From Somalia with Love by Na'ima Bint Robert

From Somalia with Love

Written by Na'ima Bint Robert

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

An astonishing debut that interweaves quite brilliantly the modern Muslim world of a Somali girl brought up in London with that of a father who has spent his daughter’s whole life fighting in Somalia. After 12 years away he must build up a relationship and a friendship with a child he doesn’t know. Authentic and heart-warming it deals brilliantly with war, separation and friendship, as well as giving readers an insight into contemporary British life for a Somali family.


From Somalia with Love by Na'ima Bint Robert

"My name is Safia Dirie. My family has always been my mum, Hoyo, and my two older brothers, Ahmed and Abdullahi. I don't really remember Somalia - I'm an East London girl, through and through. But now Abo, my father, is coming from Somalia to live with us, after 12 long years. How am I going to cope?" Safia knows that there will be changes ahead but nothing has prepared her for the reality of dealing with Abo's cultural expectations, her favourite brother Ahmed's wild ways, and the temptation of her cousin Firdous's party-girl lifestyle. Safia must come to terms with who she is, as a Muslim, as a teenager, as a poet, as a friend, but most of as a daughter to a father she has never known. Safia must find her own place in the world, so both father and daughter can start to build the relationship they both long for.


An engagingly perplexing book that represents different cultures as more syrtic than solid, and individual identity as a process of life-long struggle between these cultures. While focusing on Somali experiences within has relevance for anybody affected by frictions between age and group loyalties. That must include all of us. Books for Keeps The strong story of Safia's quest to discover who she is means that From Somalia With Love, will, I am sure strike a resonance with many of today's teenagers. School Librarian The story proceeds as a sensitive, sometimes painful, examination of this coming to terms [with her father coming home] and the disturbances it makes, both domestically and in wider society, for Safia and her family... Warm engaging and intensely thought-provoking [with] the power to widen horizons and increase understanding of the richness of contemporary Britain's various cultures. It should be widely read. Carousel A vivid and sympathetic novel written from the view point of a teenage girl who has many different perspectives to intergrate into her life: not only those of her own personal development and identity, but also those of her Somali family following their reunion after a long separation caused by civil war. The adjustments to be made of settling in a country that is not their homeland are clearly described and also the importance of maintaining cultural, traditional and religious ways of life. The integration into the general narrative of unfamiliar words and phrases gives authenticity to the reader's experience, comprehension being assured by the provision of an extensive glossary. Ibby Link This book will engage teenagers of all cultures. The author, Na'ima B. Robert, succeeds in maintaining the suspense about which pathway Safia will choose and gives a valuable insight into the family-centric Somalian culture. Safia is an engaging heroine with whom girls will idenntify. This is an excellent debut novel which should become a firm favourite. Ink Pellet Does a good job of showing the richness of Somali culture as something positive and separate from the war that has torn the country apart for decades. A unique title. School Library Journal Encourages Muslim teens living in Western societies to be proud of their differences and to embrace Islam as part of their individuality, and through Safia's story, readers will come to see Islam not just as a set of practices but instead as a way of life. Muslim Voices (USA)

About the Author

Na’ima B. Robert, born in Leeds and raised in Zimbabwe, is descended from Scottish Highlanders on her father’s side and the Zulu people on her mother’s side. She went on to gain a first class degree from the university of London. Having worked in marketing, the performing arts, teaching and the travel and tourism industry, she now has a wonderful time being a mum, running a magazine and writing children’s books. She divides her time between Egypt and the U.K.

Na’ima has been fascinated by Somali culture ever since her first encounter with immigrant Somali students in East London. The idea for From Somalia With Love came to her on a weekend retreat for Somali youth. It is her first novel for teenagers.

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Book Info


160 pages
Interest Age: From 13


Na'ima Bint Robert
More books by Na'ima Bint Robert

Author's Website


Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

19th June 2008




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