Author, Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali to Speak

Somali/Dutch author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be the featured speaker for this year's Phi Beta Kappa Speakers Series lecture at Occidental College.

Hirsi Ali will speak Friday, April 8 about her latest book, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations.

A relentless champion of free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali is one of today's most admired and controversial public figures. An emigrant to the Netherlands, she served in the Dutch Parliament for three years and wrote the script for Submission, a short film about the oppression of women in Islamic cultures. The 2004 murder of the film's director, Theo van Gogh, by an Islamic extremist thrust her into the spotlight and 24-hour police protection.

She made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from her parliamentary post. Under constant threat, demonized by reactionary Islamists and politicians, disowned by her father and expelled from family and clan, she refuses to be silenced.

Hirsi Ali has been honored as one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People," a Glamour Magazine Hero, and as Reader's Digest's European of the Year. Praised as "required reading for everyone everywhere," her internationally acclaimed memoir Infidel has been called "one of the most amazing adventure narratives of the age of mass migration."

Currently a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, Hirsi Ali will sign copies of her new book from 4:30 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. and will speak at 5:30 p.m. in Johnson Hall 200. No reservations are required for the free lecture, but seating is limited.

The Occidental Phi Beta Kappa Speakers Series is underwritten by the Ruenitz Trust Endowment in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Ruenitz. Past speakers include physician and anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, philosopher Judith Butler, author Jonathan Kozol, and scientist Bill Nye.

For directions to the College, visit Parking is available in the visitors parking lot.

For more information, contact Amy Reyes at (323) 259-1456 or