, two thirds of the city s population fled Among them was eight year old Asad Abdullahi His mother murdered by a militia, his father somewhere in hiding, he was swept alone into the great wartime migration that scattered the Somali people throughout sub Saharan Africa and the world.This extraordinarIn January 1991, when civil war came to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, two thirds of the city s population fled Among them was eight year old Asad Abdullahi His mother murdered by a militia, his father somewhere in hiding, he was swept alone into the great wartime migration that scattered the Somali people throughout sub Saharan Africa and the world.This extraordinary book tells Asad s story Serially betrayed by the people who promised to care for him, Asad lived his childhood at a skeptical remove from the adult world, his relation to others wary and tactical He lived in a bewildering number of places, from the cosmopolitan streets of inner city Nairobi to the desert towns deep in the Ethiopian hinterland.By the time he reached the cusp of adulthood, Asad had honed an array of wily talents At the age of seventeen, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, he made good as a street hustler, brokering relationships between hard nosed businessmen and bewildered Somali refugees He also courted the famously beautiful Foosiya, and, to the astonishment of his peers, seduced and married her.Buoyed by success in work and in love, Asad put twelve hundred dollars in his pocket and made his way down the length of the African continent to Johannesburg, South Africa, whose streets he believed to be lined with gold And so began a shocking adventure in a country richer and violent than he could possibly have imagined.A Man of Good Hope is the story of a person shorn of the things we have come to believe make us human personal possessions, parents, siblings And yet Asad s is an intensely human life, one suffused with dreams and desires and a need to leave something permanent on this earth.From the Hardcover edition.

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    1 thought on “A Man of Good Hope

    1. xenophobia is a product of citizenship, the claiming of a new birthright. Finally, we belong here, and that means you do not.The first thing I want to say is that I loved the writing style of this memoir. The author is very clear about what was said by Asad, and what was interpreted by him, the writer. In this way I think we get more from the telling than if it was written by Asad himself, there is enough distance between the feeling and the writing to try and make sense of what is being told. T [...]

    2. When Steinberg first meets Asad, the Somali man whose life Steinberg has chosen to help explain the extreme black-on-black violence South Africa experienced in 2008, Asad is living in Blikkiesdorp. Blikkiesdorp in English is called Tin Can Town because of its sixteen hundred identical one-room tin living structures laid out in sixteen identical square blocks. It was erected to house families evicted from homes they occupied illegally. Blikkiesdorp is thirty kilometers from Cape Town, separated b [...]

    3. My first review. I choose this one because i hope this book will get some more attention as i think it deserves it!The story is about a resilient young man named Asad. He spend most of his live finding a place where he can settle down and be safe from harm. From Somalia to South Africa everywhere he goes he needs to find a way to survive. I felt inspired from his actions and his way of getting over things.My trip to South Africa made me feel a bit like Asad must have felt. A lot of hatred aroun [...]

    4. An excellent book! Well researched with unbelievable insight and sensitivity for all the cultures involved in this story. The story is told through the eyes of the people involved while walking in their shoes. Some parts of the story do make your jaw drop and pull at your heart strings. After I read this book I felt like I had been on a journey of epic proportions and crossed the barriers of culture, language, war, and geography. I would rate this book a 10 out of five. I cannot say enough good [...]

    5. how to make sense of the insensible that is war refugees 'illegal' immigration racism outsiders extreme poverty hope, that is what author steinberg does chronicling the epic life of somalian asad as he loses his family when very young and eventually makes it to south africa and tries to live in hopei think maybe a unique bio in its breadth of emotion detail and sheer epic humanness

    6. A Man of Good Hope by Jonny Steinberg A Man of Good Hope is the story of a Somalian child who at the age of eight was left an orphan when his mother was murdered in front of him and his father was forced into hiding. I followed his migration from Ethiopia to Somalia, to Kenya, to South Africa and finally to the United States. In South Africa his dream for freedom and prosperity was short lived as he was met with more violence and xenophobia. He was placed in Blikkiesdorp, “described as cape To [...]

    7. Jonny Steinberg is doing what he does best: Describing the South African condition with precise insight and a writer’s flair. I can’t remember the question I asked him as we sat down to talk, but my notes contain his pithy answer: “There’s this in-between state of knowing and not knowing at the same time and so much of South African life is lived in that state.” I was talking to him in the lounge of Rosebank’s Park Hyatt hotel, home of deal-makers, socially-networking functionaries, [...]

