In the sleepy town of Riace, immigrants make up a quarter of the population. Mayor Domenico Lucano’s believes that helping them will help save his town’s future. Fatima Abaldi, an immigrant who works in one of the mayor’s workshops explains: “I don’t feel like a stranger or a foreigner, because these people are very kind and polite”. The re-population of Riace is solving the problem of derelict housing, and many feel it gives the town a new lease of life. But in a village with little tourism, keeping business going is a struggle. “After one year, if you have no work, you’re out. Where do you go?” asks refugee Mohamad Wazir. Despite the limitations of the scheme, the mayor remains full of hope: “They bring hope for a better life. That’s the strongest incentive for me, the beauty of knowing new worlds.”
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