Publish date 17-07-2023

by Roberto Lerda

Fatima Zahra El Maliani was born in Morocco, but she grew up in Italy and today she is to all intents and purposes a young Italian (although the recognition of citizenship is still missing). A few weeks ago she was awarded the honor of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for her willingness to return the good received through her commitment to the UNICEF after-school care in Turin. While studying, you continue to work in the Porta Palazzo district, a crossroads of many cultures in the city of Turin.

What emotions did you feel upon receiving the news of this important recognition? «Surely at the beginning I was incredulous, I thought it was a joke; but I was and continue to be extremely happy. I don't think I did something out of the ordinary or maybe it's something out of the ordinary, but I've learned to see it as something right and normal. I continue to be even more motivated to continue what I started because I think it's important; I myself am the result of this effort on the part of someone else.'

What does it mean to you and what do you wish for? “For me this recognition means a lot because it goes in the direction I wanted my whole life to go many years ago, so it means that I'm probably on the right track. The news is not made only by kids who shoot themselves or drug dealers, but also by someone who, with all his difficulties, diversity and fortunes, is trying to make it».

Who would you like to thank? «I have to say thanks to so many people, to everyone I met slowly, who raised me. The thanks would never end because I think it is right to thank person by person».

For many years Fatima frequented the Arsenale della Piazza and the magical city of Felicizia. Perhaps those very laws of heaven, including "If you wish with all your heart, dreams come true" and "We must love each other", entered her and today allow her to fly so that not only her wishes but those of hers become reality. many other children, so that everyone can receive help, opportunities and the drive to believe together in a better world that starts from our square metre.

Roberto Lerda

NP Aprile 2023

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