Friday, April 22, 2011

Italy - Lampedusa-Paris, the dream end?

The train of hope is flanked by the code "The 562,059". He enters the station at 4:54 p.m. Oria, right on time. "That one?" Asks Youssef. "Yes, that's for Taranto. Shall we go?". Situated in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot, this station is only worn three kilometers from the camp Manduria, which transferred 3,000 migrants arrived at Lampedusa are expected in coming weeks.

On the platform, eight boys Youssef. They are between 20 and 27 years, they wear a jacket, jeans and Adidas sneakers. They have no baggage. Two of them say called Ahmed, Kaled other two. And then there Komi, Niza, Komel. And finally, Youssef, 24, spokesman of the group improvised. They speak French and do not know a word of Italian.

They expect their trains in a sign of the EU where it says: "Europe is investing for your future" as an omen. "We spent four days at the center. Then we decided to leave. We had no problems leaving the camp. We walked towards Oria to the station. We slept on the street. I know, we might have to wait and board the train for Rome, but we can not risk getting caught, he spends too late.

" At 9:49 p.m., exactly. The sun is at its zenith when passes a police car on the shady road leading to the station, but officers do not stop to control the platform. The vehicle went around the place and walks away. Youssef and the other escapees can breathe: "They have not seen." Three or four Italians also await the train, as if nothing had happened.

Then comes - "Finally" - the long awaited convoy, "The 562,059". The eight fellows are distributed in all cars. Youssef Komel and settle in one of the last compartment. "We try not to get noticed." They look happy as frightened. "The journey will be long." Do they have enough to pay their tickets? "Yes, it has money, but I will not tell you how much was in his pocket." They can not trust anyone.

"Komi, for example, has lived in France seven years ago. When Nicolas Sarkozy was elected, he was expelled from the country, like other illegal immigrants. We all want to go to Paris, all. There, I have three brothers who work. What I do? Server, mechanic, what I find. " Youssef Komel interrupts: "Work in Europe, the most important.

I, some time ago, I went to Turkey, but I'm back. After three months I had gained only 300 dollars. In Tunisia, Djerba I have is even worse: 3 euros per day, no more. He had to leave at any price. " Around 17:30, the train arrives at Taranto. "Until then, no worries." Next stop: Rome. Ladies and Gentlemen, the start is imminent.

"I do not know at all when we get to Ventimiglia. If all goes well, there you will finally reach Nice and Paris. "Yusuf's smile, as he watched the scroll Apulian countryside, suddenly turns into a grimace:" I am sad that Walid is not with us. He has 28 years, he is older than me, but we are great friends.

We said goodbye to the camp. He stayed because he needs a permit. He wants to join his wife in Germany and especially to his daughter without her arms, she is eight months. "The eyes seem Youssef filled with pride:" In France, I return to Tunisia with my papers, so I don ' I have it more to hide like a rat.

I show it to my parents to show them that I succeeded. Sure, it's hard to cross the border in Ventimiglia? The police are not nice. But nothing can stop us. You'll see, we'll make it. "One train after another, his heart beating.

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