[i]Hello [name].

[r] Hello.

[i] Welcome.

[r] Thank you.

[i] Could you introduce yourself?

[r] My name is [name] I’m Moroccan from Fquihben Saleh and I’m currently living outside Turin.

[i] Why did you choose to immigrate and choose Turin precisely?

[r] I was studying, I studied in my city of Fquihben Saleh for 9 years but I couldn’t go on so I abandoned my studies. After that I got married, but it was a failed marriage. I had as a result of this marriage a 6-year-old son who lives with me now. Afterwards I worked but I did not like the work especially for the look of society from us towards the woman devoured. Even if I didn’t do a bad job, I worked in a school and then I worked in a stationery shop. After the fact that everything I did didn’t satisfy me, I decided to come to Italy.

[i] And how was your trip?

[r] My trip was a bit bad. I didn’t take a direct road from Morocco to Italy, but I took a dangerous road that I think many people did.

[i] What is it?

[r] I went from Morocco to Libya to my family and from there to Italy.

[i] Did you come from Libya by plane or how?

[r] From Morocco to Libya halfway by plane and then by bus. And from Libya to Italy as many people do with rubber dinghies.

[i]AH, so you came underground by sea?

[R] Yes, I came with my son in a rubber dinghy by sea.

[i] At this point has your life become black in your eyes to the point of risking your life and that of your son in the middle of the sea?

[r] At that moment I was thinking not of myself but of my son and his future. I saw him grow in front of my eyes and I saw his needs grow too, so I chose to come in this way too. Because if he came in another way you had to leave my son behind, that’s why I needed a way to come with him.

[i] And how long did the journey last?

[r] In the sea?

[i] Yes.

[r] It lasted from 8 to 9 hours.

[i]How have you and your son lived this 8 hours?

[r] I do not wish anyone to live those 8 hours that my son and I lived through. I was not worried about myself, but only saw my son who could die before my eyes.

[i]Isn’t it easy?

[r] No.

[i] [name] How did you feel when you arrived in Italy and touched the ground leaving behind the risk of dying?

[r] The first thing I did was thank God that I was still alive, because I had seen dead people in the sea with my own eyes. I also thanked God because nothing happens to my son and I didn’t lose him. We have seen bad things but at least we are still alive and together. And I hoped to start a new life here, and I said since I escaped from death in the middle of the sea the rest seemed easy to me.

[i]You’ve been encouraged.

[r] New hope.

[i]And when did you get to where you went to live?

[r] The first time I was in Sicily and then I came to Turin in a community. Afterwards an association came and saw that I had a minor child and they offered me the house where I live with my son and now I am settling my life.

[i]And in these 3 years that you have been living here, what have you managed to achieve?

[r] The first year was a bit hard. Because I didn’t speak Italian I didn’t know how to communicate and interact with people. Because for someone who grew up in an environment different from the one he went to live in at the beginning, it’s difficult to get used to it. But slowly if it exceeds everything, in the first year I went to school to learn the language to interact with people. The second year I took the third grade, and I did a security training to understand my duties and my rights. And I did a cooking class.

[i]Nice. And how do you live in this society have you managed to make friends or do you have communication difficulties?

[r] Not anymore, at the beginning because I was a little isolated I didn’t trust myself and didn’t want to interact so much with people. But now I have overcome it and I have relationships with my neighbors, knowing that I am the only Moroccan in this area. I only socialize with Italians, and thank God wherever I go to work I leave a good sign. I have taken good grades for the training I have done and thanks to these grades I have found work now. Thank God I’m moving forward.

[i] And in all this time have you been in contact with your family?

[r] Yes, I am in contact with my mother that God will look at me and with my brothers and all the family.

[i] Would you like to go back a little and ask yourself how your family reacted when you decided to come by sea?

[r] Actually, I hadn’t communicated this decision to anyone when I decided to do it myself. Because I knew that no one will encourage me to take the road to the sea. I decided to go down the road of the sea not for myself but for my son. Because I didn’t want to leave and leave behind, coming here with an employment contract would not allow me to take him with me. But I had to come first and then bring him back here later. And I had absolutely no idea of leaving my son behind.

