Abdo and Raed, from Egypt to Urbino via Lampedusa. “Difficult” guys who did it

URBINO – “I hope I will manage” – said the student of Master Marcello D’Orta in one of the themes of the book that was around the world (up to a proverb). An ingenious and ironic way of throwing the place of early school leaving – already in the 90’s. According to a 2020 Eurostat report, the percentage of students between the ages of 18 and 24 who drop out of high school without graduating is 13.1%, most of them males, foreigners living in southern Italy. Stories like those of Abdo In the RaedEgyptians who arrived on a boat in Italy, who have now made their way as chefs, thanks to an institute in Urbino that taught them a trade.

The birth of the Enaip Zavatta Institute

Don Ezio, former pastor of Trasanni, dreamed in 2017 of transforming the Marian Institute The Pelican in a training center for “difficult” children who wanted to leave school and risk being lost on the way. The private professional institute was born Enaip Zavatta, an equal private school with different addresses: catering, electricity and sales. “Our students are the ones arguing with the public school system,” said the spokesman Annarita Bonaventura – our goal is to get the children back on the streets, to give them confidence and, above all, to get them out of this school with a job in hand and perhaps with an employment contract.

The Enaip Zavatta Institute is funded by the ESF, European Social Fund, and is the only one in the field that guarantees free vocational training, focusing on practical experience. Compared to public hotel or professional institutes, students here work 12 to 15 hours a week and can compensate for lost school years by doing two years in one go. At the end of the 3-year period, they receive a 3-year qualification diploma and can choose whether to continue their studies for another year, return to public school to obtain a bachelor’s degree or go to work.

From Egypt to Urbino with the Dream of Italy: The Stories of Abdo and Raed

Abdo Awadalla Pizza Manufacturer La Stazione

Twenty years, humble eyes, few words and determination to sell. Abdo Awadalla, is an Egyptian boy who passed through the classrooms of the institute. He arrived in Italy with his brother, aboard a boat carrying another 300 refugees. “My family paid 25,000 guineas, about 2,000 euros, to get me on that boat. We were without food and water for 7 days before arriving in Lampedusa. I knew this trip was dangerous, but I wanted to take a risk because living here has always been my dream.

Abdo says he first fled to Rome, then to Arezzo and finally to Urbino, where he was greeted by the “La Villetta” community. At 15, he hated school and went to the En.AIP Institute without too many expectations, but with one certainty: he wanted to work. During the internship in the third year, something magical happened at the La Stazione restaurant in Urbino. “I was so comfortable at work that I experimented. At school I was passionate about cooking and when I had the opportunity to make pizza here in the restaurant, I discovered that this is my world. I did a lot of testing with it. Dough made to improve “. During the internship, the apprenticeship contract came to him and after 3 years today, Abdo is officially the pizza manager of the restaurant. “One day I dream of opening my own shop in Marrakech. In Urbino I found a home, friends and work, but I would like to bring everything I have learned here to my country.

Raed Abdalla Chef Marea-Fano

Raed Abdalla he was 15 i 2016 when he left his family in the village of El Menia, in southern Egypt, for Italy. “I was told I was going to take a cruise to a wonderful place. We were more than 400 at Dinghy. During the trip, we lived surrounded by vomit and excrement. We were entitled to half a glass of water a day and a sandwich. Once rejected by Greece and Spain, after more than two weeks of traveling, we arrived in Lampedusa.

Some people had warned him that he would never get the documents to Sicily, so Raed first fled to Rome, then arrived in Urbino, a place he did not even know existed. . “The Professor Emanuele Barzotti The Pelican Institute convinced me to take at least the eighth degree diploma. In the meantime, I started catering. There, I realized that cooking was my passion. ”Over the years, calls have come from several restaurants, including the Sushiya an den Sushilab Gezei of Fano in which he worked as head of the kitchen.

At eighteen, Raed left town and received his driver’s license. Today he lives in Fano, works as a consultant in the catering business and manages new restaurant openings, which depend on his experience to open premises, such as Crudogen at Silvi Marina d’Abruzzo. From boss to manager, the transition for him was short. Last year, he won the competition with his school Combiguru Challenge, a competition between all hotel institutes in Italy. When they said my name, I felt a unique sensation, a mixture of joy and gratitude. Joy for my success and gratitude for the school that welcomed me and made me feel ‘at home’. Win 5,000 Euros and give it to them “. Raed says he is “in love with this country” and does not feel like a foreigner here. “If I had to go back, I would do it all over again. One day I will take Italian nationality and take my family on the march.


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