When tourists visit Pisa, Italy they discover not only that the tower really does lean but also that there is a considerable number of immigrants and refugees speaking perfect Italian waiting for them. The Arab spring has created a considerable influx of refugees seeking stability in Italy, but it is hard to understand how these people can easily integrate. One way is for refugees and immigrants to directly engage with the Italian public on issues relating to their own country.
For three days in Pisa, local arab-italian NGOs , arab students and workers, in collaboration with the municipality of Pisa have decided to dedicate a space to represent and deliberate on the arab spring and immigration in Italy.
Here Green Prophet shares a selection of the posters used during the “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia, that were exposed in Pisa.
Amongst other events, an interesting initiative called “interactive library on the Arab world” was successfully carried out. Here Arab immigrants, resident in Tuscany, become “living books” from their own country. The public is then invited to consult the library’s catalogue, select a “book” and converse with the selected individual about his/ her country of origin .
On this occasion the Italian public was bought directly in touch with Arab immigrants and refugees, to talk about deep , personal or political issues creating better understanding and eventually creating better prospects for integration.
Direct interaction is sometimes more valuable than relying on interlocutors, such as the media, for information.