Avoiding risky sea journey, Syrian refugees head to Italy ‘pronto’ | AFP

[Published here on March 19, 2017]

Beirut (AFP) – Just before midnight in a sleepy district of Beirut, dozens of Syrian refugees huddle in small groups around bulging suitcases, clutching their pinging cellphones and one-way tickets to Italy.

“Torino! Pronto! Cappuccino!”

They practise random Italian words in a schoolyard in the Lebanese capital’s eastern Geitawi neighbourhood, waiting for the buses that will take them to the airport, and onwards to their new lives in Italy.

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