Ahmed Musa, who landed on Lampedusa in 2011 after fleeing Sudan, has earned his degree in Turin with a dissertation on human rights in Darfur.
The 32-year old Sudanese refugee was awarded his degree at the University of Turin in Italy on Thursday. The topic of his dissertation: Human rights in Darfur.
That's where Musa is from, and this was where he was imprisoned, tortured and deprived of his nationality. That's also where his father and six siblings were killed.
Spent years fleeing his home country
Musa was born in the town of Entkena in Sudan. He managed to escape from jail after being left in a field because his jailers thought he was dead. Farmers found him and helped him. It then took him five years to get to Italy, three of which he spent in Libya.
Before pro-government militias attacked his city, he had gotten a degree in economics in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where he used to teach.
New life in Italy
Musa spent the first few days in Turin, which is capital of the Piedmont region in north-eastern Italy, sleeping in the Porta Nuova station. Now he lives in the university dorms and aims to continue studying in order to obtain a PhD.
He has been granted refugee status and has a small son whom he calls Nelson Mandela. "Studying," he said, "is a way to prove that no one can destroy the will of another person. Through studying, my parents taught me, you can change your life and that of others. This is why I made this choice. It was difficult but I am very happy here. I escaped from a war and now I am a normal person."