Life As Immigrant At The Notorious Pantanella In Via Casilina Rome

Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh.Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Roma Novembre 1990 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africani tra cui (Joel Savage) Panoramica della Pantanella. Rome

As a child growing up in a strongly religious family, I was thought that everything which is opposite to the teachings of the Holy Bible, including laziness is a sin. I tried my best to live a clean life. We were thought to believe that Israel, Jerusalem, and other Biblical countries were all in heaven, without a slight knowledge those countries were on the same earth we are living today.

When I left my family looking for a job, I tried to be sincere and prevented doing anything wrong which could land me in jail. I read that jail changes people’s attitude to be good or worse. But I wasn’t interested to know the positive or negative influences of jail on people. My only interest is never to be there because it’s not the right place for me.

In the year 1990, from Lagos, Nigeria, I made a transit in Rome, on my way to German. In Rome, I was detained at the Fiumicino airport. The Italian immigration regularly does that to many foreigners, especially Africans. Like a tourist, I walked around the airport lounge without a room to sleep and food for three days. On the third, I was really starving, so I approached one of the immigration officials and said to him that I am hungry. He looked at my face and asked me “Am I your father?” Then he walked away.

Without knowing what the officials have in store for me, I handed over an application for asylum as a journalist and it worked, because I have some few publications over my profession on me. On the fourth day, from nowhere came one of the immigration officers, he said to me: “Your application has been accepted, today the police will come to take you to Rome.” I was shocked beyond expression.

Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh.Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Roma 31 gennaio 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh. Le forze dell’Ordine sgombrano la Pantanella. Rome, January 31, 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Police evacuate the Pantanella.

 The good Samaritan didn’t only deliver the unexpected message, but he pulled out from his pocket a number of notes and said to me: “I don’t want my colleagues to see me giving you money, buy some food to eat at the airport.” I didn’t take the money. I told him: “This important information you have given to me has taken all the hunger away, thank you.” He walked away with his money.

On the fourth day, the police came, just as the officer told me and took me in a police car to the city, Rome, and left me there to fight for my survival. Without anywhere to sleep, I passed all my nights at the Central Train Station. Among other Africans, we watched a big television screen during the day to forget our misery, then in the night, I go to sleep at my hiding place. The police and the workers at the train station never discovered the place I slept.

After some time, I discovered places where I could eat every day without paying for food. I could take my bath and take some clothes. One of such places was at ‘Via Dandolo.’ Daniela, the head of the Caritas (Charity) at Via Dandolo, was a very good woman, but one of her female workers was a very bad woman. A thief. Since we had no address, our letters passed through the Caritas at Via Dandola and this woman took the opportunity to steal money from our letters.

I caught her twice, so I wasn’t surprised when I lost the 10 pounds a friend sent me from England, but I didn’t tell Daniela about it. Through the Caritas, I had my initial lessons and attended classes to learn the Italian. I was one of the best immigrants who could write and speak the language fluently, yet my life was miserable because I was still sleeping at the train station.

In Rome, I was robbed, admitted and operated at a hospital, but the nurse refused to touch me, because of my color, thus; every morning when on duty, she calls someone to attend to me, but she had time for every Italian patient at the hospital. I was once sitting in the hospital’s garden after the operation, when an Italian old man, one of the patients came close to me, looked at my face and said to me: “Marocchino motaccizoa.” – an insult, after mistakenly taken me as a Moroccan. I didn’t say a word.

Then all of a sudden, as if it was announced on the radio, all the immigrants in Rome, without accommodation, discovered an abandoned Pasta factory called ‘Pantanella.’ Pantanella is notoriously known for all criminal activities, including drug peddling and crime, similar to drug cartel zones of Mexico. One needs strength, courage, heart and braveness to survive at that place. Italians think they are brave, but many of them dare to pass Via Casilina, the street Pantanella is located in the night.

That was the place I lived and worked as a toilet cleaner for thousands of immigrants, using six containers as toilets, to raise money to feed. I was employed by the Muslim head at the place. It’s terrible and frightening to live at Pantenella. It wasn’t a prison, but the place, I think was tough like Alcatraz, because of the criminal activities many illegal immigrants engaged in feeding.

