World Refugee Day with Shugri Said Salh - The Last Nomad

Friday, June 17, 6pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page
Missouri Office of Refugee Administration's Facebook Live Page
Left Bank Books and Missouri Office of Refugee Administration (MO-ORA) welcome award winning author
Shugri Said Salh,
for a special event to honor
World Refugee Day!
Shugri Said Salh will discuss her award winning memoir,
The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert,
on our Facebook or YouTube Live Page & MO-ORA's Facebook Live Page at 6pm CT on June 17th.
Join us on YouTube or Facebook and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
Shugri Said Salh was born in the Somali desert. In 1992, she immigrated to North America after civil war broke out in her home country. She attended nursing school at Pacific Union College and graduated with honors. Although this is her first book, Salh has been storytelling since she could talk. From her grandmother and the nomadic community in which she was raised, she heard stories and learned of their power to entertain, teach, and transform. When she isn't writing or telling stories, she works as an infusion nurse. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and three children.


A remarkable and inspiring true story that "stuns with raw beauty" about one woman's resilience, her courageous journey to America, and her family's lost way of life.

Winner of the 2022 Gold Nautilus Award, Multicultural & Indigenous Category

Born in Somalia, a spare daughter in a large family, Shugri Said Salh was sent at age six to live with her nomadic grandmother in the desert. The last of her family to learn this once-common way of life, Salh found herself chasing warthogs, climbing termite hills, herding goats, and moving constantly in search of water and grazing lands with her nomadic family. For Salh, though the desert was a harsh place threatened by drought, predators, and enemy clans, it also held beauty, innovation, centuries of tradition, and a way for a young Sufi girl to learn courage and independence from a fearless group of relatives. Salh grew to love the freedom of roaming with her animals and the powerful feeling of community found in nomadic rituals and the oral storytelling of her ancestors.

As she came of age, though, both she and her beloved Somalia were forced to confront change, violence, and instability. Salh writes with engaging frankness and a fierce feminism of trying to break free of the patriarchal beliefs of her culture, of her forced female genital mutilation, of the loss of her mother, and of her growing need for independence. Taken from the desert by her strict father and then displaced along with millions of others by the Somali Civil War, Salh fled first to a refugee camp on the Kenyan border and ultimately to North America to learn yet another way of life.

Readers will fall in love with Salh on the page as she tells her inspiring story about leaving Africa, learning English, finding love, and embracing a new horizon for herself and her family. Honest and tender, The Last Nomad is a riveting coming-of-age story of resilience, survival, and the shifting definitions of home.

"Salh's prose radiates with deep empathy and sensitivity, a reflection of the gift for storytelling she inherited from her poet grandmother. This stuns with its raw beauty." --Publishers Weekly

"A brilliant and riveting book . . . The Last Nomad introduces the reader to the real lives in Somalia and the resilience of its people not only inside the nation but beyond." --Abdi Nor Iftin, author of Call Me American

"Shugri Salh's The Last Nomad is a fascinating look at a disappearing culture. It's told from the perspective of a girl growing into womanhood in a place where women's value and virtue hinges on the actions of men. Salh's stories of bravery and resilience intersplice with those of everyday joy and struggle. They show her forever navigating the place where two worlds collide with grace and skill, as perhaps only a nomad can." --Tracey Baptiste, author of The Jumbies and African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History



The Missouri Office of Refugee Administration (MO-ORA) is a private non-profit arm of the International Institute of St. Louis. MO-ORA was selected by the federal Office of Refugee Administration (ORR) to be the Replacement Designee that administers the refugee resettlement program for the state of Missouri, beginning May 1, 2018.

As Replacement Designee, MO-ORA is responsible for various components of refugee resettlement, such as Refugee Cash Assistance and Refugee Support Services programs, including Youth Mentoring, Services to Older Refugees and Refugee School Impact. MO-ORA subcontracts and/or partners with local refugee resettlement programs throughout the state, as well as Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to ensure access to resources needed to help ORR-serviced populations rebuild their lives.


You can watch live on Left Bank's YouTube channel. To participate on Facebook, log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or MO-ORA's Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You can watch on either location without logging in, but in order to comment or interact with the program, you must be logged in.

Virtual Event
The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert By Shugri Said Salh Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643750675
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Algonquin Books - August 3rd, 2021

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Last Nomad: Coming of Age in the Somali Desert By Shugri Said Salh Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643752563
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - July 19th, 2022