When civil war came to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in January 1991, 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. Tossed from one catastrophe to another, Asad’s journey covers countries and continents, from the cosmopolitan streets of inner-city Nairobi to the Ethiopian hinterland; and the promises and pitfalls of Johannesburg, South Africa, whose streets he believed would be lined with gold. Thus begins a shocking adventure in a country richer and more violent than he could possibly have imagined, leading to the final coda of America. Throughout, A Man of Good Hope is a complex, affecting, ultimately hopeful portrait of Asad’s search for salvation, suffused with dreams and desires and a need to leave something permanent on this earth.