A number of migrants took the opportunity to speak directly to the Maltese people on last night’s episode of Xarabank, showing their remorse for recent troubling events and thanking the people for letting them find refuge in their country.
“I want to take this opportunity to apologise to every Maltese person, and everyone, that we made a mistake, and we condemn it – we don’t solve problems with violence,” said a migrant named Karim, who has been living in Malta for 13 years.
“I want to take this opportunity to all the Maltese for their welcome, and the people of Żebbuġ for taking me in.”
Karim is from Ghana, but now feels a part of the Żebbuġ community.
He recounted how he was once invited in for a drink at a bar while walking through the pjazza, and has felt integrated ever since. A fan of the festa of San Felip, Karim continued to speak on how he felt after the riots at Ħal Far were being reported in the news.
“I was feeling ashamed and was very worried, and I didn’t know what to do,” he said.
“I couldn’t even go out to the piazza to speak to my Maltese friend, I was ashamed. And when I saw the facebook comments saying ‘we will defend our country’ I was afraid to go out to the shops,” he continued.
He said that it wasn’t until Prime Minister Joseph Muscat later spoke that he began to feel secure again.
“I want to thank the Prime Minister for his message,” he said, before continuing on to say that he is “ready to meet and convince the migrants who have not integrated with the Maltese yet.”
After he spoke, some of the panel speakers remarked on what Karim had said.
“J’alla kollha kienu bhalu” (“We could only hope that they are all like him”) said a member of the Moviment Patrijoti Maltin. Fr David Muscat simply said that as long as he likes the local festa, he likes him.
But it wasn’t only Karim – a female migrant who has lived in Malta for 8 years took the opportunity to speak to the people.
Speaking in Maltese, she said: “Please excuse me for what happened at Ħal Far. I love you, Malta tagħna lkoll, I need to live in Malta and I love Malta.”
During the emotional episode, TV host Peppi Azzopardi revealed that he had let migrants into his home to live for a year, and called for an initiative to help support Maltese families who want to give shelter to migrants.