“I looked into my mother’s eyes, and I realized that religion would not solve my problems.” Words of Yousef Bartho Assidiq, today spoke at the “Turning point” forum a meeting with students within WeFree days, days devoted to prevention. Hosted by Davide Scalenghe, Daniela Lombardi and Yousef’s stories have entirely different backgrounds, both from different cultures and with diverse beliefs. They spoke about how they changed the course of their lives most especially with the help of family.When Yousef was younger the relationship with his mother was instrumental, Norwegian second generation and converted to Islam, was almost convinced, after a long period internal torment, to commit an act of terrorism. Daniela alternatively, a former consumer of narcotics has told her story of hardship and poverty, and when she had decided to enter into a community through the example of her elder brother, who also had drug-related problems.First to speak was Yousef Bartho, founder of JustUnity, an association that seeks to bring young Muslims potentially at risk of being swallowed up by extremism, “After converting to Islam, I felt alone and abandoned by society and family It was easy to get carried away by anger. I encountered people who had strong radical Islamic views and I almost participated in an act of terrorism. Only thanks to my mother and her unconditional love I realized that this was not the Islam that I knew and I decided to stop. JustUnity was founded on principles to combat all forms of religious extremism. Now I frequently visit the mosques, trying to recognize people that look lost and without hope. Only in recent months I have persuade more than 30 kids not to go to fight in Syria. “Daniela is 21 years and three of those spent here at San Patrignano. Her story is about a youth trying to be and live someone else’s dream, her mother’s dream of her daughter being a dancer. Diets, sacrifices, loss of friendships and years in at College that developed a desire for rebellion, that with time drew her closer to the world of drugs.At the same time her brother was wrapped up in the drama of drugs.” Thanks to the institute of aesthetics that I attended in high school I knew of San Patrignano, which profoundly impressed me.” – said the 21 year old from the Marche. All those smiles, all those stories, the feeling of serenity was pwerful.caming here and feel good. but instead of thinking of myself, instead, I convinced my brother to come into the community, while I continued selfishly on my path of self destruction. Then one day, I received a letter from Eddy, who explained to me what he was doing at SanPa and how good it was. With that letter turning around in my head one day when I was with my boyfriend looking for drugs. I realized that it was not the life I wanted for myself, and then found the strength to contact the association and enter into the community. Today I have rediscovered the joy of living and found the desire to smile again, I have also discovered a passion: the theater. Yes! I am finally happy”.

Yousef Bartho Assidiq a Wefree Days 2015

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