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Episode 53: New Citizen Hakeem Al-Araibi Finally Safe

Hakeem al-Araibi

Footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi has become an Australian citizen at a ceremony in Melbourne.

SBS Italian news, with a slower pace. This is Slow Italian, Fast Learning, the very best of the week’s news, read at a slower pace, with Italian and English text available.

Italian

Il calciatore Hakeem Al-Araibi è diventato cittadino australiano nel corso di una cerimonia a Melbourne.

Il mese scorso il 25enne era ritornato in Australia dopo una campagna pubblica organizzata per la sua liberazione, dopo che il suo paese nativo, il Bahrein, aveva richiesto la sua estradizione.

"Congratulations you are now Australian citizens (clapping)"

Dopo aver vissuto mesi di ansia, è stato in questo momento che Hakeem al-Araibi ha dichiarato di sentirsi finalmente al sicuro.

“I am very happy to get citizen(ship). Finally no country, no-one can follow me now because I am Australian.”

Hakeem ha partecipato ad una cerimonia di cittadinanza a Melbourne presieduta dalla ministra degli esteri Marise Payne, insieme ad altri 200 partecipanti da 44 paesi diversi.

Soltanto alcune settimane fa, Al-Araibi si trovava in una prigione tailandese, in stato di arresto a causa del cosiddetto Codice Rosso erroneamente lanciato dall'Interpol, con il suo paese d'origine, il Bahrein, alla ricerca della sua estradizione per un'accusa di atti di vandalismo.

Ma secondo Al-Araibi le sue critiche al vice presidente della FIFA e membro della casa reale del Bahrein, Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa, sono i veri motivi del suo arresto.

Ora che è un cittadino australiano, è ufficialmente fuori dalla portata del governo.

L'ex Socceroo Craig Foster, che ha guidato la campagna pubblica per liberare Hakeem Al-Araibi, ha dichiarato che si tratta di un giorno speciale.

“Few Australians have had to fight so hard to become an Australian citizen. His challenge was more considerable than most, and the look on his face says much.”

La lotta per riportarlo a casa, ampiamente pubblicizzata, ha conquistato i cuori di tutta Australia.

Il mese scorso centinaia di sostenitori hanno accolto Hakeem Al-Araibi al suo arrivo all'aeroporto.

Hakeem ha dichiarato che il sostegno ricevuto dall'Australia è stato travolgente.

“When Craig Foster meet me he says all Australia is waiting for me. I was very excited to come to this country. When I come to the airport it was a big, special moment for me, I can’t believe what I see! Many, many people."

Il primo ministro Scott Morrison non ha potuto presenziare alla cerimonia, ma ha trovato più tardi il tempo per congratularsi con Hakeem Al-Araibi negli uffici del Commonwealth di Melbourne, consegnandoli anche un regalo speciale.

“This is a tremendous day that we absolutely welcome you into the Australian family. I had a little badge I was going to give you today, but I’m going to give you mine.”

Hakeem Al-Araibi ha ammesso di essersi sentito nervoso prima di fare il test di cittadinanza.

“I didn't sleep the night of the test. I know all the law now, all the Australia law.”

Il calciatore si augura ora di poter ritornare ad una vita normale e di allenarsi con la sua squadra di calcio, il Pascoe Vale.

Ma Craig Foster spera che il nuovo cittadino punti ora al più grande sogno australiano per un calciatore.

“We all fought for you so hard, it's up to you now. In time you’re going to be eligible to play for Australia and we want to see you pulling on the green and gold.” (Australian uniform)

English

Footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi has become an Australian citizen at a ceremony in Melbourne.

The 25-year-old returned to Australia last month, after a public campaign to secure his release when his birth country, Bahrain, pursued his extradition.

"Congratulations you are now Australian citizens (clapping)"

After enduring months of peril, it was in this moment that Hakeem al-Araibi says he finally feels safe.

“I am very happy to get citizen(ship). Finally no country, no-one can follow me now because I am Australian.”

The 25-year old footballer has participated in a citizenship ceremony in Melbourne presided over by Foreign Minister Marise Payne, along with 200 others from 44 different countries.

Just weeks ago, Al-Araibi was in a Thai prison, arrested on an erroneously-issued Interpol Red Notice, with his birth country Bahrain seeking his extradition on allegations of vandalism.

But Al-Araibi says his criticism of FIFA vice president, and Bahraini royal Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa is what really led to his arrest.

Now an Australian citizen, he’s officially out of their reach.

Former socceroo Craig Foster, who led the publicity campaign to free Hakeem Al-Araibi, says it's a special day.

“Few Australians have had to fight so hard to become an Australian citizen. His challenge was more considerable than most, and the look on his face says much.”

The widely publicised fight to bring him home won hearts Australia-wide.

Hundreds of well-wishers greeted Hakeem Al-Araibi at the airport when he arrived home last month.

He says the support he's received from Australia has been overwhelming.

“When Craig Foster meet me he says all Australia is waiting for me. I was very excited to come to this country. When I come to the airport it was a big, special moment for me, I can’t believe what I see! Many, many people.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison couldn’t make the ceremony, but he made time at the Melbourne Commonwealth Offices afterwards to congratulate Hakeem Al-Araibi and present him with a special gift.

“This is a tremendous day that we absolutely welcome you into the Australian family. I had a little badge I was going to give you today, but I’m going to give you mine.”

But Hakeem Al-Araibi has admitted he was nervous before going in to take the citizenship test.

“I didn't sleep the night of the test. I know all the law now, all the Australia law.”

The footballer now hopes to get back to normal life and training at the Pascoe Vale football club.

But Craig Foster hopes this new citizen will set his sights at the ultimate Australian dream.

“We all fought for you so hard, it's up to you now. In time you’re going to be eligible to play for Australia and we want to see you pulling on the green and gold.” (Australian uniform)

Report by Abby Dinham

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