Books on colonialism as a gift to Villanova, to remember Deeqa, angel of refugees

From death to life. From racism to culture. Books as a gift to the Villanova Library to remember a special woman.

Si chiamava Donate Aden Gereyewas known in Piedmont as “the angel of refugees”.

Born in Mogadisco, graduated in Political Science, she was married to Luigi Tessiore, UN executive (son of the former mayor Francesco) of Villanova, with whom he shared a love for 20 years. He dealt with integration, for work and social openness. And he had discovered a ring of fake cooperatives that hoarded public money intended for refugees. Money stolen from the skin of the weakest, the homeless and the countryless. Money that stopped in the pockets of swindlers instead of flowing into hospitality. For this she was repeatedly threatened. Villanova was her nest. She died in Turin, at the age of 39, on the Gran Madre bridge, one autumn evening, October 2, 2012, officially run over by a hit-and-run driver never traced.

An open and closed investigation. Filed as an accident. Even if her wounds were compatible with the investment, but also with blows delivered with a club or a crowbar.

But that’s not enough. The motorist, who has always remained anonymous, had been relieved of his guilt. Her husband sadly recounts it: “It was said that Deeqa had black skin and could not be seen by the driver at night.”

In July 2021 the civil case: the judge does not accept the skin issue and establishes compensation for the family funded by the Road Victims Fund. And it is Tessiore who recalls again, with anger contained by time: «The words of the insurance lawyer burn me like whips. Stizzito said that the body of my dead wife “ could have been mistaken for a black garbage bag”».

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Since 2 October 2012, 10 years have not yet passed and the court case could be reopened if desired.

There were also problems with burial: Turin refused a Muslim body in its cemeteries.

The problem was quickly resolved by Mayor Christian Giordano who says: «I didn’t hesitate to help Deeqa’s family and to transform an area of ​​the cemetery into an area dedicated to non-Christians. She who loved Villanova was the first to be buried. Gradually, other burials were accepted in this area».

Deeqa throughout her life had fought for the recognition of human dignity. The suffering suffered by her family, her husband, but also her sister Leila today 29 April, is sublimated in an act of great love.

The family, with an important part of the money received from the Fund, bought books and multimedia equipment to donate to the Villanova Library. Important books to study for the future. They deal with the theme of Italian colonialism. The morning in the Library opens with the conference «The future does not exist without memory. Italian colonialism and its consequences up to the present day». The children of the schools of Villanova have been invited. The morning for the public continues at the Confraternita dell’Annunziata. The donated books will form the «Deeqa Aden Gereye Fund, colonialism and migration».

Deeqa returns to embrace the world and donate seeds to the future.

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