AHA Foundation Founder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is known as a women’s rights activist, champion of free speech, and best-selling author.
She is also known as someone who speaks truth to power.


AHA Foundation Founder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is known as a women’s rights activist, champion of free speech, and best-selling author.
She is also known as someone who speaks truth to power.

 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and founder of the AHA Foundation. Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, she was a Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University, and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Ayaan’s journey began in Somalia in 1969 where, as a young girl, she was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). From very early on, she questioned the subjugation of women she saw all around her; while listening to a sermon on the many ways women should be obedient to their husbands, she couldn't resist asking, "Must our husbands obey us too?”

Ayaan’s path led her many places, but upon being forced by her father to marry a distant cousin, she fled to Holland and claimed political asylum. Once there, she worked her way up from being a janitor to serving as an elected member of the Dutch parliament. As a member of parliament, she campaigned to raise awareness of violence against women, including honor killings and FGM, practices that had followed her fellow immigrants into Holland.

In 2004, Ayaan gained international attention following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed her short film, Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin left a death threat for her pinned to Van Gogh's chest. This tragic event, and Ayaan’s life leading up to it, are all chronicled in her best-selling book, Infidel.

Ayaan has shown great courage, risking her life to expose the violence she sees around her. But she has done more than speak out. Ayaan has connected her life experiences, and the attention she garnered, to the AHA Foundation. She took action to protect women and girls from the violence she - and so many others - faced.

She has written several books including Infidel (2007), Nomad: from Islam to America, a Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations (2010), Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (2015) and The Challenge of Dawa (2017). Her next book Prey will be published by Harper Collins in 2020.

She received her Master’s degree in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and founder of the AHA Foundation. Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, she was a Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University, and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Ayaan’s journey began in Somalia in 1969 where, as a young girl, she was subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). From very early on, she questioned the subjugation of women she saw all around her; while listening to a sermon on the many ways women should be obedient to their husbands, she couldn't resist asking, "Must our husbands obey us too?”

Ayaan’s path led her many places, but upon being forced by her father to marry a distant cousin, she fled to Holland and claimed political asylum. Once there, she worked her way up from being a janitor to serving as an elected member of the Dutch parliament. As a member of parliament, she campaigned to raise awareness of violence against women, including honor killings and FGM, practices that had followed her fellow immigrants into Holland.

In 2004, Ayaan gained international attention following the murder of Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh had directed her short film, Submission, a film about the oppression of women under Islam. The assassin left a death threat for her pinned to Van Gogh's chest. This tragic event, and Ayaan’s life leading up to it, are all chronicled in her best-selling book, Infidel.

Ayaan has shown great courage, risking her life to expose the violence she sees around her. But she has done more than speak out. Ayaan has connected her life experiences, and the attention she garnered, to the AHA Foundation. She took action to protect women and girls from the violence she - and so many others - faced.

She has written several books including Infidel (2007), Nomad: from Islam to America, a Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations (2010), Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (2015) and The Challenge of Dawa (2017). Her next book Prey will be published by Harper Collins in 2020.

She received her Master’s degree in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Donate