Abdi Aden was only 13 when the civil war broke out in Somalia. At 15, he fled.
Mr Aden never spoke about the tragedies he witnessed en route to Australia, where he arrived as an asylum seeker in 1992.
But the Craigieburn man recently released his debut book,
Shining: The story of a lucky man, which tells his life story – even the parts he has never told his family.
“There’s a few reasons why I wrote this book,” Mr Aden says. “One was to explain how refugees don’t just leave their country for no reason.
“Two: not many people know about Somalia. Somalia used to be very good and had a very strong culture. And three: I wanted my family to know where I came from. It was very hard to actually do it. It wasn’t easy to talk about things happening to me. It was one of the best but hardest things I’ve done.”
Mr Aden lays bare everything in his book – the pitfalls, successes, triumphs, tribulations and heartaches. But as a Somali man, he says it wasn’t easy opening up about all these.
“I challenged myself as a person because, being a Somali man, we don’t talk about things that happen to us.
At an Author’s Talk at Caroline Springs library next Monday, Mr Aden will share exactly what a Somali man usually doesn’t – his story.