[i] Hello, aunt [name] .

[r] Hello, love.

[i] Would you like to tell us who aunt [name] is and above all: where was she born, what is she doing here in Turin… like this?

[r] So, hello, love, my name is [name] , I was born in Eritrea many years ago, so old I am, then having studied a little I was a teacher and after all, the story in our country was not so beautiful, and in 1974 I came to Italy. I had 2 very small children, very young. When I arrived in Italy I didn’t feel bad, I worked to raise my children. And then, it was the time of the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and even in this area I did a little ‘of my best, I was responsible for the community, I was very attached to my country with my villagers, my friends, my sisters and my brothers. We did everything together with what was in front of what we could I did what I could and thank God it all ended, then after they arrived I had two children arrived here. They grew up here they studied here and they were good too. Now, I can’t tell you more, we have found our independence, our freedom, thank God. Thanks also to our guerrillas, everyone now says thank God I’m an old woman, my children have studied, they got married I have two grandchildren who come back every year two in my country, I rest two three months, I’m happy here I have many friends, many relatives, many grandchildren like you. In my country also the same. I think it’s enough if we talk too long about the history of the world as much. I’ve been in Italy for 40 years, so with what we’ve been through there’s a lot of history to tell, we have to write a book.

[i] And we’ll also write a book, let’s go one step at a time, I’ll take an example of what you said to me, that you taught when you were down, what did you teach?

[r] I was teaching until the first/second grade.

[i] What subject?

[r] You know how it is not like here in Italy that there is a master of mathematics, of geography, of that and of that other. There are all the books together and a master can do everything. The study is no different from here. It’s different even when he does university it’s something else I haven’t finished. Because I got married that I was little, or rather with my strength I studied after I got married, it’s so….

[i] So you’ve always been a revolutionary woman.

[r] That’s my part, even now that I’m old I go to church in Jerusalem. I like to go to church, I like to pray, on the other side there’s that thing from the village.

[i] This thing about the country and the activism that you did when you arrived here in Italy. How was the impact especially the clash with Italy when you arrived the first time you remember?

[r] When I arrived in Italy, my clash was with the Italians, because they took me from my home country. I arrived with the contract, with the place in order arrived from the airport of Asmara, I entered Rome. And then from Rome to Turin, I didn’t have any difficulty working. I don’t know, I was also young, I was 25 and something, but I didn’t find it difficult.

Did you already speak Italian?

[r] At that moment I was speaking English, but I didn’t speak it perfectly Where I worked but they also spoke English, for three or four months I spoke English. Afterwards I learned I don’t even know if they ask me “what’s your name” in English. I forgot everything and just live like that.

[i] And your role in the Eritrean community is a very important one…

[r] I can’t say that I had or have so much of a role, but what we had were difficulties at that time when I was there in ’75 ’76 ’77 was very difficult. For our people, for our country, I don’t even want to remember how things went down in history.

[i] What did you do here to help?

[r] Here we were all together we had a community, we meet every Thursday afternoon. It’s not that it was like now freedom, you work and you work you can’t do what you want. But we did our day for our country, there were others in Rome. Everything was organized. They organized in Rome there were many, who worked nothing and do only for the country. And working we do what we have done what we do what we do I have done so.

[i] Did this serve the country?

[r] I’m happy, there’s nothing to say for what I did, I say thank God, because after 30 years we’ve found freedom. I’m glad I was inside, both on the women’s and students’ side and on the side of all the workers we work together. There was more of the women and the workers, I was always there in everything as a presence anyway. But I liked it not to regret what I did, it was not a good thing to talk about the war or anything. But what was there is finished, thank God, finished well, I’m happy now if I go to my country I’m happy. Proud all my house is full of history, full of books, full of videos. However, even when I did little things.

[i] For example?

[r] It was a pleasure for me to be happy, thank God, and to all those who have done everything.

[i] And how was the community of women here in Turin? Did you find out what you were doing together?

[r] It was nice, especially that of the women we were all both men and women we had done well what we could, that was our strength. With women it was special, they were better, both with students and with workers and with women. we are more even as numbers were interesting.

[i] What were you doing? Give me an example of concrete things.

[r] We also had a party in Bologna every year, when we went there all the women who were inside even if they are not all Eritrean the ones I know and the ones that were there. We embroidered the sheets, the shirt and the scarf… everyone did all the important things without saying anything. We would do everything and take to Bologna when we would party, we would sell everything to help our government, which we hadn’t known there was war, but it seems we can help to do something we do. When it’s Sunday we’re together and we have a meeting we tell what if it tells and in the evening of every Sunday three women we do our own food. In my country we eat in large dishes where the whole family mum and dad … everyone eats together instead here in Italy you eat everyone on their own plate we are also used to eating so at the meeting but when we finished we had big dishes and we ate so happy we think that we are right in our country women prepare everything, work everything, were the Eritrean women who are in Turin, that there was our community, I was short I say I was also earning I did what I did my part, but everyone had his share. They were very good and I want to say thanks to them too. I’m good, I’m proud of my mates and sisters.

[i] And yes I say to you “the mothers Italy” you were part of it?

[r] But I have lived in many parts, both with Italians and other foreigners like me we were always united. I didn’t feel bad with them either, I’ve felt good up to now, I’ve had lots of friendships. Even when I haven’t felt bad with them because I’ve felt good up to now, I’ve had lots of friendships.

[i] Were your grandchildren born here ever in Eritrea?

[r] In Eritrea? They were born here and on the one hand we want to be Eritreans, I want to and my daughters too, one of the big ones is called Natan and spoke completely Eritrean. He likes to speak Eritrean.

[i] In tigrin?

[r] In tigrin. Dances, sings, does everything, just like an Eritrean child born there, you can’t believe he was born here. And the other Thomas is now also starting to talk because he is a little shy. the other is a little lively they are different, but they say that Eritrea is ours that Massawa is ours, we have the sea talking with their Italian friends, they too are proud, because this starts at home. Because I talk about it and see all the Eritrean things and so…

[i] So you pass on Eritrea to him?

[r] Of course, I’m from Eritrea. I’m proud to have been born in Eritrea. And that I am from Eritrea.

[i] Where were you born?

[r] I was born … we can say to Decamerè, because it is a small town where my daughter was also married now has another name, but I can also say Decamerè.

[i] Do you remember how Decameré was?

[r] When I was studying, I studied in a village called Quabarer, and I was also studying in Decamerè, I also studied in Asmara. I remember everything because I grew up in my country, until I came to Italy I was in Eritrea I never left Eritrea. The first time from Eritrea in Italy.

[i] What do you remember when you were young from Eritrea? How was Eritrea at the time?

[r] There are many memories, but you can’t remember them all, I remember when I went to school, when I grew up with my cousins and my relatives. There are many things to remember that I have to say that was important, I have already said that what I saw was important is that, I think it will suffice.

[i] Thank you.

[r] Thank you very much.