[r] My name is [name] and I am of Somali origin only daughter that is not normal in Somalia only daughter I have a daughter who is also only daughter I am a grandmother of 6 grandchildren all 6 healthy all beautiful a good Sudanese husband who if you call [name]. I am of Somali origin the last time I was in Somalia 27/26 years I was in Mogadishu to greet my parents and then happened what happened in Somalia the war then I went to pick up my parents and for now they live in Denmark as a job I graduated and I worked in Turin 17 years as a professional nurse in Turin then I left for Denmark where I still live and then I work with Somali refugees I work as a nurse I do everything full time and then my job is so welcoming of refugees but I have a daughter as mentioned and my job with refugees was double for me because it is important I have my father of 80 years my mother of 74 years plus 6 grandchildren so I too have worked to bring this tradition and work that I then carried on until now I do not work but I have activities as a volunteer there are many Somali refugees with their children that the Danish have a very strict law that also take away children if she misses it. something at school these things something and I work as a volunteer because I stopped working I turned 65 and then Somali help them as I can do this is the extra work I do I’m interested in the policy I follow for everything from both Turin and Somalia that is from everything I’m here twice a year in Turin that is my city I love and here that began my life as a woman I started in Turin. Turin is my real city even if I have lived more in Denmark than in Turin my friends and colleagues are all old and all of them are fine. We are all making messes for now we do nothing but talk about the demonstration tomorrow there is perhaps what I miss because in Denmark I do not miss anything there is nothing to fight here because when you have everything you have nothing. to fight to say this I discovered why it is so in Denmark but here will be the ideology that you miss here to do something my old companions like Simonetta and Marina are almost 70 years old but I lived by these daily things to talk about politics of this racism that there is now in Italy these things here I miss going to the streets to mess up like in the past

[i] So talking the other day with your husband who I met said something very interesting very important of your journey he said that you have your body in Denmark but that you have your heart in Turin

[r] Yes this is true To date what are the links that you have between you and Turin that has made that you still moving to live in Denmark that you have always been tied that Turin is your home?

[r] Turin has remained as my home one can say but you are Somali but I am always Somali regardless of how many years I am in Denmark I am Somali I will remain a Somali woman a mother a grandmother however what I say Turin is where I met I started my first rivolotional lots the first femmenilism lots the first jobs the first studies first struggle so something remained to me of 40 years so reliving those things there of those years I get nostalgia every day talking about what happened 40 years ago but not as it was 40 years ago because 40 years ago what happened if he believed with the joy of starting a new way but now is not the same but we talk about it with a bit ‘of sadness is what I miss and for that I love Turin

[i] Now you are promoting this beautiful book that we have yet to finish but you have then chosen to write it in Italian

[r] Yes.

[i] And with a Turin publisher and start promoting this book in Turin what happened in Turin 40 years ago between you and Turin that created this strong bond?

[r] And what I told you before 40 years ago I came that I was 19/20 years old and the first city that gave me the meaning of the freedom to be a woman to be a feminist that gave me work that gave me my studies for this reason the bond remains and I am happy to see her again my 40 year old friends are all alive and well and we still have something in common to discuss we did until this Monday evening and this I miss for that I come is this the bond I have with Turin and then I chose to to release my book in Turin because in Turin I have all my good memories and also the bad ones and for that I chose Turin I also found publishers in Rome and Milan but I chose this publishing house called “Women write” that all women are she the only woman writer publisher who won a gold medal from the President of the Republic because she does beautiful things for women and I believe in these things that she does not earn anything I still have a debt anyway I’m glad that there is this thing here

[i] Well, let’s talk about what you did at the professional level what was your path? because you say you arrived in Italy at 18/19 years old

[r] Yes 19 years

[i] Exactly what was your path but also the difficulties you encountered if you met them? or the opportunities you had both at a professional level but also other opportunities you could have? maybe you could have been the most important people in this city or this region if you gave up things or had difficulties what was your path?

[r] Ok a small Somali who arrives here I didn’t even have the average here I had it in Somalia but I have the average of 60 years ago nobody considers it however to be able to enroll me in the normal general infirmary I had to have the third average that I had not entered to be a trainee in the general infirmary hospital and I missed the diploma because I wanted to do the professional one I went to work I got up at 5 in the morning I worked and then the evening I went to the evening school and when I finished middle school I took the exam and then I enrolled there and then the most difficult thing that was and that I saw my colleagues who had the professional diploma that was more than mine that I had more auxiliary so many things that we were not at the same professional level I found 2 jobs in Turin one of the most beautiful with the son and nephew of Agnelli that of Juve who is now 56 years old.

