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International Journal of Health, Culture and Migration

number zero

Rivista n. zero

2005

31

March

Editorial Daniela Daniele

Why a new journal?

To create a bridge between the people and the IIMASS. Certainly so, but particularly to illustrate a point: fear is the mainspring of all the worst that may unfold from the human heart. And you fear, above all, what you do not know.

Thus, just to learn, let's go and see. In order to shunt aside the fear of the “diverse”, of the “alien”, of those who “flood our borders”, let's overflow the borders ourselves.

Let's travel to those parts of the world from where streams of wretched and sorrowful people pour into our civilization, to become the so-called “immigrants”, “non-EU community people”, “clandestine”, “illegal”. So many persons forced to stoop and plead for help, work, health, dignity.

IIMASS was generated as a result of such travels and from the need, burst out from our minds and souls, of sharing with others our experiences, and try and reach out and make a difference, together. Together with you all.

It is impossible to go across Cambodia, where the ruins left by Pol Pot are, we can say, still smoking, and on coming back home avoid telling everybody about the homeless children, without a family. The same shy children who keep watching while you eat, without asking, only longing for the bread you may leave on the table. The same little ones who, if you order some food for them, do not swoop on it like hungry cubs, but share judiciously all the good things turned up with the tourists. The little ones who, in front of the wonders of Angkor Wat offer the tourists butterfly-clips to raise some money and scrape a living. The little ones who at night unroll their straw-mats and sleep on the sidewalks of Phnom Penh. The same little ones trafficked by the Chinese and Thai mafias for the sordid passion of paedophiles or for the substantial pockets of wealthy patients in need of a transplant.

And how to repress the desire to convey to as many people as possible the image of the anguished eyes of the young Ethiopian woman, in Zalambesa, at the Eritrean border, that the war between the two countries has separated from her children? They live with their grandparents “on the other side” where there is extreme poverty and where their mother is not allowed to go.

And, yet again, how can you visit the hospital of Mekele, in Ethiopia, its wards with peeled-off walls and rusty beds without feeling the acute desire to report to the doctors, to all the physicians of this part of the planet, in what conditions their brave colleagues are working and struggling to snatch human lives out of disease and poverty.

Our four monthly journal (but issue frequency may increase if financial support is found) will mostly include scientific articles, thanks to the contributions of the doctors working for IIMASS. But we address to all the specialists of the medical field as well, and to the technicians, the anthropologists, the experts in human sciences, economics, labour, to the intellectuals and the teachers, in view for the journal to become a means of going into the matters more thoroughly.

Moreover, our purpose is to make room for the other themes of globality, ranging from traveller stories to the legal aspects of migration, from art to cooking, music, ethnic fashion, bibliography. Our project: to gather up many activities and explore various fields including culture, health, migration, dealt with through experiences, analyses and personal accounts in order to provide the reader with a scrupulous view of our more and more globalized world.

The last few months have been appalling, in the wake of 11 th September and the attack to the Twin Towers. The Iraqi war, Chechnya rebellion which has already caused so many victims, the continuous threats are holding in check a world, now dominated by fear. In such scenario many things have changed and many have radicalized, with the risk of a civilization clash. We believe that the solution can be to welcome, with children's enthusiasm, cultures and tradition up to now unknown to us and discover that perhaps we are not so different from those who are arriving downstairs and who have as many names as the corners of the world. To know each other and stop fearing. To feel growing inside the desire to be called, all of us, simply “terrestrial”.

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