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Ayaan Hirsi Ali


Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia, raised a Muslim, and spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia.

In 1992 she went to the Netherlands as a refugee, escaping a forced marriage to a distant cousin she had never met. She learned Dutch and worked as an interpreter, completed a degree in political science, and then worked for the Labor Party. She denounced Islam after the September 11 terrorist attacks and became a member of the Dutch Parliament, fighting for the rights of Muslim women in Europe, the enlightenment of Islam, and security in the West. She is the author of Infidel and The Caged Virgin.This June sees the release of her new book, Nomad.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.