The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
In The Sea There Are Crocodiles
Publisher: David Fickling Books
First published in Italian, the story of Enaiatollah Akbari's journey from Afghanistan to Italy has now been translated into English.
Enaiatollah's journey begins when his mother leaves him at a refugee camp in Pakistan, as she fears for his life if he stays with her in Afghanistan and is forced to do the most difficult thing a mother can do. From here Enaiatollah uses his wits and the help of fellow 'illegals' as he struggles to survive in search of a better life. This search takes him through Iran, Turkey, Greece and finally Italy on a journey full of perils.
On the way he does all kinds of jobs from selling sweets on the roadside to working on building sites in terrible working conditions and travels in various dangerous ways, under lorries, in inflatable dinghys and walking across mountains. He meets all sorts of people, those who try to stop him and a few that help him on his way, we learn the methods of people trafficking and the industry that has built up around it. Enaiatollah's story is told in an understated yet engaging way.
This story charts the same story thousands of people undertake every day, Enaiatollah is one of the lucky ones. This important book will make you realise the ridiculous nature of nation states and boundaries and how lucky we are to be born in Europe.