As a refugee in Italy
Lately a student from Ghana was beaten up very badly by the local police in Parma and that was published in the printing press throughout the country. These days some other reports of misbehavior with the immigrants or refugees are being reported on the printing press.
A few weeks before that, an Italian – African teenager was murdered for a little thing that was also reflected very widely in the media and some considered it as a sign of racism that is growing again in the Italian society. Following this case there were some demonstrations and gatherings against racism in some cities while some of them turned into violence in between police and the demonstrators in some places.
Where the problems rise from?
It is difficult at the same time easy to analyze where the problems rise from in between the immigrants- refugees (foreigners) and the original nationals (the national citizens) of a country which cause misunderstandings in between the two sides.
There are not enough assistances and directions by the responsible offices
Because of geographical location of Italy, this country receives thousands of immigrants annually and it causes rapid growth of immigrants in this country and immigration has become a big issue of discussion in the government cabinet in the recent months.
While communication is the best tool that could bring understating between the “stranieri” and the citizens but in this regard the government of Italy does not have a vast program for the public awareness about the phenomena of immigration and refuge to their country so that the “stranieri” and the citizens would understand each other and live in a better environment during the time they are being settled in this country.
At the same time, enough information is not provided to the foreigners who are divided in to two groups; the immigrants and the refugees.
One of the reasons is because of bulk numbers of immigrants in this country, there are not enough resources for such programs by the Italian government, while there are other reasons too.
For refugees and immigrants who are fleeing their home country because of different risks their life face with, it is too difficult to easily coup with the difficulties and problems they face in a new land where they are moving or being forced to move for the first time. It is absolutely as a new born, a new totally new life and it takes time, like years and years until a refugee would be able to merge himself in a new society and it is a bit more difficult with close societies one of which is the Italian society.
So it would be harder for the refugees when they are not felt by the people living around them, if they are not being assisted by the host country the live in.
Some people escape their home country because of the general worsening and critical situation in their country such as war, crisis, hunger, etc that would somehow effect their lives, so these people are immigrant and they immigrate to a safer place to find a better life and work.
There are other groups of people who are specifically being targeted in their home country, because of their thoughts, beliefs, writings, activities, freedom of expression, protesting against the dictator regime they had, or belonging to a political group or have had some political activities in their home country because of what their lives are no more safe in their country and they have to escape to another land just to get a safety for their lives and then to continue their works and living there.
Still an immigrant would hardly find a work, even a hard work but at least he would be able to find one in the opposite a refugee is not given a work, because the work agencies and cooperatives have more responsibilities for the political refugees if they give them work. So the refugees do not find works on the other hand there is no support by the government of Italy or UNHCR, therefore they are remained under pressure; whether they would sleep on the road or would die of hanger; no body cares about it.
However, part of this problem can be because of the overall economy of Italy, when there are many citizens too who are looking for works.
As a refugee or an immigrant, you have to;
Change your mentality about who you were in your country
Forget your past, your work background and the skills and abilities you had in your home
Be prepared for anything to do just to be alive and not die of hunger and
Do not expect alot, because you are a refugee or an immigrant so,
There are no opportunities for you if you have the ability to do something
Just keep very low profile, just eat not to die and close your eyes from the world and suppose you do not see anything that is it.
The refugees and immigrants issues have been misused by the politicians in this country and as a result the refugees and immigrants have been victimized.
The number of politicians from the different parties made a subject out of refugees for their electoral campaigns. Introducing the immigration and refuge issue as one of the main factors of economical and security crisis in the country some politicians drew a horrible face out of refugees and immigrants for the citizens and then made introduced some plans to solve this problems. In their explanations a high percentage of the crimes in the society were related to the immigrants and the refugees that is not true to some extend.
The citizens without knowing the reality, concerning about their social security praised these plans while in reality they do not know that the economical immigrants in Italy serve as a cheap labor force which is advantageous for the economy and industry of Italy.
The role of some of charity and religious charity organizations have been significant to assist the refugees and immigrants, for instance their dining facilities and clothing facilities are big mercies for the immigrants and refugees when they are in difficulties. These places abate the pressures of immigration issue form the shoulders of the Italian government, and are very helpful for the poor immigrants and the refugees.
Some people believe the Italian society is not an open society easy accessible for the foreigners to merge into it, thus foreigners including immigrants or refugees are always seen and called as “stranieri” or the strangers.
We have seen people here in Italy who live for more then twelve or fifteen years, but they are still unaccustomed with the Italian society and do not have a feeling of being merged into this society, while in the other European countries living more than five or six years would be enough to merge into a society and be familiar with all characteristics of that society and feel oneself a part of that society that is very improtant.
I remember when a dear Italian friend of mine told me that “siamo diversi” that means we (I and you) are different and now I want to say that of course “we are different” and that is how we have to be.
Of course we are different in complexions, culture, features, languages, traditions and social category but it is how the new world is going on ahead with diversity in the latest era of communication and technology.
And when we are different in complexion, culture, features, languages etc at the same time there are ways and possibilities to communicate with each other by sharing our things in common, abilities and skills because in spite of all these differences still as humans we have many things in common; senses, feelings, arts, crafts, flexibility, ability to learn and finally tools to communicate with each other and recognize and feel each other.
I believe the world of nowadays is more beautiful in diversity and multiculturalism whereas in countries like United States of America, Australia and Canada are the leading examples of this idea.
Is the Italian society a solid, closed and internally self- oriented society?
I don’t know if it is true or not, but at least for the “straneiri” it is a closed society.
Sometimes when we see, we find the Italians more inside themselves as they do not show interest to know about the others in the world, some say it is because they are just proud of their past glorious civilization and history of more than two thousands years back of the Roman Empire’s time, some say because they are still traditional and some say because they are not caring about the others or about what is heppening in the world of outside.
However, a very simple example is that the level of and the importance of the English Language is very low among the Italians. It is strange when we can hardly find somebody in Milan, in the capital of world fashion and Expo city for 2015 who speaks English while this city is a commercial city of the Italy. This could show us that the people in Italy do not care about this language and the cultures of the other for instance. Same is the case with the level of interest for the cultural exchange programs, events etc with the other countries and other nations, perhaps they do not want to get involved or at least do not want to know about the other parts of the world, which once again shows, they are very Italian and they think very Italian. Same is the case to know or understand about “stranieri”; the refugees and the immigrants and thier countries, so people do not show interest to merge them in Italian society.