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He smiled and called me “comrade”


I’ve been in Augusta since Tuesday. Here, I’ve witnessed the landing of 712 people, which went on until Wednesday.

Anger, sadness, frustration, empathy, great humanity: I’m shocked by the whirlwind of emotions. These people have lost everything, yet they can still smile, share their terrible stories with me, a stranger, tell me about their dreams.

I’d like to be able to say that everything will be fine, that they will now find a job, that they will find peace. But I can’t. In the port of Pozzallo, on Wednesday, there was another landing of 673 people. With them, a newborn’s corpse. I have seen signs of beating, torture and tired, lost looks. I talked a lot with two boys from Cameroon – two brothers. One of them studied international relations. When I told him that I’d studied the same thing, he smiled and called me “comrade”. This was the peak of my day.

– Francesca, EMERGENCY staff