    8. The first word that comes to mind when I think of Somalia is pirates. I was completely unaware of the huge amount of Somalis in SA and just how much they were the targets of the xenophobic attacks of 2008.My feelings about illegal immigrants are in complete juxtaposition. Yes they are non-tax paying and illegal which puts a strain on a country’s infrastructure, public services, job opportunities and is a headache for even the most bountiful first world country’s political and socio economic [...]

    9. I'm not up for a review, but this is an astonishingly good book about the travails of a Somali youngster, "kicked like a stone in a road", all the way down the African continent. No feel good story, this has loss, I'll-feeling and foul play in at least equal measure to resilience, tenacity and will. It left me with no great impression of my countrymen, by with vast respect for the ties of kinship that support any diaspora. I heartily recommend it.

    10. The story of Asad, a Somali immigrant in South Africa as told to a journalist and writer.It was amazing to travel with him from the moment he has to leave Mogadishu, hope and fear along with him and get angry at the unfair turns his life sometimes took I appreciated instances of his insight and morality- such as when he comments on the position of women in Somali society, when he is ashamed of his community's ostracisation of people from an 'unclean/rootless' clan.Also revealing was to see place [...]

    11. I won this book in a first reads giveaway and initially I could not get into it. I forced myself to focus and to read just a little more and I became hooked. This story is so tragic and almost unbelievable to someone living outside of the world in which Asad lived. To imagine the loss and fear that he must have endured on a daily basis for the majority of his adolescence, it put my own life and my blessings into perspective while making me mourn for him and his lack of stability. I could not ima [...]

    12. This is not an easy book to read. Man's inhumanity to man is very hard to stomach. However, the mere fact that this man of good hope will receive royalties from this book is reason enough to buy and to read it. A must read!

    13. If St. Cloud, Minnesota ever does a "One City, One Book" program, it should be with this book. This book, which preserves the voice and experience of a young Somali refugee, will do a lot to shatter stereotypes and ignorance about our Somali neighbors.

    14. Brilliant in every way. A poignant telling of an immigrant's story. I felt equally hopeful and hopeless about Africa. So well-written.

    15. There is none so honest and sober like a Jonny Steinberg book. A Man of Good Hope did not disappoint, in fact it was a welcoming chance to see myself as part of a community once on the receiving end of the cruel Apartheid system and later complicit and a silent spectator to the senseless Xenophobic attacks by South Africans on African foreign nationals. I never felt more convinced - (albeit in an idealistic naive way) - that Africa should be a country and not a continent. The author's account of [...]

    16. 4.5 stars.I liked this book on so many levels. First, I’m always a fan of this author, so I have a bias going in. But this book really does a great job of using the life of one Somali man as a microcosm of the refugee experience for Somalis fleeing to every corner in Africa - being stateless and wandering the continent trying to make a living, and being hard scrabble enough to be successful even after starting over time after time.Plus, in this particular case, the subject made his way to Sout [...]

    17. Important as I feel that it is to tell the refugee story, for the most part I am no longer able to read many accounts of refugees; the horror of their lives overwhelms me and I find myself burrowing into a hole and have no idea how to help. This book is different (thank you, Peggy). Certainly the horrors are there, but Asad manages to find the resilience to carry on. I think much of the credit for the readability of the book is that the author is part of the story. Steinberg is very aware of the [...]

    18. This feels like the book version of The Wire. It's gripping, fascinating, well-done, sympathetic and makes you never, ever want to set foot in Baltimore. I mean South Africa.This non-fiction book follows Asad as he flees violence in Somalia and gets separated from his family at a young age. He becomes part of the Somali diaspora and wanders the continent with no real purpose. That's not meant as a dig but rather to explain that the book is as much about his coming of age as it is about the extr [...]

    19. If you want to know about the “other side of the story” then this is the book for you. As a South African living in Cape Town and working in the CBD, I’m exposed to various people, cultures and accents on a daily basis. In a country with 11 official languages it’s still easy to spot a foreign national, either by their accent or clothes, I can point them out. I hear locals talking about how “they are taking our jobs” and “bringing in crime”, but do we really know what they have be [...]

