The Gate to Paradise

As the turmoil of revolutions brought economic instability to many African countries, their citizens began to look across the sea, to Europe, for a chance to improve their lives. The Italian island of Lampedusa is often seen as “a gateway” to the EU paradise. Getting there, though, can be sheer hell. The journey is hard to arrange: it’s costly and travelers are at the mercy of boatmen, often unscrupulous traffickers. The waters are treacherous and have already claimed hundreds of lives. The authorities are determined to intercept would-be illegal immigrants before they can reach the EU border. Yet, in spite of all the hardship and danger, desperate African men and women continue to take their chances. Those who survive and reach the island for which they risked their lives, soon discover that, without papers or knowing the language, the future in a foreign country may be even more uncertain than in their own.