Saturday, May 3, 2008

Two days in Bologna

From left; Lorenzo Bianchi, Antonio Martino, Greta Barbieri and Amin Wahidi photo by: Mattia Baglieri

I had a short trip to Bologna where I spent about two days.
Actually I was invited there by YAP Bologna Branch (Youth Action for Peace) which is an international movement for peace and conducts social- cultural – artistic and awareness programs in different countries including Italy.
I was invited there for a conference about Afghanistan.

Conference about Afghanistan; current situation, cultural activities, and freedom of speech

The conference took place in Political Science Department on Strada Maggiore. In this conference there were two other speakers too;

Lorenzo Bianchi a famous Italian Journalist working for QUOTIDIANO NAZIONALE
Antonio Martino an Italian documentary filmmaker in Bologna

The main issues discussed in this conference were; challenges of freedom of speech in Afghanistan, the re-empowerment of the fundamentalists in the branches of the government and the administrative corruptions in government of Afghanistan
The program went on very well and present people in this conference had some questions and were answered by the speakers at the conference. As my Italian is not very good I spoke in English and there was a professional translator “Greta Barbieri” who did a really good job.

Meeting new people:
In addition to meet some interesting people there; Lorenzo Bianchi, Isabella Nicoli, Francesco, Aura, Mattew, Angelo, Antonio Martino, Sara, Greta and Mattia I have had a chance to see some interesting places of Bologna by the help of two friends from YAP Angelo and Mattew.

Short film screening:
Again in the evening there was a chance to screen two shorts which we screened before in Milan.

Two petty things:
On the second day, before coming back to Milan as I had a chance to see some of the places like libraries, universities, city towers, churches, I saw a man in the main square of the city (Piazza Maggiore) like giving speech. He had a bicycle, a small stool to sit on and some newspapers and was talking to people and discussing the issues of newspapers with them, and there were people who took part and they also discussed their opinions about the current situation of the country, about politics and the politicians etc.
It was very interesting for me when I knew that this man does not have any work but every day brings newspapers and begin discussing about the current affairs with different people and his audiences are young and old. Every one is given a chance to talk and just share and exchange their ideas which is actually like a public awareness program.
I wish this could happen in Afghanistan that one day any one can discuss issues of political, religious and current affairs in public with the person without fear, censorship and intimidation that is the real democracy and freedom of speech.

The second thing that I wasn’t expecting at least in Italy was a little censorship in my interview in two papers of Bologna and Milan.

QN IL Resto del Carlino (Bologna) 23 Aprile 2008 Anno 123-Numero 97
QN IL Giorno (Milano Metropoli) 23 Aprile 2008 Anno 53- numero 97

The interview was done in English via email by Mr. Lorenzo Bianchi who is a nice man with a working experience of my age, and then when I read the Italian version published in Italian papers I did not find a part which then I realized was censored and that was about my current situation;

lorenzo Bianchi: Did you get the political asylum from Italy?

Amin Wahidi: Not a fully political asylum yet which I have asked for it and it is in process but all things work here very slowly.
For the moment I have received a short term permission of stay, which I think will be renewed after it expires and then the decision is in the hand of the government of Italy.

I hope the government of Italy would consider a difference in between the political asylum seekers whose lives are in danger because of their thoughts and their activities and the labor and economical immigrants.

To see the program in YAP website

To see the interview in Italian

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