A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

German / Germany

Der Traum von Olympia. Die Geschichte von Samia Yusuf Omar
(The dream of Olympia. The story of Samia Yusuf Omar)

Kleist, Reinhard (text/illus.)
Hamburg: Carlsen, 2015. – 145 p.
ISBN 978-3-551-73639-0

Omar, Samia Yusuf – Escape – Refugee – Death – Sport – Biography – Graphic novel

Samia is sad and afraid, but most of all full of hope, when she leaves her home in 2012: She escapes from behind Somalia, her home, which has been devastated by wars and by the Al-Shabaab-militia. The young gifted athlete, who is dreaming of participating in the London Olympic Games, sees no future her herself there. But it is a long way to Europe. During her escape, Samia is the victim of harassment, theft, and imprisonment, she suffers hunger and thirst. But the whole struggle is in vain. The boat, which was to bring her to Italy, is a miserable inflatable. At age twenty-one, Samia drowns in the Mediterranean. In “The dream of Olympia”, Reinhard Kleist traces the young woman’s odyssey with concise lines. Even though his approach is not strictly documentary, he is telling a story based on a true destiny which is representative of many. Kleist often lets the images speak for themselves, rightly trusting in the power of his black-and-white drawings. (Age: 12+)