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December 23 2009

The President of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, visited the Community of Sant'Egidio on the occasion of the Christmas festivities

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Giorgio Napolitano, Andrea Riccardi, Marco ImpagliazzoOn December 23rd The President of the Republic of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, visited the Community of Sant'Egidio in Trastevere. It was a Christmas meeting with the Presidential Council of the Community and the various groups of the so called UN of Trastevere.

The President of the Republic was welcomed by the founder, Prof. Andrea Riccardi and by the president of the Community Prof. Marco Impagliazzo. There were also Roma and  Sinti who expressed him their desire of leaving their precarious sistuation (dewelling and social). They also speke about the work they have undertaken in order to obtain a juridical status. Mr Napolitano also met a group of disabled people who spoke to him about their work in the field of arts (with the exhibitions "Abbasso il Grigio" - Down with Gray-) and about the work integration with "Trattoria degli Amici" , a restaurant in Trastevere that is run by the Community of Sant'Egidio together with a group of diasabled. The President also met a group of old people and of children who told him about the campaign they run in order to assure to every old person the rigth to remain at home. The children explained to the President their work to help the young generations of Africa.

A special moment was dedicated to the “amici per la strada - Friends on the Street”, the homeless, who were able to speak about their problems, their hopes and about the joy of the "Christmas Lunch with the Community.  Mr Napolitano also met a group of immigrants of the Movement "People of Peace". They are people who studied Italian at the School of the Community for the teaching of Italian Language and Culture, Luis Massignon. Learning the language is the first step for integration. The children of the immigrants told the president with all semplicity that they feel they are Italians, more than that, Romans. They expressed to him their desire to become italian citizens.

Finally the President participated to the Premiere of the movie “L’audacia dell’amore” (The Audacity of Love) by Maite Carpio, realized by  “La Storia siamo noi” - a program of RAI Educational. The movie is the story of the  Community of Sant’Egidio, born in Rome in 1968.

Many guests were present: Renzo Gattegna, Riccardo Di Segni e Riccardo Pacifici, the Nuntio in Italy Bertello, The President of Rai Garimberti, Arrigo Levi, Giovanni Minoli.


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