But now that three years have passed since Nabil paid a trafficker to take him on a boat from Sfax in Tunisia to Italy, she is less sure.
Pointing at the ramshackle houses, the shabby clothes, the thin, small, solemn children, one old man explains that his son left in order to “faire l’avenir”—find a future.
For months, increasingly frantic, Janette did the rounds of the various ministries in Tunis, clamouring for news, writing letters, trying to get answers from Italy.
One day, overcome with anguish, she set fire to her clothes.
Monia took her 16-year-old son, Shebab, with her, fearing that he might otherwise fall into bad company.
She sold her furniture, borrowed money from relations to pay for their passage and left her younger son, Amir, with her estranged husband.
As the popular north African rapper Samir Balti recently put it in a song, “They’ve gone where the wave decided they would go/Where death is present/They went where the news is lost/...