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National Writers Series: An Evening with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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Published on Jan 4, 2013

Political Activist and Best-Selling Author of Infidel with guest host Jack Segal -
top NATO Adviser on Afghanistan and Former U.S. Diplomat. As one of today's most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following the 2004 murder of her colleague, Theo van Gogh, at the hands of a religious fundamentalist. Ayaan was immediately forced into hiding, having written the screenplay for Theo's Submission, a fierce 11-minute critique of Islam. The treatment of women in the Islamic religion has been a clarion call for the Somolia-born Ayaan. At age 22, she fled to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage to a stranger. Her move to this secular, democratic country proved a pivotal turning point in her life. She began advocating for downtrodden women, attended college and was elected to the Dutch parliament.
Ayaan's memoir Infidel was an international best-seller, praised by The New York Times as "brave, inspiring and beautifully written." A second book, Nomad, follows Ayaan as she leaves behind the emotional roller coaster of her life in Europe and takes on the new challenge of helping Americans acknowledge the challenge of radical Islam. Now a U.S. resident with her husband, well-known British historian Niall Ferguson, Ayaan is the founder of the AHA Foundation, which works to "protect and defend the rights of women and girls in the West from oppression justified by religion and culture."
During this evening, co-sponsored with the International Affairs Forum, Ayaan will be in conversation with foreign policy expert Jack Segal. This is sure to be an evening during which the world's headlines come to life on the NWS stage. Be prepared for a riveting conversation between the two on faith, women, politics, religion and culture in a changing century.

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