A Man of Good Hope

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Date & Time: Tuesday 14 April 2015, 18:30-20:30

Venue: Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Listen to podcast

Speakers: Jonny Steinberg, author & Associate Professor in African Criminology, Oxford University and Ismail Einashe, journalist. Chaired by: Michela Wrong, writer & journalist


When Asad was eight years old, his mother was shot in front of him. With his father in hiding, he was swept alone into the great wartime migration that has scattered the Somali people throughout the world.

This extraordinary book by Jonny Steinberg tells Asad’s story. Serially betrayed by the people who promised to care for him, Asad lived his childhood at a sceptical removed from the adult world, living in a bewildering number of places, from the cosmopolitan streets of inner-city Nairobi to towns deep in the Ethiopian desert.

By the time he reached the cusp of adulthood, Asad had made good as a street hustler, brokering relationships between hardnosed Ethiopian businessmen and bewildered Somali refugees. He also courted the famously beautiful Foosiya, and married her, to the astonishment of his peers.

Buoyed by success in work and in love, Asad put $1,200 in his pocket and made his way down the length of the African continent to Johannesburg, whose streets he believed to be lined with gold. So began an adventure in a country richer and more violent than he could possibly have imagined.

Join the author and our panel as they discuss this powerful book documenting the impact of the Somali civil war on one man, who having been shorn of the things we have come to believe make us human, shares his dreams and desires and a need to leave something of permanence on this earth.


Copies of 'A Man of Good Hope' will be available.



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