“We are fine, thank goodness. We leave in a few hours, we are happy. Italy will become our new homeland”. On the eve of the flight to Rome, where they are expected this afternoon, we managed to contact Munzir al-Nazzal, Mustafa’s 35-year-old father. For three years he has lived in an apartment in Turkey, paid for by the Red Crescent, on the border with Syria. With him are his wife and three children, including the five-year-old born without legs and arms.
When did you know that the situation was unblocked and you could have come to Italy?
“We were told earlier this month, after New Years. We were contacted by the Italian consolotate and thanks to Luca Venturi (art director of the Siena Photo International Awards, who promoted a fundraiser in his favor, ed) who took care of the bureaucratic papers, the procedure was successful “.
A visa for Mustafa and his father. Italy ready to welcome them
by Fabio Tonacci
What do you expect to find in Italy?
“Mainly help for Mustafa. And then the possibility of sending my three children to school. They ask me every day, only with an education will they be able to have a future worthy of the name. Maybe I’ll be able to find a job too” .
Have you ever been here?
“No, what I know of Italy I learned from television and from researching on the Internet. I know that it is an advanced European country, where people live in peace. There is no war and there are no problems they have experienced. and the people in Syria continue to live “.
What future do you imagine for Mustafa?
“I don’t know, in the meantime I hope to see him soon stand up on artificial legs. And I hope to receive his embrace, even if it will be a prosthetic embrace. This is the thing that interests me most at this moment”
Is there anyone in particular you want to thank?
“The Italian people for the welcome they will give us and your government which took our history to heart and gave us a visa. Mr. Venturi was always close to us, we were always in touch via message. tell me that it was not a joke, that after several proposals for help received from many NGOs this time the thing would really be done. I was worried about Covid, when I saw that in December the infections had increased a lot. I thought everything would have been blown, instead … “
Mustafa, the Syrian child without limbs arrives tomorrow in Italy. The father: “We are very happy, we still don’t believe it”
by Fabio Tonacci
When he gave his first interview to Republic, he said his goal was to go to Germany.§
“Italy is fine, if I can take care of my children I have no intention of leaving there”.
How did your wife react to the news?
“He’s in seventh heaven, like all of us”
What is left behind?
“The region where I was born has returned under the control of the Bashar al-Assad regime. My house has been demolished. The iron of the reinforced concrete that made up the walls has been stolen and resold … there is nothing left. in Syria for us. I weigh a leg for a barrel bomb thrown from a helicopter, Mustafa was born this way because his mother breathed sarin gas during a chemical attack while she was pregnant. We are unfortunate but now I feel lucky for the opportunity that Italy is giving us. I am aware that there are many Syrians and many Syrians who suffer from the cold and hunger, I hope that the international community and Europe will do something for them too “.
What do you put in your suitcase?
“Since I have been in Turkey I have not owned anything more than the clothes I am wearing. In the suitcase I put the hope of starting a new life”
Will you return to Syria sooner or later?
“As long as there is the al-Assad regime, how do we do it? Look at how the war has reduced us. I hope that one day the regime, with all its members of government, will be brought before a court and be judged for the responsibility he has “.