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Author: Bruno Thursday 5 December 2019

Time should stop every time we meet someone extraordinary. I remember almost every moment I’ve spent with Nadia Ghulam, because from the first moment she entered the agency there was a very special connection, at least on my side. She was a young Afghan who spoke Catalan and had been adopted by a Catalan family from Badalona. I met her thanks to Agnès Rotger, who helped her explain her story in a book: EL SECRET DEL MEU TURBANT (Columna, 2010), which translates as THE SECRET OF MY TURBAN. The work captivated me and I thought I had in my hands the opportunity to give voice to a unique story. Even though at first neither of us was very sure of wanting to present the novel directly to a prize like Prudenci Bertrana’s in 2010, we did it and we won it. That was our first step in this great adventure.

Nadia was moved when I explained to her that I locked myself at home all weekend to read her full story. I especially remember that moment of reading, with the dim light I had in my old dining room, as well as the emotion I felt when I first read this story so personal, true and hard. My heart was racing for the injustice that a girl like Nadia had to endure. Thinking about what she had experienced made me suffer so much that I had to stop reading several times to digest the facts. Nadia is such a brave girl that she even had to pretend to be her dead brother for ten years to help her family move forward. Her experience in Afghanistan was an impressive challenge, as it is a country at war in which the role of women is overshadowed by men. It was in this way that Nadia, with her turban, managed to save her mother and her sisters, who, without men at home, did not know how to survive. It’s inevitable not to be touched by a story like this.

From here, Nadia has not stopped fighting for them, for building a library in her country and for trying to get women treated as they deserve. Ten years have passed since its publication and the book is still alive because Nadia keeps giving talks explaining her experience and her current projects. From the agency, we try to continue to give opportunities to this real story around the world. THE SECRET OF MY TURBANTE has already been translated into 12 languages and relatively recently arrived in Brazil, Lithuania and Romania. Its recent publication in France has given this book a second life and has made it easier for us to have an offer for film rights. For this reason, I have decided to dedicate a new blog to the book. We don’t want to stop encouraging publishers who haven’t yet assessed it, because a novel like this is an example for everyone to know that fighting for what you feel, for what you want, is possible.

Nadia teaches us to be brave, to recognize our fears and to learn to live with them. More and more of us are by her side, helping her to give voice to this story, and we must continue to fight so that more and more readers want to support Nadia. It is a story that cannot leave anyone indifferent and committed editors and readers less so.

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