Author is mostly known for

  • Dr Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe is a Somali human rights activist and physician. She is the founder and chairperson of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation (DHAF), a non-profit organization.
  • She created a refugee camp within her compound and shelter 90,000 lives not far from Mogadishu these last twenty years.

Others publications 

None. Author is not a full-time writer.


  • In 2007, Abdi was named Hiiraan Online’s Person of the Year. Glamour magazine later named her and her two daughters among its 2010 “Women of the Year”.
  • In 2012, Abdi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She also received the Women of Impact Award from the WITW Foundation, BET’s Social Humanitarian Award,and the John Jay Medal for Justice.

Source: Wikipedia

Author whereabouts 

 She is the founder and chairperson of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation (DHAF), a non-profit organization.


The moving memoir of one brave woman who, along with her daughters, has kept 90,000 of her fellow citizens safe, healthy, and educated for over 20 years in Somalia. 

Dr. Hawa Abdi, “the Mother Teresa of Somalia” and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is the founder of a massive camp for internally displaced people located a few miles from war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia. Since 1991, when the Somali government collapsed, famine struck, and aid groups fled, she has dedicated herself to providing help for people whose lives have been shattered by violence and poverty. She turned her 1300 acres of farmland into a camp that has numbered up to 90,000 displaced people, ignoring the clan lines that have often served to divide the country. She inspired her daughters, Deqo and Amina, to become doctors. Together, they have saved tens of thousands of lives in her hospital, while providing an education to hundreds of displaced children. 

In 2010, Dr. Abdi was kidnapped by radical insurgents, who also destroyed much of her hospital, simply because she was a woman. She, along with media pressure, convinced the rebels to let her go, and she demanded and received a written apology.

Dr. Abdi’s story of incomprehensible bravery and perseverance will inspire readers everywhere.

Key themes/Topics

  •  Somalia civil war
  • Somalia’s dictatorship
  • Activism
  • Refugee camp management
  • The rise of the warlords in Somalia
  • The rise of Islamic fundamentalism
  • The role of activists in Africa
  • The role of physician in civil war and armed conflicts
  • The story of resilient and courage
  • The role of Women in Africa

I found strange


I found brilliant

The book is structured around Somalia’s history. While Dr Abdi is telling her story, the reader is experiencing Somalia’s troubled story, from the time of the Italian colonizers, to the decolonization, to the dictatorship of Siaad Barre, to that of the warlords,  to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, to the current situation of  “failed state”. There were a time, not so long ago, when Somalia was a regular country with regular people doing regular things like going to school and living.

What to expect

I discovered Dr Abdi and her two daughters on BET. They were honoured at the annual bBack Girls Rock award function. What to expect?

Well, watch this great presentation of their work on BET’s #BlackGirlsRock Website – click here.

I was absolutely amazed by the incredible story of a woman made of steel I would say. Her determination and independence in a place like Somalia, who has been associated with much negativity and subdued women, is very inspiring.

I recommend this book! In fact, this book is a must for people who want to see change in Africa. And, oh, please donate to help these women: http://www.dhaf.org .

Have you read this book? Please share you thoughts with us.