- On Tuesday’s issue we published the first part of the conversation we had with an Italian group of tourists. I talked to them last week just before they packed to go back to Italy. The group of Italian tourists were composed of two mini groups. The first comprised seven grown-up men and women while the second sub group were young students supervised by their professor!!! Here follows the impression of the adults.
- -FABIO MALFATTI, Etno- Antropologiche Research Center
Hello, I am Fabio Mafatti. By profession I am a social anthropologist. I am interested in the theme of sustainable development. I came to know Eritrea through a friend Pietro Marri.
My point of view is informed by a researcher’s point of view. My aim was to somehow create discussion podiums for the objectives of our projects, mainly dealing with sustainable development, which is also Eritrea’s core ideology for its national development. I know little about Africa. My previous experiences mainly dealt with South America. So it was definitely a different experience. What impressed me most about this country is the extreme care the country invests in infrastructure. Moreover, the hygiene level is exceedingly impressive. I was surprised because coming from an abundant involvement in Latin America where trash is left in the streets my experience in Asmara is positive. I know there is a lot to learn about Eritrea and so ten days were quite brief for me. I admire the several opportunities I was granted for open dialogues.
- -ALESSANDRO GHIOZOLI, Ass. Partecipazione e Sviluppo
Glad to be here. I am Alessandro Ghionzoli, President of the Ass. Partecipazione e Sviluppo in Lucca. I have known Eritrea since a very long time ago. Starting from my early days as a University student. It was time of the armed struggle. I discovered it recently through engagements we have been taking part of.
When Marcello Marchi came to us looking for contribution to carry on the project Associazione Lucca- Massawa Un Lungo Ponte we decided to actively participate and create a podium whereby students acquire firsthand knowledge about Eritrea and share their experience with their friends and family back in Italy. Unfortunately, the information we get in Europe about Eritrea are distorted; very far from what we have just experienced. I needed to see if all of the violence related to Eritrea was real and so here I am. I met many hard working youth. A loving people that is exceedingly welcoming and an atmosphere that is opposite to what we normally hear of. We are also collaborating with the Eritrea club Bologna. I visited and talked to the president of the Eritrean Workers Union. What we are doing is taking small steps, respecting the reality in Eritrea, opting to put our proficiencies accessible if needed.
- -MARIA ANNUNZIATE BIZZARRI, Vice President Coop. Solidarieta` e Sviluppo
I got to know Eritrea through asylum seekers from sub Saharan countries who reached Tuscany. I had to come and for myself see the country whose name I constantly hear mentioned in bad connotations.
We have visited Asmara, Massawa and other places. We have talked to different people of all social levels and really enjoyed our trip. What impressed me most of Eritrea is the social level and the Eritrean women. I noticed that the condition of women here is more advanced than that of Italy. I was stunned. They seem to be happier and free. Personally speaking, I sometimes don’t feel at ease to be alone in the streets of big Italian cities. To the contrary, here it is another world; I see young girls and women of all ages calmly going around. As if they don’t even consider the smallest possibility of incidents of violence. They are beautiful, confident and serene. I return home with new perspectives and ideas inspired by Eritrean women. All ugly is talked about Eritrea, the land of violence they say, but I return home wanting to come back.
- -PIETRO MARRI, Vice President Ass. Luca-Massawa
I have heard about Eritrea since the armed struggle for independence. Despite the fact, of course, that back then we had little information about the struggle from media outlets. So what I know, I knew from people. Now that I have retired, I finally have time to establish with the willingness of friends an association called Associazione Lucca-Massawa Un Lungo Ponte. What we aim for is a cultural exchange by coming to Eritrea every 6 months. I can totally assure you that I feel ‘Eritrea sick’ away from Eritrea.
It is my 5th time in Eritrea. Particularly, though, I am happy because this year a cooperative with the Eritrean government was launched. I conducted a seminar in the College of Marine Science in Massawa and not long ago I received an answer confirming the building of a new solar water distillation plant. It is an extremely simple and easy project to realize.
- -SILVAN GIAMBASTINI, Lawyer
My husband and I have been, for the last four years, involved with an Asmarino friend, Marcello Marchi, and his explosive passion for Eritrea. We have been in an adventure that turned out to be probably the most interesting of my life. Eritrea was indeed, for me, a new world to discover. Through the Eritrean people and the life style in Asmara I had the ability to see how far the Italian culture moved all the way to Africa! And luckily, around this time, being part of a touristic group mainly composed of young people gave me a chance to feel the youth’s energy and be part of their enthusiasm. We became, just like them, young and passionate adventurers. Therefore, I want to applaud their initiative. This experience will certainly reside in our hearts and I hope to translate it to factual initiatives because we have comprehended that the link (Eritrea- Italia) is not a link of the past and the colonial era, but a link that endured through time and is still existing.
- -SERGIO VAMIGLIO, ASL
I also followed my friend Marcello Marchi involved me in an extraordinary adventure. I call it adventure because I have visited many countries in Asia and Africa but none has ever fascinated me like this one. I can say that the presence of youngsters heightened our sensations. Getting to know people of this land has been an honor for the reason that they are very welcoming and extra friendly to Italians with a touch of brotherhood, at least so I felt. It was an emotional journey, especially meeting Eritrean students. The commemoration we did for Eritrean and Italian martyrs was unquestionably a sign of solidarity