Human Mind and Migration —
BY NADA EL MAAZOUZI
The students of Messaggero Veneto Scuola are part of the impactmania’s internship program for the 2020-2021 academic year. A series of migration topics were explored in this Program that will culminate in an online exhibition and presentation, May 2021.
COVID made us all Digital Nomads, however, it didn’t stop us from cross-cultural, interdisciplinary learning.
Hajar, Heni, and Brahim are three young guys who are taking their place in the Italian world through social media. They are doing what they love: amuse those who watch them. They have very clear ideas about their future and what they are doing will be part of that future. They started to have fun on social media as almost a game. Then they found themselves with thousands of followers who are rooting for them and for their success.
Let’s focus on Hajar: she is a young girl of 16 years with Moroccan origins who vents on social platforms. For her Italy is synonymous with home. Hajar has always felt between being Moroccan and being Italian. She has a strong personality, so she can always find her own space within society. Wearing a veil, however, she feels very judged both by her fellow countrymen, who think that she is not able to carry this responsibility. And some Italians who see the veil think that she does not want to integrate into Italian society. Her strong character made her life at school easy; she imposes her presence. Others must accept her for what she is. She definitely does not change for anyone.
But what is the meaning of her name? Hajar means immigration, an Arabic name derived from the Koran. When she was young, she wasn’t very happy with her name. She always wanted to change it, but now she wouldn’t ever change it, it’s part of her.
Let’s talk about Heni: a 19-year-old boy with Moroccan origins. He is always ready to make others laugh with his imitations on social media. Heni feels very close to Italy, he has never felt inferior to others nor targeted by Italians. Heni has encountered many obstacles in his life, but this has never led him to lose sight of his goals. He dreams of having a family one day and making his mother proud by doing what he likes.
Integration has never been one of the problems. Social media has something to do with this, to have your place in society you have to be sociable. And social media is just being more social. Heni’s integration has been very easy thanks to his sympathetic attitude, so his origins have never been a burden. There have been offenses and there will always be, but when you have people who support you, they count for nothing. The boredom of quarantine due to COVID-19 led him to discover the world of social media, where he could vent all his creativity and irony.
His name? It is a name of Egyptian origin and it means tranquility. He never thought of changing it for the simple fact that it represents it.
Brahim is a 22-year-old hairdresser of Moroccan origin. For Brahim, Italy is much more than home. His country of origin arouses him much curiosity, he can’t wait to find more out about it. Social media is a double-edged blade: they lead you to success, but you could be judged continuously. This is not the case for Brahim, he has always been himself and this has led him to be loved and not judged. He never strives to please others and is always showing what he is about; he uses social platforms to express his thoughts and confront them with his followers. At school he never had integration problems, he never felt “the foreign boy” of the class.
Let us turn to his name: Brahim is the name of one of the prophets of Islam and means “fathers of many peoples”. As his name is not Italian and few people can pronounce it, he decided to call himself Bryan.