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"Annalena brought together the compassion she saw in Jesus, the surrender she saw in Muslims, and her own love for the poor, and the combination produced faith. Active, living faith."
From the Plough Publishing Website:
ABOUT THE BOOK
Bronze Medal, 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards
Amid a volatile mix of disease, war, and religious fundamentalism in the Horn of Africa, what difference could one woman make? Annalena Tonelli left behind career, family, and homeland anyway, moving to a remote Muslim village in northern Kenya to live among its outcasts – desert nomads dying of tuberculosis, history’s deadliest disease.
“I am nobody,” she always insisted. Yet by the time she was killed for her work three decades later she had not only developed an effective cure for tuberculosis among nomadic peoples but also exposed a massacre, established homes and schools for the deaf, advocated against female genital mutilation, and secured treatment for ostracized AIDS patients.
Months after winning the Nansen Refugee Award from the UN in 2003, Annalena Tonelli was assassinated at one of the tuberculosis hospitals she founded. Rachel Pieh Jones, an American writer, was living a few doors down, having moved to Somaliland with her husband and two children just months before. Annalena’s death would alter the course of her life.
No one who encounters Annalena in these pages will leave unchanged. Her confounding, larger-than-life example challenges our assumptions about aid and development, Christian–Muslim relations, and what it means to put one’s faith into practice. Brought vividly back to life through Jones’s meticulous reporting and her own letters, Annalena presents us with a new measure of success and commitment. But she also leaves us a gift: the secret to overcoming the fear that pervades our society and our hearts – fear of disease and death, fear of terrorism and war, fear of others, and fear of failure.
“A searing account of a person, place, deadly disease, unspeakable violence, and, ultimately, faith, love, and sacrifice… Why would anyone leave everything they ever knew behind to travel to a remote Muslim village in northern Kenya, to live among desert nomads dying of tuberculosis? Annalena Tonelli, a self-described “nobody,” was a humanitarian from Italy, and a revolutionary in her own humble way.”
“My life has been shaped by the examples of faith heroes: Dorothy Day, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X. In this book, Rachel Pieh Jones introduces me to one more – Annalena Tonelli. Her example of immersive, selfless service combined with learning from different traditions should inspire us all.”
“Annalena Tonelli’s story challenges readers to believe in themselves and reminds us that we can choose acts of kindness and love even during difficult circumstances. Her courage inspires us to challenge evil: everyone can make a difference.”
Mariam Mohamed, former First Lady of Somalia
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