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Egyptian teen spends day with Integration Minister Kyenge

Sidahmed, 16, shares view of 'universal citizenship'

23 January, 17:25
Egyptian teen spends day with Integration Minister Kyenge (ANSA) - Rome, January 23 - Italy's first black cabinet minister Cécile Kyenge spent Thursday in the company of an Egyptian teenager in a bid to demystify government and reach out to the country's youth.

Sidahmed, who turns 16 on Friday, accompanied the Congolese-born integration minister on her daily rounds, which included a visit to Rome's synagogue ahead of the International Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27. He described the experience as "a long-held dream" and "a lovely birthday present" particularly in light of what he described as a common idea of what it means to be a "citizen of the world". "A day spent with the minister will be a strong motivation; I study languages and one day I want to be able to tell everyone that we are all the same, that man is one," Sidahmed said. Kyenge is an open supporter of a new 'jus soli' law granting Italian citizenship to children of immigrants born on Italian soil.

She has also won international acclaim for her efforts to combat racism despite herself being the target of numerous attacks and slurs from the right-wing regionalist Northern League.