Letter written by Elimane Bousso
I’m Elimane , I’m 20 years old ,I’m at university and i study “eastern languages and literature” at Sapienza University. I was born in this wonderful city, my father is from Senegal, my mother from Ethiopia, and I have a brother Maurizio, two years younger than me. My friends know how much I love Italy, the country who hosted my parents , escaped from dramatic situations.
In Italy, even though the great number of difficulties, my parents have always been able to feed me, and to send money to their relatives who still live in Africa. A frequent asked question is: Where do you come from? I’m proud to say :” I was born in Rome”. They reply:” So you are Italian”. Unfortunately that’s not true and this makes me sad.
When I was born my parents had the permit of stay but they didn’t have the place of residence in Italy, because they didn’t have a stable rent. So, when I turned 18 I didn’t obtain Italian citizenship. It’s absurd, I’m foreigner in my country. I know Italy better than Senegal and Ethiopia .
When I went to High School I wasn’t free to travel with my schoolmates , and when we turned 18 , they could vote. My problems are common to all sons of foreigner born and grown in Italy, we are almost one million. My future is here, I dream it here, I want to live in a country where there is place for everyone, with the same dignity.
My motto is “Italy belongs to people who love it “. I really hope that citizenship law will change , and I’ll be officially Italian.
Translated by Antonio Cesare