Learning by stories

The story…

I miei primi sei mesi in Italia (e in Europa)
Farah racconta la sua storia di migrazione, che dall'Iran l'ha portata all'Europa.
The two paths of migration

To find oneself or to lose oneself. To survive or to die. Be well or be lost again. What does it mean to migrate? Since ancient times, migration has been a natural instinct, a way of surviving and seeking a better life. For thousands of years, before becoming settled, human beings were nomads. And there are peoples, even today, who have no state and whose belonging is marked by language, culture and traditions (like the Roma people). So why insist even today on borders drawn by human beings (and more precisely a specific type of human being)? Why block, reject, imprison those who seek a better life in another place than where they were born (regardless of whether they are fleeing war or not)?

Farah, an Iranian woman who emigrated to Italy dozens of years ago, tells us her story, her difficulties and how she found a way to survive in a completely new and different country from her country of origin. There are many other voices, however, who will not be able to tell us this story today. Like the victims of the Cutro massacre, the 70 people (perhaps more) who did not survive the crossing from the east and were shipwrecked on the beach in the province of Crotone. They are only the last, in chronological order, of a moon-lit list that fills the obituaries of Italian coasts. They are the ones who have not found the way to survive: they are lost. They belong to the second category. And the survivors? Perhaps they too, though saved, will be lost again.

The migration phenomenon, as it is called, calls for reflection on a global scale: the migration of peoples exists and cannot be stopped. There is no ‘let’s help them at home’, because every person should have the right to self-determination. Why is this possibility provided for those who, like us Westerners, can move easily from one continent to another, and not for those born in a country labelled differently? Why do we not twist our mental canons and think that moving, migrating, travelling can be a possibility, a right guaranteed to everyone? Civil society is often the first to mobilise itself in these situations, providing help, practical and psychological support, working to offer a better life to those who arrive from unknown countries. But this is not enough: as long as European policies are one of closure and rejection, associations and non-profit organisations will not be enough to solve the problem. Because they will only serve to soothe wounds and not prevent them. A healthy, welcoming policy should aim to open the doors to the ‘others’, to those ‘different from us’, and understand how coexistence between peoples can go on. If it is true that we live in a democracy, which at its pivot should have values of social justice and fairness, then let us show that we are not afraid of the foreigner. And let us recover those ancient roots of mutualism and consociation that have characterised the human race since the dawn of time. Thus, migration will have only one way; or perhaps many, but determined by the will of each individual.