Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Man fom mali

November 18, 2017

Tags: amadou sumaila, mali, refugee, trouble, sea, mediteranean, rescue, escape, danger

Amadou Sumaila was one of 118 people rescued from an inflatable boat drifting 20 miles off the Libyan coast on a clear, calm morning in August last year. The kind of day for which people smugglers hope and their passengers pray.

The young Malian and more than 363,000 other migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to reachEurope in 2016. Like many of them, Sumaila had never seen the sea, never imagined that so many people could be crammed into a small boat and never thought it would be so hard to breathe.

They were starting to think about death when dawn came, followed by a boat from the German NGO Jugend Rettet. The crew of the Iuventa had come to save lives, but one of its passengers, the Spanish-Iranian photographer César Dezfuli, had come determined to preserve faces.

Once the 118 were safely aboard, Dezfuli asked if he could take their pictures.

The refugee passport

February 8, 2017

Tags: refugee, passport, old idea, nansen

From an Atlas Obscura story by Cara Giaimo:

"The current refugee crisis is the largest the world has ever seen—but it’s far from unprecedented. Back in the 1920s, civil war in Russia and genocide in the Ottoman Empire left millions of families stateless, seeking asylum in countries already stretched thin by the ravages of war. Charged with preventing catastrophe, an idealistic explorer named Fridtjof Nansen changed hundreds of thousands of lives with a piece of paper: the Nansen Passport. Although it stopped short of granting citizenship, the Nansen Passport allowed its holders to cross borders to find work, and protected them from deportation. Some experts are calling for a similar solution today."

African refugee drowns in Venice while people film, laugh

January 26, 2017

Tags: refugee, drown, venice, canal, Italy, no pity, racism, racist remarks, tourists, cameras

No one jumped in to save him. An investigation is on. Click on the caption to read the story in the Independent.

Refugee baby born on rescue ship now in Ragusa

December 23, 2015

Tags: refugee, baby, born, rescue ship, francesca, stephani, benin city, nigeria, sex-trade, human trafficking, unknowing, asylum, immigration, life, africa, europe, northward, poverty, economics, guardian, newspaper

The unspoken undercurrent in this article is that Stephanie may be the unwitting victim of a thriving human- traffic in sex slaves. Naive Nigerian girls, especially from Benin City, are often tricked into forfeiting their lives in the sex trade when they are offered work as hair dressers, grocery clerks in the new world then once in Europe are forced into a life of prostitution from which they are not freed until they pay upwards of $40,000 to their captors. I wonder if her captors will reclaim her as their merchandise once she leaves the Ragusa women's refuge. She still does not know she is in danger. Click on the caption to read the story in The Guardian.

Refugees become Volunteers for New Refugees

June 20, 2015

Tags: refugee, palermo, caritas, help, volunteer, sbarchi, arrivals, immigration, illegal, africa, mali, ivory coast, ships, mediterranean, port

A beautiful story by my favorite La Repubblica reporter, Claudia Brunetto. I translate it here:
They arrived last June at the port of Palermo, picked up on the high seas by a military ship. And since then they live in the parish of Falsomiele, guided by Father Sergio Mattaliano, director of the Catholic charity (more…)

92-year-old Syrian refugee disembarks at August, Sicily

May 29, 2015

Tags: syria, italy, refugee, immigrant man, nonagenarian, saved, Mediterranean, escape, sicily, augusta

Abdel Fahim Taktak, a 92-year-old refugee from Syria survived eight days at sea and upon landing at Augusta, Sicily after rescue by Italian authorities was seen playing with his grandchildren. He was part of a group of 187 men, 38 women and 9 children who had taken off from the coast of Egypt and were rescued from their fishing (more…)

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