 

Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh.Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Roma 31 gennaio 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupato da centinaia di immigrati asiatici provenienti dal Pakistan e Bangladesh. Le forze dell’Ordine sgombrano la Pantanella. Scoppia un incendio durante lo sgombero Rome, January 31, 1991 Ex Pastificio Pantanella occupied by hundreds of Asian immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Police evacuate the Pantanella.A fire during the evacuation

The abandoned factory accommodated both soft and hardened criminals from various countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Africa etc. I lived in Pantanella for four months, and the Italian government tired of the crimes going on in that abandoned Pasta factory ejected all the foreigners.

But the Italian government did something great for the African immigrants. Something we weren’t expecting. The government paid for two weeks stay in a hotel for all the Africans, with the ultimatum that before the two weeks expired, we should find a place on our own to live.

Through a very good sympathetic woman called Nana, (she died in Rome a few years ago) I got a job as a houseboy to serve one journalist called Claudio Lavazza, working at television station TG2, belonging to the former Italian Prime Minister, Sylvio Berlusconi. He provided me accommodation and paid me well. Besides, he gave me the new version of Fiat Cinque Cento (500) to drive. It may be likely that I was the first black man in the entire Italy to drive the new Fiat Cinque Cento when it freshly came out. I met other journalist friends of Claudio, including Michele Cucuzza.

After three years, I said goodbye to Rome and returned to Africa. I married and returned to Europe once again but this time choosing Amsterdam. ‘Overseas Chronicle: The Rome and Amsterdam Experience’ is a book once started you’ll find it hard to put away, because of the shocking intriguing stories in the book. Find out more of what happened to me in Rome and later in Holland, which led me to detention in Amsterdam.

 

Come sono sopravvissuto come un immigrato nella Pantanella pericoloso può essere letto in: 
Chronicle 3

The Mysterious Sandwich Thief

Sandwich

 

In Europe and America, an innocent black man likely becomes a suspect because of the colour of his skin. At the premises of the industrial cleaning company, are workers from various countries, including Africans. For almost three months, the company we were working for, takes us to another industrial company in the district of Antwerp, called FABRICOM, to work there.

Fabricom is a construction company occupying a very large terrace. The company installs and maintains electricity installations, video surveillance, heating etc. Like the officials, the industrial workers also used containers as offices, toilets and dining hall.

The work at Fabricom was very heavy, thus; among hardworking operational staff, we do eight hours per day and most of the time, I drive a forklift. At 12 P.M, we have our lunch break. It was launch time we detected that some of the workers’ launch box had gone missing.

To work very hard and to find out that your lunch box is missing or stolen, is an issue too tough to handle. This didn’t happen once or twice but daily. Action speaks louder than words. Being Africans among white workers, all eyes were on us as the suspect, even though we weren’t accused of any theft.

At the dining hall, the atmosphere becomes tense, when on the fifth day of the week, one of the workers finds his food stolen again. This time, the management decides to do something about it. They secretly started their investigations, creating undetected hideout aiming to catch the person responsible for this theft red-handed.

The following week, about a quarter to noonday, a mysterious man emerged into the quiet dining hall, looking for a meal to steal. After tasting a number of meals, he finds a delicious one and he took it. As he tries to walk out he was intercepted.

Shockingly, out of over hundreds of workers at the company, the mysterious thief appeared to be one of our colleagues from Portugal. He was interrogated but the company didn’t call the police. Instead, they informed the boss of our company of what has happened.

Fabricom wouldn’t like to see the thief at the company’s premises again, so the company I was serving sent the Portuguese to another place to work. Sometimes it’s very hard to be judged wrongly because of the colour of your skin, but that shouldn’t prevent us to build a good relationship, with our neighbours, colleagues and our bosses.

Babies: Those Who Want Can’t Get And Those Who Get Don’t Want

Unwanted

Unwanted baby deposited in a baby box.

Once I visited a Belgian couple in the neighborhood of Antwerp. They are married for many years and both are in their forties. They dearly love each other and many times, I study the way Peter treats his wife, kindly, gently and respectfully. “Joel, hold a woman like an egg, because when it breaks, you can’t pick it up, you will only miss your water when your well runs dry,” Peter once told me.

I do ask questions, especially when very close to someone. “Peter, you don’t like children,” I said. “I married to have children, but we never had one. I’ve tried everything without success, “said Peter. “After everything failed, did you ask from God,” I asked. “If there is God, then he might be a very wicked God,” said Peter.

