On March 28, seven refugees who live in Italy began managing the Instagram account of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR in Italy to express solidarity with Italians who are fighting against the coronavirus epidemic.
Seven refugees living in Italy -- Abdullahi, Alireza, Danait, Halah, Hanna, Indira and Mirvat -- all with different backgrounds and stories, and from countries as diverse as Syria, Eritrea, Iran, Venezuela, Somalia, and Yemen, on March 28 began managing the Instagram account of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR in Italy.
Their stories have a common thread of difficulty, drama, and extreme hardship, as they fled their countries of origin to save their lives.
They will manage the UNHCR Italia Instagram account for a week, to help contain the spread of the coronavirus and send a message of responsibility and solidarity, sharing their experience of resilience with Italians in the fight against the epidemic.
Refugees together with Italians against the coronavirus
"Our country gave them protection, and gave them the conditions under which they could start again, feel part of a community, and contribute to its development," said UNHCR in a statement.
"Now, together with we who welcomed them, they must face a new, difficult battle, against infection from COVID-19," it said.
It said refugees in Italy are "part of the community that hosts them, they are neighbors, colleagues, mothers and fathers in school chat groups."
"Now they are in lockdown to fight COVID-19, together with all of us," said UNHCR.
Hanna's message: 'I would like to see Italy as it was before'
Hanna is 28 years old and arrived in Italy in 2018. He is currently at university studying international, development, and cooperation sciences, and was the first to send a message on the Instagram account.
"'I'm Staying Home' is a great message for me," he wrote on the platform. "I would like to go back to seeing Italy as it was before, crowded, with music on the street, the voices and children's laughter. When I was in Syria I stayed in my home for two months to escape the violence. Now, however, I'm staying home in Pinerolo (Tuin), the city that welcomed me and that I love. I'm staying home to go back stronger than before, to enjoy life more than before, to go back to hugging each other," he wrote.