January 23, 2019

Lily Amis and her book: like a diary of Anne Frank in our time!

This is the English translation of the latest review for Destinazione Libertà in Italy by Maria Sara Cetraro from Armando Editore.
Lily Amis e il suo libro: come un Diario di Anna Frank nel nostro tempo /
Lily Amis and her book: like a diary of Anne Frank in our time
Lily Amis - Destination Freedom, the voice of the voiceless.
Review (Armando Editore 2018)
by Roby Guerra

It seems like a modern fairy tale with the classic happy ending and the author is nowadays a well-known writer of children's books. And maybe in a few centuries this book will be perceived like one of them. Instead, it is a dramatically autobiographical book.

It was 1979, someone in the West pre Radical Chic and pompously progressive, actually communist, praised the so-called Islamic revolution of Khomeini. On the other hand, Iran, ex Persia, even cradle of civilization, entered a nightmare which still persists, despite two wars in the western gulf, the fall of Saddam himself, etc.

In the Persia of the so-called Scià and Soraya, needless to say ... a regime that was not so democratic but at least characterized by a certain Western modernity, including some rights for women.

A lucky girl, the daughter of a well-off family, is struck by a metaphorical shower of revolutionary radiation and engages in a long escape towards Europe.

Only at the end of a long journey, with her childhood and dreams slaughtered, the little Lily, who is the author herself (and her family) will find in Switzerland conditions of relative balance and gradually the peace they seemed to have lost.

Becoming adult, Lily Amis will achieve the "perfect" integration: graduate in Web Marketing, writer and illustrator for children, an activist for civil and human rights, also known by the general public since 2015, after another the umpteenth crisis in Syria, still related to the civil war and the problem of political refugees: almost a circle that closes, but just mockingly ... a replay of her experience with the original Islamic revolution in Persia, fortunately in a "opposite" personal and experiential safety. Now, beyond the will for beauty, strength and creativity of the author, even transcending the aforementioned historical dynamics, just try to imagine what experience and trauma struck the little Lily. This kind of dramatic events are endlessly multiplied in children’ perception: in just one stroke, for example, even beyond the tragic risks of mere survival, all the normal fears of childhood materialize in real life, having as unique "stellar" shields their fathers and mothers, alternatively involved in dynamics not only external but also unsustainable internal, in constant insecurity and infected by viruses and psychic malware always lurking. The existential and historical development of the little future writer is almost miraculous, a work of art that is able to sublimate even its indelible psychic scars. (The Nothing and the absurd mystery of Life remains eternal, as the author herself confesses ..).

The book itself is a small - great work of art, rare and atypical for many modulations: the personal story itself is perfectly intertwined with the parallel story of many other protagonists of the diaspora post Khomeini: therefore it assumes an enhanced value of collective memory, given the abrupt explosion of the phenomenon of migration and in particular of war refugees.

Some considerations beyond the easy-minded rhetoric that still pervade and pollute Europe based on similar problems: since 1979 Europeans have learned very little in order to distinguish between war refugees and other questionable types of migrants.

The art of life of Lily Amis, and this book specifically, would be fundamental to educate people - a small great diary of Anne Frank of our time, beyond all the small talks around us: it also gives an utopian but possible message. The author's life art, in the luminous and creative end, is a prospective horizon against all the liquid and still perilous chaos for current migrants.

January 09, 2019

Great reviews for Destinazione Libertà!

January 2019 is starting very positive for my memoir Destination Freedom. It got two new positive reviews in the Italian Media. Thank you to Maria Sara Cetraro from Armando Editore Italy for the English translation.
English Translation of Review Il Borghese Gennaio 2019

This biography of Lily Amis looks like a short story by De Sade. In De Sade the clean, naive, confident characters are deceived, outraged, dominated, and they have to face perpetual obstacles, such as the story of Lily Amis and her portentous mother. Born in Iran, members of an excellent family, they conceive the advent of the Khomeini’s regime as a regression, a mixture of religious fanaticism, male domination, and pitiful privation of freedom; on the contrary, Lily's family was open, cultured, and tolerant. Lily's mother, when Iran clashes with Iraq, decides to escape from war and tyranny. It is very difficult to escape, finally they leave Iran, at first Switzerland does not accept them and they are rejected but they can’t go back to Iran. They go twice to Switzerland and they are allowed to stay.
But, in a precarious and perverse situation that lasts fifteen years, without a definitive recognition of dignity and citizenship they cannot find a job, and without a job they cannot settle once and for all! Many difficulties occur: Lily’s father abandons his wife and daughter, a second husband reveals as a foolish enemy and deceiver, the portentous, capable, strong mother of Lily ends up sick, even Lily, aiming to become Swiss, marries a fool and traitorous man, Sven. The Swiss authorities seem to get pleasure from mistreating foreign people, keeping them in a state of insecurity. The story goes on as a modern saga.
Both the bureaucracy and the injustices of the Western countries and the Islamic fanaticism are recalled in the story. And it is a sacred concept the one that Lily Amis chooses to conclude her memoir: foreigners should be totally welcomed or it is better to not welcome them at all. The characters are described naturally, through their actions: the maternal grandparents, who are honest and generous, devoted to the parental bonds, the indifferent father of Lily, Hamid, the cynical husband of Lily’s mum, Sven, the infamous teachers, ruthless bureaucrats, a degenerate doctor… Among all these people stand out Sima, the mother of Lily, a moral sculpture, and Lily herself, in a journey between the privation of freedom and the courage of being free.

Written by Antonio Sacca for IL Borghese January 2019