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Out of Palermo

Italian Judge breaks up families to save children from the mafia

And that's not easy because the family as the basic unit of Italian society is built into the Italian constitution. This judge says it is abusive to bring a child to mafia meetings, indoctrinate him for entry into criminal organizations, and reduce his life's horizons. That it is just as much a crime as giving a child a syringe or a kalishnokov rifle. Read the story in English in The Guardian by clicking on the caption. Read More 
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Archbishop Lorefice took in four Nigerian immigrants

Palermo's brand new Archbishop Corrado Lorefice has installed four Nigerian refugees in the bishop's residence, the diocese's incredible palace across from the cathedral on Via Vittorio Emanuele: a young Nigerian woman, and a Nigerian mother of two small children.
He encouraged others to do the same, especially in this Year of Mercy as prescribed  Read More 
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per chi legge in italiano


My friend and former palace mate Ester Russo, who is a psychologist who treats immigrants and victims of torture, wrote an article about recent events in Palermo, protests over building fences in Europe to keep asylum seekers out. The cover image quotes  Read More 
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402 immigrants arrived Lampedusa yesterday

Last night 402 immigrants arrived at Lampedusa, a Sicilian island, the part of Europe closest to north Africa, aboard a the Coast Guard boat which rescued them. They were Somalis, Eritreans, and Syrians.
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First generation Palermitans

Boys and girls, most of them born in Palermo, children of parents from far away who have rebuilt their lives in Palermo. Palermo always has been a melting pot of cultures and languages and skin colors. It still is.
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Kids in the street

I was walking home from an event at the Santa Chiara urban mission in the ancient, low-income Albergheria neighborhood of Palermo when these boys who were kicking a soccer ball around in the street said, "Take my picture! We'll be on YouTube!"
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Occupy

Antonella, her friend Cetty, and Cetty's newborn daughter, Nicole, in the Convento delle Vergini which they occupied.
From our kitchen balcony I can see the lights are on in the cloistered convent across Piazza Venezia. Since December 2013, the convent, empty for two years after the last three aged nuns living there were transfered, has been occupied by palermitan homeless families. I visited them two days ago. Ten families, 35 people, of whom 22 are children.  Read More 
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papier mache horse

Palermo children used to find these rocking horses in their shoes on Nov. 2, the Day of the Dead. They did not receive gifts on Christmas.
Papier mache miniature rocking horses were given to children on I Morti, the Day of the Dead. Artisans Nunzio Venuta and his wife, Marina Mancuso, still make these beautiful, traditional toys at their store cum workshop, Il Laboratorio in Via 4 Aprile just off Piazza Marina. Il Laboratorio first opened in 1991.
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