Idris Hussain Ali is from Iraqi Kurdistan and is 29 years old. He has lived in Italy since 2005 and owns a bar in the center of Bologna.
Do you have a dream that, since you’ve come to Italy, you wish to see realized?
Yes, I have three dreams.
I always dreamed of the day in which Italy would be free of economic and political problems and the foreigners would live here with serenity. Foreigners who live here think very often that they will gain Italian citizenship in five or six years, but instead we have to wait a month of Sundays before obtain it….it seems that the Government doesn’t trust you as a citizen and, because of that, I feel disappointment and frustration around me.
You spend time and money to renew the residency permit but at the same time you already have your everyday problems, you feel as if you were on an eternal journey without the possibility of settling down and building up a life here.
My personal dream, instead, is to have enough time for everything and everybody: time to play drama, time to work, time to go on holiday, time to stay with friends…I dream of having time for all of these things and not just keep on working.
My third dream is to go back to my country without any fear of dictators who attack it, I dream of coming back without the fear of war and death.
What represents you most, here in Italy?
My bar. Once a man came there talking on the phone and asking other people what the name of the bar was. A lot of customers turned around and answered “at Idris’s bar”.
Nobody calls it by its real name, “Swing bar”, but rather they call it “at Idris’s” and this is something that makes me smile and feel good, it’s something nice.
How do you contribute to the development of the country where you live?
I’ve always worked, I’ve always paid taxes and duties and I found time and money to study and to get the Italian driving license. While I was working I got the secondary school diploma and I attended a drama school for six years. Now that I have to work a lot I can’t go to rehearsal, but I’m there with my heart.
How do you contribute to your country development?
Some years ago, before owning the bar, I used to send money home because I had a debt with my family. While I was opening this place I needed more money to invest and, thanks to the “loan”, I could help some friends who were abroad. Here it is really difficult to get loans and you’re forced to contact your family or friends who live in other countries to get some money.
Do you have an image, which is linked to migration, that you will never forget?
Yes, the journey is something you can’t forget.
I have in my mind thousands of images and those that don’t leave me belong to feelings of fear or happiness. We traveled riding a horse, wandering in the mountains for hours. It was freezing and we had the snow up to our knees.
I remember the dark places in which I was waiting for the sun to finally rise.