[i] Andrea?

[r] Andrew he was 6 years old, a person who knew Agnelli his father the grandfather told me “do not you want to babysit?” to whom? told me the grandson of Agnelli you will pay well you will not miss anything and I said I? I had this mentality of going to work at the rich bourgeois Fiat and that in the morning I go to protest in front of its gate and in the evening I go to his house to work is an ideology that did not make sense my ideology of that time there I denied refused and then I refused all those things that gave me security money and I preferred to get up at 3 in the morning this is the difficulty that I found then at work my head nun was who nun me she did not make mischief but she gave me all the possible shifts and then I didn’t accept that I was a black Somali Muslim African feminist trade unionist there was no place for me but luckily I had all these medical comrades who loved each other to her too I made her do the nativity scene for Christmas I had this mentality the memory of Africa with palms and these things here she thought she was doing me mischief instead I was fine this is what was the pros and cons

[i] Well, then you made a family?

[r] I had a family and got married to a doctor I met when I was a trainee at the hospital. The head nurse told me “you don’t have to give tu to that doctor” and I followed the doctor because I was a trainee, but she told me that I do not have to give you because he was the doctor and I the nurse she did not know that we were engaged and took me away from him and sent me to another doctor and there I got married to this doctor we worked together on our honeymoon we went to Somalia to take him to my parents that my father said “do you have 50 camels for me?”joke I do not have 50 camels

[i] And then Danese who offers camels to a Somali.

[r] It was crazy, but everything went well, and then there was this thing here that my husband and I did not get along because of jealousy and then for a bad physical thing that happened and then we broke up I found another boyfriend and then happened that thing there we thought to make a revolution in Italy the Red Brigade and all those things there disappointed me what happened the casino and the red brigade I said now I give up all my husband’s work and leave and then I left to find my cousin in Denmark and there began my professional life so I also started working in Denmark I started as a nurse not professional because I was not yet known I had to do the documents to work with the elderly, and then I went to school from there I started working in university hospitals I met my husband and then it happened what happened, I was coming to Turin every year my friends from Turin when I got married came to Denmark and then it happens what happened in Somalia in 92 the war in Somalia

[i] Perfect I wanted to understand you anyway. You left Somalia when you were 19.

[r] Yes 20 yes also

[i] That’s right, but what are the figures if there have been in your path from your childhood to 19 years and if there have been figures of your family or of the country in general figures of women or at the world level who have characterized your path?

[r] In Somalia?

[i] Both in Somalia and elsewhere, in short, in childhood you had models of people that you say ok I would like to resemble this person or do the same path of his?

[r] As I told you in Somalia are all Muslims in Africa are the parents who decide who you should marry how to live in short are the parents who decide I had this model start at the age of 8 years I had Somali neighbors because in the 70s there were many Somalis left for foreign medical doctor professor went to Russia in Italy and their children were my peers were the same age as me were neighbors and I went to them to listen to music brought magazines that talked about the love of Italy Albano E Romina and we were there to dream about this beautiful thing of Italy thinking that one day I go to this place here I did not accept to see my family cooks who at the age of 15 /16 years are already married had some children I tried to run away not to be like them but like those other cooks of mine who went to school in high school I had the model of this girl here and then when I came to Mogadishu I put myself in the politics of America my first book of politics that I read at 16 years is Che Guevara’s I did not even know where the world is all these things gave me the right not to see me where I lived I didn’t want that future of being a mother with many children but I saw this model of being free I followed this girl here we went to buy photos romances written in Italian we heard the music I went to his house and my dream was to be like this model not like that of the Somali tradition and there began the mess with my father

[i] okay. and why did you decide to come to italy?

[r] I didn’t decide, because I started with a movement called “21 October” in Mogadishu was left-wing in 70 I was working with comrades from Turin who worked at the newspaper “21 October” in Mogadishu and then began the first delegations from left-wing Italy of Emilia Romania I had contacts with these people I took them around for the introduction of the new revolution many important things spoke of Somalia as they could help us there were movements for women and they told me “you are very active and believe us in the revolution you are left-wing why don’t you come to Italy to study? hey’s fine, from there I started and I had this chance to come to Turin they proposed me Emilia Romania but I chose Turin and then I had the problem of my daughter who could not take her with me because the father said that my daughter should not become like you unfaithful so forget about it did not even give me a divorce but also changed the name of his mother gave him that of his wife and I understand that it is not my daughter and so I came

[i] Where does your daughter live today? And if you have grandchildren, how many are they?

