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Sep 22, 2018
(cancelled) Abdi Nor Iftin
Call Me American
Saturday, September 22, 2018, 7:30PM
Washington Hall (First Hill)

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. All ticket buyers will be refunded automatically.

Town Hall acts as a community convener—a place where people and other institutions can come together and introduce ideas for broad public consideration. With Abdi Nor Iftin, we had hoped to facilitate a conversation in partnership with Forterra and representatives of the local Somali community. As our partners withdrew from the event, it became apparent that the event as envisioned was no longer possible.

Town Hall’s decision to cancel should not be construed as a judgment of Abdi Nor Iftin, of the veracity of the claims made within or against his book, or as a response to the phone calls and e-mails we received regarding his appearance. This program has been canceled because the event we agreed to host could no longer take place.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to

Abdi Nor Iftin was just 6 years old when civil war consumed his country, forcing his family to flee. As they eked by in a dangerous slum in Kenya, Abdi nurtured a dream of moving to the U.S., teaching himself English on an endless diet of American movies. Then—as recounted in “Abdi’s Golden Ticket” on WBEZ’s This American Life—he got his wish. In conversation with Somali-American filmmaker and storyteller Fathia Absie, Abdi joins us on Town Hall’s stage to share his story. He details how, against incredible odds, he won a spot in the U.S. green card lottery (or, officially, the Diversity Visa Program).

Abdi offers us the story contained in his memoir Call Me American, recounting a journey fraught with many obstacles including callous bureaucrats, brushes with death, and fast-changing geopolitics. Sit in as Abdi Nor Iftin speaks with Fathia Absie about his path to the U.S., and how America is—and isn’t—what he expected.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.


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