My parents decided to leave Albania when a revolution broke out. Life became too difficult to bear, so they fled and found the first ship to Italy. This was about a year before I was born.

My family lived in a hostel—together with migrants of all nationalities—for the next 15 years. As a kid, I didn’t think it was strange; I didn’t feel uncomfortable or uneasy. It felt like a big family.

But when I went to school, I started to realize that my classmates had really different living conditions. I began to feel shy. I started to feel like there was something missing from my life—something not right.

When I started dating in high school, I noticed that guys wouldn’t call me back when they knew I had Albanian origins. But things have gotten better with time.

Now I work in an insurance company. My mother is really happy because I have managed to find a job that I always wanted to do.

Children should be taught that having different ethnicities and different cultures, far from taking away from the class, actually enriches their lives with new experiences. Being different is not something bad. It adds to the lives of people you meet.

The Stories