In this extraordinary book, an acclaimed young war reporter chronicles a dangerous journey on the smuggler's road to Europe, accompanying his friend, an Afghan refugee, in search of a better future.
In 2016, a young Afghan driver and translator named Omar makes the heart-wrenching choice to flee his war-torncountry, saying goodbye to Laila, the love of his life, without knowing when they might be reunited again. He is one of themillions of refugees who leave their homes that year.
Matthieu Aikins, a journalist living in Kabul, decides to follow his friend. In order to do so, he must leave his ownpassport and identity behind to go underground on the refugee trail with Omar. Their odyssey across land and sea fromAfghanistan to Europe brings them face to face with the people at heart of the migration crisis: smugglers, cops, activists,and the men, women and children fleeing war in search of a better life. As setbacks and dangers mount for the twofriends, Matthieu is also drawn into the escape plans of Omar's entire family, including Maryam, the matriarch who hasfought ferociously for her children's survival.
Harrowing yet hopeful, this exceptional work brings into sharp focus one of the most contentious issues of our times.The Naked Don't Fear the Water: A Journey Through the Refugee Underground is a tale of love and friendship across borders,and an inquiry into our shared journey in a divided world.
Page Count: 380 Pages
Published: May 2022