HarperCollins | June 1, 2015 | 304 pages

An inspirational and uplifting memoir, this is the story of an optimistic man and his journey of struggle, hardship and survival against the odds. Abdi's world fell apart when he was only thirteen and his home was destroyed in Somalia's vicious civil war. Effectively an orphan, he fled Mogadishu with 300 others and headed to Kenya. On the way, death squads hunted them and they daily faced violence, danger and starvation. After almost four months, they arrived in Kenya - of the three hundred that set out, only five had survived. All alone in the world, Abdi made his way first back to Mogadishu, to search for his family, then onto Romania, where he lived for a time with gypsies, then to Germany. He was fifteen years old when he arrived in Melbourne. He had no English, family or friends. Homeless for the first year, he slept in churches and mosques. One lunchtime, he was bashed by three men in suits in Melbourne's CBD. Yet, against these odds, he survived. In fact, he's done more than just survive. Abdi went on to complete secondary education and attended university. He became a youth worker, was acknowledged with the 2007 Victorian Refugee Recognition Award and was featured in the SBS second series of Go Back to Where You Came From. Despite what he has suffered, Abdi is the most extraordinary and inspiring man, who is constantly thankful for his life and what he has. Along his journey, Abdi met many, many other refugees. He knows quite a few who, faced with the same circumstances that he did, did not make it. Some died, some gave up, some committed suicide, and some became bitter. Abdi did not. Everything he has endured and achieved is testament to his quiet strength and courage, his resilience and most of all, his shining and enduring optimism.

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ISBN: 9780732299842

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