Fra Genova e Fez

From the alleys of the medina quarter of Fez to the alleys of Genoa: four siblings tell their process of integration in Italy. Their father was one of the first Moroccan immigrants in the 1970s, and spent all his savings to pay for a cab from Rome to Genoa because he was unaware of the distances and living costs in this unknown country. Lahcen Khay represents the successful completion of a dream that brings all migrants together. Over the years he spent in Genoa, he managed to run a business and to start a family, so that at the end of the 1990s he decided to return to his home country as a “rich man”. In Fez (Morocco), he opens the Cafè Genova, symbol of his nostalgic feelings and attachment towards Italy.
Lahsen talks about the difficulties he faced when he returned, and how disoriented he felt. After 30 years in Italy, he had to refashion his life in Fez. However, he wants to spend his old age in his homeland. His children are still living in Genoa, they are fully integrated and are sure that they want to stay in Italy (“not only a place to work, but also to live in”). These four siblings see the balance between the respect of traditions and the desire for integration very differently: a business owner with a “Genoese attitude” who also studies architecture, a butcher with a daughter who scolds him for speaking Moroccan Arabic, an ARCI assistant at the immigration office who helps the newcomers, and the only female child, who barely remembers the integration process, and deeply misses her father.