Graduation Day - MIMES student's speech

Professors, Colleagues, Families
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this moment I see myself and each of you taking care of our own happiness. Being able to be happy and learn how to carry this huge responsibility is not easy. Now it seems.
I am here, kindly speaking on behalf of my friends and colleagues to express what we have learned during this Master. I will try all my best to exploit the real power of logos and discourse to fully pull out the nectar of this experience.

From a purely academic point of view the opportunity we had to be lectured by many experts such as professors and academics was a value added.
Lessons and lectures were always followed by an endless series of questions (not to mention Riccardo) that were in turn always satisfied by interesting and stimulating answers. Professors provided us with precious lessons and teachings. What was really enriching and inspiring was that each of them chose the path of sharing. They all decided to open their personal and private doors of knowledge and to share their own personal experience with us. This quickly changed our minds. This helped us to enlarge our horizons, to widen our perspectives but most importantly to believe in ourselves.

At ASERI we found a stimulating, vibrant and open mind environment. What I have learned throughout the years and in several academic institutions is that is not assumed that a university just because it is such derives logically its flexibility. I believe that now few institutions aim to deconstruct stereotypes and prejudices and take responsibility for doing it the right way. I remember so clearly our Director and Professor Riccardo Redaelli’s argument on our first day of Master. He repeatedly called the need for a serious and cautious deconstruction of the Middle East.
I am grateful for those words.

Thanks to our professors I become even more aware that the region is too often not understood, not studied and not deepened as it should. This wonderful part of the world is in danger of becoming an incubator of stereotypes. Every day we find ourselves helpless in the face of crystallization of concepts, the absence of debate and the creation of useless dialectics. My message as an invocation to culture the only one able to open pristine space of priceless richness.

Serving this purpose, I really want to thank you my dear friends Emad and Ghazal who fully enriched our debates and discussion with their personal experience in the region.
Edward Said (well known at this point by my friends and me) said that it seems a common human failing to prefer the schematic authority of a text to the disorientations of direct encounters with the human. On a personal note, and my friends know this, I was a bit scared at the beginning. They probably remember me during the first months sitting in the first row and having few interactions, drenched into my passion for the Middle East, philosophy and theology. Always listening to everybody but speaking little.
How many times I read the above mention quote of Said? Dozens. How many times I failed, hundreds, but I fully succeeded once. Now.

This Master really changed my life. This is not an effective phrase to amaze you, this is what really humanity can do. This Master showed humanism as to be able to use one’s mind historically and rationally for the purposes of reflective understanding and genuine disclosure. Humanism sustained by a sense of community with others. Humanism as courage to put aside your previous strong beliefs, humanism as the ability to recognize your failures and humanism as the capacity to welcome other’s people fragilities. In this regard I really want to thank in particular Lilith who was the wind for my wings and Maria, Aitana and Francesco for just being yourselves. I want to thank you also our Coordinator Ms. Annalisa Pinchetti for her excellent support and coordination from the first day of the master until the last.

Now this journey practically has come to an end but for me doesn't seem. It seems that the time has finally come: to go out there and start our little mission, every day, step by step. Inform others and let them inform us, study, read and write, work and understand in the hope that our minds and hearts won’t never stop.
Professors, friends, and colleagues, thank you. Thank you for making me understand what human beings are made of. Thank you for showing me what humans can do if they only stand together. Thank you because you did not dwell on my initial posting but you saw in me what I did not yet know.

All moments and laughs are imprinted on me and resonate clearly. I am sure they will guide us one day allowing us to meet again, brave and fragile as now.
Thank you!

Desiree Di Marco, MIMES former student (a.a. 2018/19)

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