Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In Conversation

With Val Zavala

May 24, 2010

8 P.M.

Bergamont Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Bldg C-1
Santa Monica, CA

One of today’s most admired and controversial figures, AYAAN HIRSI ALI captured the world’s attention with her memoir Infidel—a #1 bestseller in Europe and a New York Times bestseller for more than a year. She has been profiled in The New York Times Magazine and New Yorker and on 60 Minutes, and has been honored as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and Reader’s Digest’s European of the Year. Richard Dawkins calls her a “major hero of our time.”

In her new book, Nomad, Hirsi Ali describes her search for a new life in America while reconciling the complex contradictions of her Islamic past and her Enlightenment beliefs. If Infidel was Hirsi Ali’s intellectual coming-of-age memoir, Nomad is a memoir with a message—and an urgent mission…a combination of her dramatic personal experiences and stories with riveting exhortations and stirring calls to action. She shares her commitment to Western values as she adapts to life in the United States, her renewed contact with members of her family (including her deathbed reconciliation with the father who disowned her), and her work to alert the West to the threats from Islam from inside and outside our societies.

“The West,” she says, “urgently needs to compete with the jihadis—the proponents of ‘holy war’—for the hearts and minds of its own Muslim immigrant populations. It needs to provide education directed at breaking the spell of the infallible Prophet, protect women from the oppressive dictates of the Quran and promote alternative sources of spirituality.”

VAL ZAVALA is an anchor/reporter for KCET’s weekly newsmagazine, SoCal Connected. She has been at KCET since 1987. For the past sixteen years, Zavala was a vital part of the award-winning series Life & Times, serving as an anchor, co-anchor and reporter. Life & Times won 25 L.A. Area Emmys and 30 Golden Mikes. Zavala has covered major issues impacting Southern California politics, education, healthcare, environment, demographics, and growth. She has also profiled dozens of Southern California’s elected officials, activists, artists, and thinkers making a difference in our communities.

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