2019 administrative elections. In recent weeks, Albania News has given ample space to the strong presence of Albanian-born candidates for the now imminent municipalities and the presence of Gerarta Dance in the Southern Circumscription to the Europeans.
Today we present you Ornela Sejdini, candidate a Ferrara (Emilia Romagna) with the Democratic Party supporting the candidate for mayor Aldo Modonesi. (In Ferrara he is also a candidate Ben Kulli with Forza Italy).
Interview with Ornela Sejdini
My name is Ornela Sejdini, born in Peqin in the 1992. In 2001, thanks to the family reunion obtained by my father, I reached Italy precisely in Torricella (TA) and then Grottaglie (TA).
Later, for work reasons, we moved to Ferrara where I live from 2008. Here I graduated and enrolled at the university of economics: in the meantime I started doing various jobs like all young people to meet the costs, until I got the current job in the historic center of this beautiful city.
Since high school, I have always volunteered for various associations (Anffas, Oxfam) and that's where I realized the importance of social policies and active participation in the community.
1. What is your proposal in the PD program?
My candidacy is in support of the party program of the PD of which I share many points: the vision of a modern, multicultural city with particular attention to the issues of green spaces; a city that invests in the future, increasingly improving the educational offer and giving young university students the tools to be realized.
Studying and working in the historic center, I personally experience the economic dynamics of the city every day and would like to make my contribution as much as possible.
2. Being in possession of a dual citizenship, belonging to multiple cultures and speaking multiple languages is a point of advantage or disadvantage for you and why?
I believe that there are only advantages in belonging to multiple cultures: the knowledge of different traditions, of typical customs of the places where we lived and the habits of the people we meet enrich you. One learns to have respect for diversity because we were the first "strangers" of someone else and we understand that, in reality, what is different is not necessarily bad.
3. You are of Albanian origin. What is Albania for you?
Albania is the place where I was born and where I lived with my extended family, just as it happened many years ago in Italy. Over the years we have all emigrated to Western European countries leaving an empty house but filling up when we meet for the summer holidays or parties we still care about.
Albania for me is also that part of the Albanians that I meet, I know and with whom I share moments that intertwine between modes and slang in Albanian but with so many stories in Italian. Albania for now and for many years have been the testimonies of Albanian artists living in Italy. It is you who brings me a piece with your news.
In the family we speak very often in Italian but I insist on wanting to cultivate linguistic aspects and, thanks also to the help of my friends. Not only for a patriotic sense in respect of my parents but also to be able to share something more with my Italian friends for generations. Being able to tell them about our traditions, customs, songs and dances and why not, our food. But the latter Italian friends are already experimenting by coming directly to Albania. I am glad that this too finally happened.
4. What does it mean to have a foreign name in your everyday life?
Having an Albanian surname has always meant some homework correction during the school years, having to spell on the phone and some jokes from friends.
I don't remember any incidents of discrimination or words aimed at making me feel unwanted.
In recent years, I have heard of some of my peers who have had problems renting houses due to constraints placed by the owner on the tenant's nationality. I hope that such episodes will become more and more sporadic until they are canceled: we must go beyond the distrust of a foreign name.
5. Do you care about polls? What do they say about the list you signed up for?
Personally, I pay little attention to the polls: the election day is played.
6. What does it mean to be integrated in your opinion and what are the proposals to be made to improve immigration policies?
Integration is a process that requires both the personal commitment of the individual to socialize and be an active citizen within the community, and the commitment of different social agents (such as school, work, friends) to welcome them. It cannot be one-sided.
I believe that managing immigration is one of the greatest challenges of today's global politics: beware of those who promise simplified solutions to such a complex and delicate reality. It takes time and effort: European political action is needed, continuous collaboration between states, streamlining of practices and a well-connected information collection network.
All bearing in mind the basic rights of migrants who are first men and must be respected as such. Then we should start dealing with the issue of immigration on an equal footing with which we would like to deal with the theme of work or any other important issue.
This without however dwelling for a long time and abusing this phenomenon, which I would dare to call natural, for political purposes poorly placed in the form of divide and rule.
7. Are you Italian enough for those who will vote for you?
This would be the case of "Not enough Italian for Italy and not much Albanian for Albania".
Honestly it is a thought that in recent months has never touched me: technically I am an Italian citizen in all respects and I am also Albanian, the two things are not mutually exclusive.
8. Do you notice any difference between your parents and you in the way you live in Italy?
Absolutely: for them Italy was the country in which to redeem themselves. They worked hard to have respect, to find a rewarding job and to give their children a future. They have always lived on tiptoe, to be the most deserving of the hospitality received.
I myself had the same attitude in the early years but the more I grew up, the more I tied with people and the more Italy became my new home.
9. What do you have to say to the other candidates of Albanian origin who compete in other lists?
To all of them I make a big good luck! It's nice to read about people who get involved and try to contribute to society, regardless of nationality. If they are Albanians then it is a little more satisfaction!
10. Don't you think they only chose you to draw on the votes of your community?
Yes, it is certainly a legitimate vision but the choice I made is the result of my passion for political dynamics and trust in institutions.
Being Albanian is also an added value: I am more than happy if my candidacy serves as a bridge to direct and involve in politics people who have not been represented or taken into consideration. However, I remain convinced that the Albanians are well integrated into Italian society, political representation or not: what I hope is a unanimous participation of Albanian / Italian / French / Romanian / etc voters to choose based on their own principles and proposed programs.
11. Do you want to add something or say more that you think is important?
I believe it is essential to bring new generations closer to political events. We are experiencing a delicate period of profound social and economic crisis where every foundation of democracy is challenged. In fact, one of the reasons I decided to go ahead is because I do not share this climate of continuous distrust and disapproval of the institutions.
Complaining without proposing solutions or acting is useless: on the one hand we have numerous tools available to inform us and follow everything that happens around us; on the other hand, the Constitution allows all citizens, without distinction, to actively participate in political life.
Follow Albania News on Google News