[i] [name] as we know there is a big difference between Moroccan and Italian culture, how do you live with this difference and with the two cultures in your daily life?

[r] When you arrive in a new place you discover new things you meet new people with a different way of thinking than our Islamic way of thinking. But each one is free, and as God has said, they have their own religion and we have our own each one does what he wants trying to live together in peace.

[i] Is Moroccan culture and customs present in your daily life?

[r] Actually, if you look around my house, you will find so many things from Morocco, the furniture, the things for cooking, the spices. But I don’t forget that I live in a European country and I try to settle down and learn about them. I took the Italian non-Moroccan cooking course. And I hope that in the future I can mix the two kitchens, why not?

[i] Have you ever had friends ask you to taste some typical Moroccan dish?

[r] This year I was a cookery teacher for Italians who wanted to learn Moroccan cooking. In fact, I taught them how to make couscous and Moroccan salad. We were very much in tune, they wanted to learn and I was happy to teach them something about my country. As I wanted to learn about the things of their country and I would like to find that it will teach me more.

[i]Right. What are your goals and dreams that you want to achieve here in Italy?

[r] Actually I have so many dreams and to tell them all we won’t finish, because there are so many of them. My first big dream is to be well, I think everyone wants it. This is my wish but my dream is to have a restaurant here that combines Moroccan and Italian cuisine. And to be together, and when they come to me they don’t feel strangers but at home. This is one of my dreams that I hope to realize.

[i] And for my part I hope you will be able to achieve it with a lot of work and willingness all if you can. [name] in your daily life and in your environment and with the people you meet, has ever happened to you some behavior that made you feel foreign and unwanted?

[r] No, since I arrived in Italy I have never had any racist treatment. Except once, something happened to me when I was on the bus. There was an Italian lady who when she saw me made a gesture as if she wanted to tell me that I’m a foreigner so stay away. When she made that gesture I smiled at her and so she gave me back the smile after she saw that I did not behave like her at the beginning. At her gesture I smiled, it was the only thing that happened to me from then on nothing.

[i]According to this story, do you think that if someone behaves badly towards you, don’t you have to do the same towards them?

[r] NO, on the contrary. Because if a person thinks badly who knows why, and if she is behaving that way I do not know why. But I behaved as if nothing had happened and I smiled at him and then she gave me back my smile as if she meant I was wrong.

[i]Right. Do you think you’ll settle in Italy forever and return to your country of origin one day?

[r] Honestly, I don’t think I’m coming back at the moment. And as I told you before I hope to do something here where we will all be together. It’s true that we are foreigners but we don’t feel it. Because of the fact that we live together we go to school we work and share a lot of things so we feel local. This is the first thing, and the second thing I want to do here in Italy and then we see, but for the moment I’m here. Later on we’ll see how things are going to go.

[i] [name] speaking of your culture and your traditions your language of origin can you pass them on to your son? In the sense of preserving your identity and that your son can live as a Moroccan?

[r] Of course, because we are Moroccan Muslims, even if you want to change some things you can’t change that first. I explain to my son the things we want to do and the things we don’t. And this is the mistake that Moroccans and many people make. And I always encourage him to speak Arabic so that he can communicate with others and know how things are going. And thank God my son is doing well even if he confuses the language a bit but he knows many things.

Could you tell me what you can do with some manual work, for example, what is your hobby beyond cooking?

[r] I’m not really good at manual work. As I told you, I have done some work both in Morocco and here, but it wasn’t my passion that I did. I didn’t feel I had given so much, that’s why I chose to take a cooking class because it’s my passion and I do it with the heart.

So can we say that your passion is cooking?

[r] Yes.

[i] I thank you for this interview and wish you from my heart to realize all your dreams.

[r] Thank you.

[i] And I hope that your daughter can do the same. Thank you.