In Paolo Giordano's highly awaited new novel, a platoon of young men and one woman soldier leaves Italy for one of the most dangerous places on earth. Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the Gulistan district of Afghanistan is nothing but an exposed sandpit - scorched by inescapable sunlight and deadly mortar fire. Each member in the platoon manages the toxic mix of boredom and fear that is life at the FOB in his own way.
August 21, 2013: A chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of Damascus reminds the world of the existence of the Syrian war. Hundreds of journalists from every corner of the world rush to the frontier only to leave disappointed when Obama decides not to bomb. They leave behind 200,000 estimated victims, and more than half of a population of 22 million people dispersed or refugeed in nearby countries: the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII according to the UN.
"So Tough, So Good"
At eight years of age, Samia lives to run. She shares her dream with her best friend and neighbor, Ali, who appoints himself her "professional coach". Eight-year-old Ali trains her, times her, and pushes her to achieve her goals. For both children, Samia's running is the bright spot in their tumultuous life in Somalia. She is talented, brave, and determined to represent her country in the Olympic Games, just like her hero, the great Somali runner Mo Farah.