Presentation on theme: "It sounds incredible. Yet the man in front of me, a successful doctor wearing jacket and shirt, a light grayish shadow on his cheeks, the one which makes."— Presentation transcript:
It sounds incredible. Yet the man in front of me, a successful doctor wearing jacket and shirt, a light grayish shadow on his cheeks, the one which makes them look like old wise men, the man in front of me used to run in the savannah one day. And this man is telling me one of the most particular stories I’ve ever heard; more than a story is a crossroads of identities, of families lost and regained, a story which mixes up with History,
the History taught in western countries books and the History orally handed down from African fathers to sons and sons’ sons so that anybody is able to reel off on request the names of at least a dozen ancestors…as for me I’m afraid I’d stop at my great grand- father! So this is the story of Omar Mohamud Giama, an Italian citizen, whose descendants, Italian,decided one day to go back and retrace to the root of their mixed up, unique identity.
It will take lots of coffees to recount a puzzle assembled in 50 years. It’s better move ….and should thoughts got lost among different locations, the unmistakable flowing of Time will offer support.
When he landed in Naples, Omar didn’t even know men could be ‘white’. For sure back at the village there lived Father Pietro, who was very pale, but he thought he was an albino or a strange man. Omar was born in southern Somalia in 1957, in a village called Bulo Yak, inhabited by the Wasigua, a Bantu minority tribe of Tanzanian origin: they had been deported to Somalia as farm labourers in the 19th century. Five hundred people managed to break free and then settled down along the river Jubba.
That’s where Omar was born, the son of the tribal chief Mohamud Giama. He was the third of nine brothers, named Omar after the second of the four ‘Rightly Guided Caliphs’ of Islamism, to which the family had converted even if retaining animistic traditions and ancient rituals. And the unfathomable divine plans decided for Omar “the wise man”, son of a ‘medicine man’, to become a doctor himself.
“In 1966 a terrible famine prostrated my village Bulo Yak. The wise old men of my tribes gathered to discuss the situation, encouraged by a missionary priest: who should be sent to Italy, who should be offered a different opportunity? Certainly not the first-born of the tribal chief. And not the second born…to avoid bad luck, you know. What about the third? Yes, they could make an attempt. And so they did, careless of my Mum crying…they did not even ask for her opinion about the painful yet heaven-sent decision.
. I can’t say I myself agreed with all this. I fled away into the forest towards a nearby village. I was easily found out shortly after: ‘ Why did you flee away? You’ll be much better in the place you’re going to’. ‘If so… why’s Mum crying?” “ Women can’t do anything good. They just cry”