Since childhood Niema Ash craved adventure. This craving launched her on a life journey that embraced Morocco and Tibet, to meeting the Dalai Lama, and to connecting with performers, such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and John Lee Hooker, before they were recognised as legends. Nomad Girl is her account of this remarkable story.
Described as ‘one of the most interesting people I have ever met’ by Chicken Soup for the Soul author, Jack Canfield, Ash looks back to her teenage years when she met her first husband, South African musician, Shimon Ash, on a trip to Israel. Together they set off on a hitch-hiking adventure through East Africa, which was cut short when Niema discovered she was pregnant. Many might have accepted pregnancy as a call to settle down into conventional domesticity. But not Niema Ash.
Moving to her home city of Montreal, the couple opened The Finjan – a coffee house and folk and blues music club that came to embody the beating heart of the new, emerging culture of the sixties. Most of the musicians who performed at the Finjan stayed at Niema’s home to save on expenses. And it was there, in her kitchen, talking into the wee hours, that she got to know them. “A few became lifelong friends, a few became lovers and a few became famous.”