Rome (NEV CS/28), 4 June 2019 – 58 Syrian refugees (one of whom is of Iraqi origin) from the last humanitarian corridor promoted by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, the Waldensian Board and Community of Sant’Egidio, arrived this morning at the Fiumicino Airport of Rome on a direct flight from Beirut. Among them, 23 children. They are families, men, women, and children from the cities of Aleppo, Homs, Damasco and they will be welcomed in Messina, Florence, Genoa, Rome and other Italian cities.
Among them was Rodeina, 19 years of age, who was reunited with her 25-year-old boyfriend, Simon, who arrived in Italy two years ago. There was also Samer and Marlyn, 29 and 24 years old, who could not marry in Syria because of the confessional divisions between their two families. And also the family consisting of Mohammad, his wife Wafa, and their children Ibrahim, Osama and Ahmed.
The press conference to welcome the refugees was attended by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Emanuela Del Re, the Deputy Prefect, Donatella Candura, president of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, Luca Maria Negro, and Alessandra Trotta from the Waldensian Board.
“In the Gospel,” said the pastor Luca Maria Negro, “there is a parable about the Good Samaritan, who was the only one to stop and help people. Well, we believe that we should not turn our heads the other way. And today, as we welcome these people to Italy, we think of those who did not make it, those who did not succeed in having this dignified reception, those who landed under completely different conditions in our ports, and those who died at sea. Those who save one life, save the whole world: the humanitarian corridors are the legal and safe route for those fleeing from war and torture and for this reason we are asking Europe to evacuate Libya. Let’s never forget the importance of saving all people who are looking for a better life.”
“The humanitarian corridor,” added Alessandra Trotta, “is the right instrument because it meets the humanitarian criteria of effective justice, because it focuses on accompanying refugees and on their inclusion in the local contexts where they will live. It is sustainable, and therefore replicable, as already happens and as we hope it will continue to happen more and more in the future. Your job,” she concluded, addressing the refugees, “will be to bring all your intelligence, all your desire for the future, the extraordinary wealth of your country’s culture and accept the challenge of putting them at the disposal of the Italian society that welcomes you, to build together an Italy that is increasingly more beautiful, an Italy of rights.”
Since February 2016, the humanitarian corridors has brought more than 1500 people to Italy from Lebanon, in addition to about 500 refugees who have arrived in France, Belgium and Andorra.
Here is the full video of the press conference held today in Fiumicino