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Presentation of the book “Afghan Mosaic” and of the book “Involuntary” in Trieste 

locandina76

 

November 23th 2011 at 6.00pm

Press Club
Trieste

Presentation of the book “Afghan Mosaic” from Alberto Cairo, Afghanistan described through the eyes of Afghans: a vibrant epopea «from the lower side» described, during twenty years, by an exceptional witness. The other book presented was “Involuntary” from Susanna Fioretti, which tells about humanitarian missions together with personal happenings, so that differences between “our” world and the Islamic one can emerge. 

Alberto Cairo, an Italian physiotherapist and writer, Delegate in Afghanistan for the International Red Cross Committee from 1989, since many years has been the promoter in Kabul of important orthopaedic programs in favour of anti-man mines victims, and because of this in 2010 has been a candidate for the Peace Nobel Prize.

«All Kabul woke up at 4 a.m. on January 1st 1994. Machine guns shooting were near. Someone was shouting, maybe giving orders. My room’s wide glass window, which looked on the courtyard, was crushed. I threw the pillow, torn by a group of bullets which then knocked themselves in the wall, towards the abat jour. The machine guns begun to shoot again, there was no time to think. I shut the door and rushed downstairs. “Happy 1994” ». Alberto Cairo, responsible for the International Red Cross rehabilitation centres in Afghanistan, has been in Kabul since 1990. He has had the chance of a close look over the ending of the pro-Soviet regime and over the civil war that followed (to which the reported lines are referred). He also witnessed the Taliban domination, the American bombings and the disturbing conflict that is still going on.

Like in a novel, he tells about Afghanistan looking through the eyes of common people and of the thousands of the disabled he took care of; he tells about his job, the meetings that changed him and histories about people looking for peace and dignity, among tragedies and farces. Mutilated persons that become nurses and teachers, women conquering again shreds of life, poor people supporting other poor people. But he also tells about ambitious people without any scruple. With a beard or without it, with caps or turbans, regimes and the way of making war are changing, but people and their dreams are always the same.

Susanna Fioretti is a cooperator and a delegate for the Italian Red Cross, who works in different countries like India, Mauritania and Afghanistan; she’s also a passionate and exciting writer.

Fishermen in a Yemeni archipelago hit by the Tsunami, illiterate women trying to forget the Burka in the post-taliban Afghanistan, families that survived a devastating earthquake in India, children threatened by famine in the Mauritanian desert, little tales among the huts of a Mozambique village, guerrilla in South Sudan and, in the background, the Mediterranean.

Susanna Fioretti tells about humanitarian missions together with personal happenings, underlining the differences between “our” world and the Islamic one. There’s passion and some irony in the way she describes her job which, for more than ten years, kept her away from friends and relatives, particularly form her children. Their e-mails move in and out from the book pages, together with memories of a comfortable life in Rome and of ecological and sentimental adventures on a Greek island in Durrel style.

People often reproach her saying: ”everybody is good at taking care of Indian children, but who’s taking care of our elderly people?”. She herself reflects on her choice, her defeats, the limits of humanitarian bureaucracy. Because “cooperating” you become responsible of lives that are extremely fragile but anyway characterized by an exemplary strength.

All you can exchange with other people is one of the reasons for humanitarian actions, form which we often take much more than we give.

 

PHOTOGALLERY

The presentation

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