Born in 1951, a journalist and war reporter, he is one of the leading contributors to the daily newspaper "La Stampa". He has been working as a Middle East correspondent since the last decade, experiencing first-hand the wars that have beset the region. In August 2011, he was kidnapped in Libya along with three Italian colleagues, and was released a few days later. In 2013, he was taken hostage by rebels in Damascus. This second kidnapping is the subject of his book, "Il paese del male. 152 giorni di prigionia in Siria", in which Quirico reports the small acts and humiliations that only a hostage can understand, the pain of imprisonment and the frustration at being handed over to the executioner by people he considered to be friends: "it's like I spent five months on Mars. And I found out that Martians are evil", he said shortly after being freed. Despite his imprisonment, the Arab world continues to be his main focus and he recently studied the rise of the Islamic State, travelling to places threatened by ISIS and explaining the planning of the conquering of the area that he heard his captors speaking about two years earlier. In "Esodo", he tackles another fundamental issue of our age, giving the reader a comprehensive picture on migration from Africa and other parts of the southern hemisphere. «Inhabitants of a world in decline – he wrote – we only treasure our wealth, just like the ancients, civilisations at their sunset. And we don't realise that in our warm cities, where we cultivate our artificial loneliness, there are already buzzing hives, of noise and colour, of prayer and fury. The world of tomorrow».
(photo: © Leonardo Cendamo)