Nicknamed the American Lottery Ticket Winner Abdi Nor Iftin is Now American


Abdi Nor Iftin came of age in war-torn Mogadishu, where the other boys called him “the American” because of his grasp of idiomatic English and his all-consuming obsession with our culture. He endured daily whippings at the local madrassa and bouts of near starvation during the chaotic depths of the Somalia’s ongoing 26-year civil war, all the while clinging to a conviction that puzzled his compatriots. Iftin believed from adolescence onward that he was meant to be—and in a deeper sense already was—what his friends jokingly called him, and what he would one day officially become: American.

Though deserving of a green card as Iftin may seem, the randomness of his winning the lottery, In 2013, when he was 28, isn’t lost on him, either reports The Weekly Standard staff writer staff writer Alice B Lloyd in a piece titled Abdi Iftin’s new memoir presents a case for the green card lottery.