Ali belongs to a camel-herding family, in a Somali society riven by ancient clan rivalries. When rival clan members kill his father, Ali goes away to the nearby town. The ruling government, however, is a different clan, and soon Ali is arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. He flees to Toronto, and forms relationships, but gets trapped in the clan culture that has followed him.
Nur Abdi grew up in the territory now known as Somaliland. In the 1980s, when a civil war was raging in Somalia, he sought refuge in Canada where he became a citizen in 1994 and has lived there ever since. Opposing the repressive government ruling Somalia at the time, Abdi wrote articles in newspapers and magazines. This is his first book. He lives in Toronto.