I realized the pain and heartache of Peter. His comments are enough to know how dear baby means to him, but frankly speaking, when one seeks God, God will also seek you. His wife couldn’t bring forth a baby and now he hates God for that. It’s not only Peter and his wife facing this bitter experience. Worldwide, there are thousands of women looking for children without success.

Some have spent thousands of dollars just to be pregnant all to no avail. Many are sad in their matrimonial homes, because the child they are longing for never comes. Thousands of women are desperate looking for babies. Without any hope of having own their babies, some adopt children, yet thousands of babies are killed daily through abortion, strangulation and abandonment.

Some mothers are so cruel that one finds it difficult to believe what they did to their own babies, The question is, why babies often end up in the hands of women who don’t want them, when someone else is looking for one without success? Couple of months ago, a woman from New Jersey was arrested and charged with murder for allegedly putting her newborn baby in the middle of the road and setting the infant on fire.

Innocent babies are being dumped in toilets, bushes, roadsides, gutters etc, without any pity or remorse. The need to do more to help mothers with unwanted babies is necessary. Governments worldwide should also find a solution to avoid abandoned babies, because society wouldn’t accept this kind of cruelty. Germany has already found a solution to discourage abandoning of babies, by providing baby bank.

Lee Jong-rak , a pastor in South Korea, saw a devastating problem in the amount of abandoned babies left to die on the streets. He organized a “Baby Drop Box” where unwanted babies are deposited in a box, saving thousands of babies who would have been left on the streets or abandoned to die. Life is precious, people should stop killing babies.

Belgium Journalists: What Do They Write About?

 

No discipline in Belgium schools

Sven Gatz: Flemish minister for culture, Media, and youth. He has a big responsibility to instill discipline in schools

In the publishing industry, there was a time the cover of a book doesn’t matter to readers, because many agree that the content or subject of the book gives the book recognition, makes it famous or masterpiece among titles. Then suddenly everything changed. Now hundreds of readers choose their books wisely because attractive covers.

Thus; if you are a journalist and you think because you’re holding Bachelor of Arts, Masters’ Degree or whatever qualification in journalism, those qualifications, will earn you the respect you are looking for, then I’m sorry, you are in a dream land or you’re likely lost in the desert.

In this modern era that journalism or the media plays a very important role in the society, the impact of your work, articles and your daily contribution to society, are what is necessary, but not one’s qualification. Because many have those qualifications but have no experience. Give them a pen to write something essential, you will be disappointed.

As one takes a wider view on things happening in our society today, the need to ask what’s role is the media playing to make things better in our decaying society is necessary. Go to schools, you will be astonished to see the lack of discipline that has taken over. Students don’t respect teachers and say bad things to them. In the toilets, students urinate indiscriminately on the ground, because they enjoy  cleaners cleaning their mess.

Young children, as young as twelve and thirteen are smoking. Many are dropping out of school because of teenage pregnancy and juvenile crime, while a lot of children are committing suicide every day. Even though there are thousands of journalists in Belgium, it’s rare to read articles from journalists, suggesting solutions to such disturbing issues or how to arrest the situation.

When you buy any Belgium newspaper, what one reads is politics and articles about immorality. Nothing significant or educating to read. It’s sad, yet they think they are on top of the world. What Belgium journalists fear most is to write the truth about Aids and Ebola, because their country took part in the medical crime against Africa.

Efficient journalism means accuracy, fairness, compelling, presentation, timeliness and relevance. It’s hard to find these qualities in Belgium journalists. They can’t even differentiate evil from good. They have proved it. None of their journalists is brave enough to demand the removal of the statue of the murderer King Leopold II, for killing over ten million Africans, including children, when there is no statue of Adolf Hitler for killing six million Jews.

Those days that European journalists want to prove to Africa that they are the most intelligent people on earth are gone. Now that we know, we shall continue to reveal their weaknesses, incompetency and their cowardly acts to the world. Out of the blue, a Belgian journalist followed me on Twitter. He suffered attacks  from other journalists and the following day, he unfollowed. Today, one of my respected followers is Queen Mathilde of Belgium, because she is a truthful and sincere woman.