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Do not tell me that you are afraid

· The novel ·

Samia has racing in her blood. Together with her friend Ali, confidant and head coach, she runs through the streets of Mogadishu. She stretches her muscles and her dreams grow, but there is also the civil war and the political hardening of Somalia. The skinny and speedy legs of Samia continue to run while the smell of gunpowder becomes a daily presence in a city consumed with hatred. She wants to run for herself, for the Somali women, for her parents (the beautiful figure of her father, who knowingly takes a risk and eventually falls because he was convinced that his daughters should choose their own destiny). She trains at night, Samia, she trains without shoes and without means. However eventually she will manage to get noticed and finally will fly to the Beijing Olympics, even though without winning. Samia is sure of her goal: London 2012.

But as the date draws near, everything crumbles around her: she now runs enclosed within a burqa, her father is murdered, her sister flees to Europe and Ali becomes a terrorist. Samia, who had sworn that she would never abandon her country, capitulates: firstly, illegally immigrating to Addis Ababa and from there the terrible journey of migrants to Europe, passing through Sudan, the Sahara and Libya. Humiliation, violence, starvation, terror, the girl - whose story is told by Joseph Catozzella (Non dirmi che hai paura, Feltrinelli, 2014) - focuses on the details and memories in order not to lose her mind. But in the end she will surrender, called back by the siren song of the sea near Lampedusa .(@ GiuliGaleotti)

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