Her family moved around Africa when she a child, including stops in Kenya and Ethiopia. She was granted political asylum in The Netherlands in 1992, and was elected to the lower house of the Dutch parliament in 2003. Threatened with having her citizenship revoked, she resigned, and moved to the US where she resides today. She was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People In The World in 2005. She has won several awards for her commitments to feminism, free speech and overcoming oppression. She released her memoir, Infidel, in 2006. It was followed by an English translation in 2007.