In The Desert It Was 50:50 Whether I Lived or Died

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Italy, July 23 (Mediaage NG) – When a country’s economic state is becoming unbearable to its citizens, they seek for alternative means of improving their present state of being but, that of their offsprings or unborn children.

Sometimes, it could be to the advantage of host countries who look to use that as an edge in exploiting the skills or manpower of immigrants. Some of these may be politically motivated to increase the legitimacy of a ruling government or as a strategy by an opposition to unseat a government.

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In this instance, one may easily get caught up in the heat of the political debate over migration across the Mediterranean, a topic that has propelled right-wing parties into power in Italy and elsewhere.

Also the staggering statistics of tens of thousands of arrivals on Italy’s shores, or the estimated 2,000 people who have died crossing the Mediterranean already this year is baffling, to say the least. Yet, many still throng in their thousands aiming to cross the sea.

Take, for instance, the personal story told by Tessy, a young Nigerian lady who made it to Italy over a decade ago. She almost broke down as she reveals the circumstances of her journey to Europe and how it panned out, while speaking with the BBC’S “Reporting From Southern Italy On Migration”.

She said she spent 10 days stuck in the Sahara desert, almost out of food and water. It was 50:50 whether she lived or died, she said. Though, now married, and happy, helping newly arrived migrants and refugees to settle in Italy, Tessy said, she would never advise her 21-year-old self to make that sort of journey.

Anicet, an Ivorian woman met outside a reception centre for migrants in Crotone, said she had been sold into slavery in Tunisia, and described beatings and rapes as commonplace for women making their way to go to Europe.

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It is not just ladies that go through this ordeal, men also. Some said they had been imprisoned in Libya, and beaten, until they paid ransoms – something that the physical and psychological scars will take a long time to heal.

Despite the threatening nature of this kind of adventure, many still see it as route to better their lives and families and those who make this world’s most dangerous journeys, hope that they – like Tessy – will be able to settle in to a better life in Europe.

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