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Rome, 2014 03 16: Selam Palace is a squatted empty huge building in the outskirts of Rome. Its inhabitants are long term refugees and asylum seekers coming from the Horn of Africa (Erithrea, Somalia, Ethiopia) and Sudan; some of them, a population of about 800, are residents but seasonally, when migrants wave from North Africa to Italy across the mediterranean sea, the population increases up to 2500 units, many of them being separate foreign minors travelling through Italy to North European countries like Sweden, France or Germany, to join their relatives or to meet better inmigration policies. Bahar is a Sudanese man coming from the region of Darfur, who left his homeland because of political prosecution. He was an activist of JEM, Justice and Equality Movement, an armed party established in 2001 with the aim to struggle against the government of Khartoum and to defeat the President Omar Al Bashir. Bahar belongs to the ethnic group of Kobe Zaghawa, subject to discrimination from the leading ethnic group of Sudanese arabs to which the President Al-Bashir belongs. From the moment of taking power Al-Bashir set up an arab militia called Janjaweed that raided many times the region of Darfur causing robberies, devastations and thousands of deaths, despite of several peace talks and agreements which took into consideration the dissolution of Janjaweed into the regular army. He ran off Sudan to Chad and then Libya imagining to come back home soon but the events forced him to leave to Italy. At the moment he occasionally works as market stallholder and he is still waiting since years to meet again and marry his promised wife, portraited behind him.
- © 2014, World Copyright - Gaetano Di Filippo
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- Contained in galleries
- Selam Palace: the invisible city