The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. (Oxford Dictionary)
It means that ‘Home’ is where you are you, where you build your life, love and future. It’s not a ‘house’, it’s a ‘Home’, the only place that gives you a sense of belonging.
Does nationality have anything to do with the concept of home? No it doesn’t. And this comes from a fortunate white woman who has never had to suffer hunger or escape war. Who has never had to beg for money or sleep on the street. I’ve been travelling for over 20 years and my homes have always been 2: whatever part of Italy my parents were and UK, where I was given a chance and eventually a respectful job, a future and people loving me. No walls or furniture define my “house” but only how I feel in that place because home is not your country of birth but rather the place where you build your life, family, career and future. This is what I call Home with capital H.
So when I hear “their home is Africa” I just want to shout that NO, it isn’t! Home is where we are happy and feel respected, appreciated and loved!
And while over 600 people crammed on a rescue boat take 3 days to reach a safe port, I find myself yet again on the plane looking for something I don’t even know what it is. And I have a choice. I can pick anywhere I want, I can run away from my unhappiness and disappointment and start something new in another country. Be aware, I’m not running away from violence, war or poverty. I’m simply running away from my mistakes, my disappointment and my failures. And I’m comfortably sitting on a plane, flying above this EU that when I was a teenager made me dream and gave me hopes. It disgusts me now. This is definitely not what we had in mind when we, the Italians, lay the foundation for a shared solidarity and coexistence. Europe was meant to be everyone’s Home, not everyone’s house. A Home for all the people who were looking for a brighter future, for hope. And it didn’t matter whether you were back, white, yellow, red or pink.
The arrogance of those who govern today has destroyed that fraternity built by people like Altiero Spinelli, an unrelenting federalist, Alcide De Gaspari, an inspired mediator for democracy and freedom in Europe, or Jean Monnet, the unifying force behind the birth of the European Union and others. What would they say today? How would they feel knowing that those very countries that fought together to create harmony and peace in Europe are now playing with innocent people’s lives just to prove they have the biggest willy?!
We’ve turned this ambitious integration project into a battle against an imaginary enemy. We have forgotten that we call Home whatever place where our heart is at peace.