I have 6 grandchildren, my daughter lives in London, first took her to Denmark with her 4 children and then, if she is remarried, she had 2 other children born in Denmark and then left for London because there she finds it good that she has chosen and that there she feels more Somali, I respected her choice but she did not respect who I am and as I am for many things then I have contact with her but every now and then we do not go to agree on things because when she came to Denmark with 4 children from the war alone plus I had to bring my parent my father 86 years and I had to take care of everything I was with the work of the municipality plus I had my who looked like the refugees so I had to take care of them and I told her not to make children more you are not enough the 4 children you have? and she told me that I became Danish following their culture and suddenly one day told me we go to England but luckily we still have this good relationship despite she does not accept as I am but I respect myself when I go to London I dress as a real Somali I cover myself all to not make a spit to her so do not consider me unfaithful so not to do this wrong and when I go around the Somali shops in London people ask my daughter “but what is this your sister?and she says, “it’s not my mom. If I went like this without covering myself, you’d have made her lose respect because there’s this crazy religious movement, that’s fine.

[i] Good. So what I wanted to understand maybe I did at the beginning the question of your connection with Somalia this time back to the cultural side how much you miss Somalia? Especially when you are at home and you miss Somalia what do you do? Listen to the music or go to the kitchen do a Somali dish? how does it manage to manifest if it happens how does it manage to manifest these moments?

[r] I necessarily miss Somalia because I tell you until 4 5 years ago I had contact with my parents because I am an only child I have not lost cousins, the war was waged until a year ago the house that my parents left after those who missed have left it to me but under Muslim law I have no right but were entitled to his brother and his son who lived and was born in my house is a crazy thing, I have 6 grandchildren my daughter the Muslim law says that I have no right first him the brother of my father and his son and nothing then I also owe God anger all those things I did for that I did not only missed me oh God and then these here of the “Alshabab” that happens and who kill all the family members and those I know I said one day I’ll be old that I can’t walk who knows maybe I’ll go my daughter will go back to Somalia I know that she’ll go back to Somalia in day who knows if one day I’ll go back there but I miss Somalia people send me photos of beaches that go dressed to bathe in Mogadishu if they send them to me is very nice and there is always

[i] Well. today, with all your journey in Turin, how satisfied are you with your personal journey? Today, if you would like to change something in your journey, what would you change?

[r] First of all I think despite everything I’ve been through I’m satisfied with my life I’m happy that I’ve achieved my goal the goal number 1 which is when I lost not lost but we took two different paths me and my daughter what I dreamed of what I prayed is that my grandchildren would not become like my daughter or like my grandchildren? other people who hate me hate my way of being hate feminists hate democracy and this is what I have achieved has been the most beautiful gift I’ve gotten not because they have to look like me are all beautiful educated democrats believe in the right of life of Somalis of the people this is the gift I got this I’m very happy

[i] Instead if there are cpses that you should change or redo today? or rethink how to do in your path may also be in the political struggle may also be in comparison with what is happening today in Europe in general but particularly in Italy? what would you do?

[r] You will have changed, we have experienced the very closed left-wing reformulation, we are feminists, but we are this to be able to open up more, because now if you see our very tough policy that we did 30 / 20 years ago to be able to open up more because Europe if it is isolating the right wins, perhaps in one way wrong our left-wing policy that has made this Europe become so for which we are paying now I would say that we could deal with it in another way instead of doing this scheme of policy

[i] Instead, maybe it is one of the last questions I would ask you today, starting from the link that Italy has had with Somalia in history and comparing it with current immigration and especially with the laws and uniforms that are also taking shape in this country that you read today compared to that time and today? What do you read of this link between Italy and Somalia? and especially compared to what is happening today in this country?

I remember my father worked with the Italians was one of those who built the roads said that they made the roads to make war passed with their trucks or I do not know he did nothing as he said King Umberto II his son the nephew is buried in Somalia all tourists who go to Somalia ask where the tomb of King Umberto II? Graziano also was buried in the country where I was born I didn’t do anything they didn’t do school they didn’t do anything just stupid when they say that the niggers the Africans don’t even need a third grade what the Italians said in Somalia they didn’t do anything and instead of doing politics now by sending back all the Somali refugees it’s better to build things they need and that gives work to the people school and education instead of treating them as slaves here in Italy you send them and do a job that helps them economically study instead of bringing it here you miss it

[i] Your future plans besides book promotion?

[r] Yes I would like to do the book in fact I would like to write it and then see it around I do this volunteer work I hope to see that the world changes if women are well and are no longer slaves and that what is happening in Italy no longer happens and that there is more peace and more freedom in the world

[i] Well then I thank you for this availability and I think we will have other chances to do a longer interview anyway thanks

[r] Thank you.