[i] Hello [name], You want to introduce yourself and tell me where you’re from, who are you?

[r] I am [name], I come from Sudan practically from Darfur which is a region of Sudan. I am a refugee here … In Italy since 2011.

[i] And where did you arrive in Italy?

[r] I arrived in Lampedusa, then Taranto and Turin.

[i] Listen, do you want to explain to me why you left Darfur? What is the place?

[r] Yes, Darfur is a region in the west of Sudan. Since 2002 a war has begun that is continuing until now. So I was born and raised there, my father was the mayor of our city, and I also studied. Until high school, then in 2002 I went to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, where my university is located. I got involved with anti-government activists and that’s where my true story began. And I have been arrested many times, the last time I was arrested was in 2005, when I was deprived of my Sudanese citizenship. So I spent 3 years in Sudan without citizenship…

[i] So you were stateless?

[r] Yes, inside the country, so that I could not travel, then I managed to graduate and returned to my city. I was a volunteer teacher and anyway neither I nor my father needed money at an economic level we were very well off. In 2008 there was an attack on our city by militias called Janjawid and it is here that after a few weeks, they started to collect or prosecute some people on an ethnic basis. So Darfur is a bit different from the rest of Sudan in ethnic terms, so it is easy to find one from Darfur. I was one of them and they managed to put me in prison for over eight months. They practically threw me out because they didn’t release me because I was sick, so instead of dying inside they threw me out. Then someone found me and took me to the hospital, my family took me to my city and I was there. The general practitioner said “we don’t have any treatment here”, that I had to go to another hospital outside my city. I went to the police station to tell him that I needed to go to a hospital, and they told me not. That I couldn’t get out of the city even one meter and that I couldn’t stay with a little bit of 10 people, just with my family. So again a house arrest, I was there for many months, I was about to recover. And then came the days 7 and 8 December 2008 where they attacked my city again, and where I lost 11 people of my family, where there are brothers, grandchildren … Because our family is very large. A few days later there was a funeral, according to our tradition, so everyone stays together at home. And one day I do not know exactly what day, I heard someone knocking on the door, about one anyway after midnight, with the sound of a car, my father went to open the door and it was the police, they were looking for me. I’ve been to prison so many times, I don’t want to go back there, and before they told me if you come back here you’ll be dead. So I jumped over the wall of my neighbors, with their pajamas and slippers, and that “was the last day in my city”.

[i] So from there you started your journey to Europe, but you came to Europe alone, didn’t you? Perñ you do not know alone, or yes? For example, do you have a partner or someone from your family here?

No, I have a partner but she lives in Norway, who arrived on her own, ‘arrived in 2014, but here in Europe there are people, acquaintances, but of my city there is no one in Italy so far.

[i] And since you arrived in Italy, obviously you haven’t been able to come back, you can’t come back.

[r] I can’t go back because I’m a political refugee, so I can’t go back to Sudan at the moment. Then I am also afraid to return because of the reasons that forced me to flee Sudan, which are still there. And then also for another psychological reason, I don’t want to see our house, because everyone is an orphan, 11 family members have died and there are many of them.

[i] Yes, so you say it’s better to have what you remember in your memory, rather than seeing… instead, listen, tell me a little bit about your arrival in Turin, how was it? how is this city? How do you live there?

[R] Yes, in Turin I discovered Italy, I made good friends. As a city I really like it, it’s very open, welcoming, beautiful too. I personally didn’t find it so difficult in Turin. The difficulties I faced are, I am normal for any new person like me, foreigner, who is a newcomer who does not know the language. And then at the level of unemployment, there is a very general moment in Italy so, only these things, but they are those things of the general context so … I really like Turin.

[i] Listen, then you said that you went to university, but you did it here too? What did you do?

[r] Yes, I graduated in economics in Sudan in 2007 and then I also worked with my qualifications in Libya. When I arrived here, there was no other alternatiav, I just want to… he time I study international sciences at the University of Turin, so a way to change life, the only second way to change life.

[i] It’s studying…

[r] Yes.

[i] And in any case choose a path… was it study for you?

[r] For me it’s very important and it’s also a family tradition, all my brothers and sisters are all graduates, so… And then I come from Africa is underdeveloped, so the only way to promote the economy and the development is study.

[i] And what would you like to do next?

[R] YES, before when I was a child, I dreamed of being a pilot, but I did not succeed, however now my goal is very difficult, but I do not believe in the impossibility, so I would like to be the Secretary General of the UN and I can do it.

[i] And why do you like doing this work here?

[r] Because I was born into a family where I am… my city is almost on the border with the Central African Republic, it is very close to Chad and then there is Libya. then we also experienced the healing between Eritrea and Ethiopia, there were refugees, my mother was a stranger too, so

[i] Why?

[R] Because my mom is from Chad.

[i] What about your dad?

[r] Sudanese.

[i] Okay

[r] And then the role of the father taught us that there are different people, different cultures, different skills to manage that take a lot… and, as I see it, in the United Nations there is this, and then there is also a lot of disorder in this world. I disagree with me, I would like to contribute with my skills.

Listen, maybe for those who don’t know well… you explained to me what it means to be a political refugee and why you became one, but how does it work? This is what happened to you to get this status and what will happen next?

[r] Being a refugee is very difficult, because you have no choice, it is the conditions that force you to be a refugee. Then even the trip is not based on a choice, it happens suddenly. One does not decide that you ask to become a refugee, not, but the conditions that lead you to this situation

[i] So it’s not like you choose to leave, you’re a little obligated.

[r] Yes, very obligatory, not a little obligatory, very obligatory. I never would have thought of being a refugee in my life I helped or wanted to help one day to be a refugee. But when I arrived here, they first made the identification with the fingerprints and then takes away a bit of dignity. They behave, it is not with malice, but with great security because they do not know who you are. And then they put you with some who maybe have other goals, who are different people, with structures maybe not adequate. But it is still a very difficult step that, having lived through it, will leave you with memories. Not bad memories … I can not judge if they are ugly or beautiful because I judge them as a stage of my life. Which I have gone through. Then they send you to a longer reception centre, waiting for the commission. Commission that for me lasted three hours of interrogation. They asked me many things, it is very difficult, to identify me and the same day they gave me refugee status. While there are others who have not reached this level of protection but have another level of subsidiary and others for military reasons.

[i] And when…does this thing last?

[r] Yes, it has a duration of 5 years and then it is renewable.

[i] Ah then it is renewable…

[r] Yes

[i] But you can also do… now you have Sudanese citizenship or not?

[r] No

[i] So you’re still stateless, let’s say.

[r] They are still stateless, but culturally, not only do I like culture, but I feel like an Italian because, not officially Italian, but here I am reborn. While in my country they forced me out and took away my citizenship, and instead here they gave me all the prerequisites of life. I feel more Italian and I will be proud to be Italian too.

[i] Okay, thank you very much [name]

[r] You’re welcome