    20. A hauntingly beautiful book that left me in tears, speechless and galvanised. I want everyone I know to read this book. If you have any interest in humans, I can't see how you would fail to be affected by the story of Asad. I was incredibly moved by the life story of Asad himself, someone of a similar age to myself but whose life could not be more different. I was also impressed by the authors ability to humanise the 'plight of the refugee'. As the (disgusting) furore over the past few years reg [...]

    21. I was enthralled by this account of a young Somali man's life, as he drifted from Somalia to Kenya and then South Africa, after being orphaned at 5 and abandoned soon after. Through this narrative you get a glimpse of what it is like to be a refugee. Asad is not an extraordinary figure with some special talents or gifts, but he's both thoughtful and skilled at finding his way, and you see him somehow surviving the harrowing ordeals of his everyday life to become an adept young man. The author ha [...]

    22. An incredible, gut-wrenching, hard to read but important story. You cannot fully appreciate the privileges of your life until you understand the hardships of others. Reading this story will give you a greater depth of compassion for people from war-torn countries and the challenges they have overcome to arrive where they are. The writing was dense, I would read a page and it felt like 10. I would put it down for a week or two at a time. It was so weighty. But I'm glad I persevered to the end. Th [...]

    23. I am left with the feeling that the painful telling of this book had a profound impact on Jonny Steinberg, the journalist to whom Asad Abdullahi reveals his life's journey from Mogadishu to Cape Town. I think Steinberg must have a heavy heart from hearing and tracing Asad's narrative.For me, I have a deeper understanding of the outsider, the African foreign national, living in South Africa after apartheid. I know someone from West Africa who ended up in rural South Africa and never found that ti [...]

    24. I finished this book last night and Ist be honest it has left me quite despondent. heavy subject matter certainly (deals with war in Africa and displacement and xenophobic violence ). so maybe I shouldn't be surprised.but I felt no hope after reading this book. it was a bleak picture of south Africa. I didn't like thateresting story and interesting way of writing (journalist interviews) but in no way happy reading

    25. The chronicle of one man's haphazard life from Mogadishu to Kansas City. The story itself fascinating, especially in a portrait of the kind of decision fatigure that makes one wonder "What was he thinking?" in terms of certain decisions. While I couldn't stop reading, I can't say it's an enjoyable read, or that I was engaged by the style, I just wanted to know what happened to Asad.

    26. Fascinating. Difficult to read at times, but really compelling. Very well researched and written by the author.

    27. Books that make my favorites list are few and far between so I am always happy to find one that qualifies. A Man of Good Hope makes the grade because it is well written, unusual, thought provoking, interesting and educational. Author Jonny Steinberg crafted this true story after a series of extensive interviews with a young Somali named Asad Abdullahi. In the book, we learn of Asad's extensive journey and tribulations as an refugee through many African countries. The book is also timely given th [...]

    28. Volgens de agenda van Jonny Steinberg reed hij op 24 september 2010 naar Blikkiesdorp in Zuid-Afrika om de Somalische Asad te interviewen voor een verhaal over de mensen die in mei 2008 uit Kaapstad waren gevlucht na de geweldsuitbarsting tegen buitenlanders die in Zuid Afrika woonden. Deze periode wilde hij vergelijken met gebeurtenissen van vijftig jaar eerder. Het werd echter een heel ander boek dan dat hij in gedachten had. Tijdens zijn gesprek met Asad kreeg hij de ingeving om het verhaal o [...]

    29. Somalian refugee Asad's dogged faith and courage through an unending series of cruel disasters is chronicled with honesty and directness in this amazing book spanning Africa from Ethiopia to Cape Town.According to Steinberg, Somalis stand out in their commitment to building a better future for their descendants with a vision seven generations hence. Certainly Asad works with that kind of vision, astoundingly focused in the midst of cruelty and depredation first from Somalis in Mogadishu, then Ke [...]

    30. Sensitively written, this book really tugged at my heart strings. I have always marvelled at the resilience and determination of all these African people who survive the most awful circumstances in their countries of birth and then make their way – often on foot – to South Africa. I just can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose one’s family, one’s home and all that is familiar to one! A very interesting book and a worthwhile read.

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