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Gotico Americano di Arianna Farinelli, una foto della crisi identitaria degli Stati Uniti

BIOGRAFIE/BOOKREPORTER di
“Ci accoglie tra le ovattate moquette dell’élite occidentale, poi spalanca sotto i nostri piedi la voragine delle ipocrisie che la mettono in pericolo.”

Gotico Americano, questo è il titolo del romanzo d’esordio di Arianna Farinelli, uscito nelle librerie questa settimana. Edito dalla Bompiani, il racconto fa parte della collana Munizioni (a cura di Roberto Saviano), espressione tramite cui, in senso metaforico, si vuole accostare la serie di racconti a degli strumenti d’interpretazione per difendersi dalla realtà di oggi.

Lungo la linea tra narrativa e saggistica, l’autrice intende descrivere e criticare la realtà americana in cui lei stessa vive, ossia il panorama urbano di una grande metropoli come New York segnata da due eventi, il primo la crisi economica del 2008 e il secondo l’elezione di Donald Trump a Presidente degli Stati Uniti nel 2016.

Proprio da questo avvenimento ha inizio la trama; la protagonista, Bruna, una professoressa di Scienze Politiche presso l’università di New York, riflette sulla sua vita e quella dei propri cari, a partire dal marito Tom i cui genitori sono figli di immigrati italiani che, una volta conseguito l’american dream, sono entrati nel tessuto americano borghese e conservatore, e con i quali Bruna ha un pessimo rapporto. Così la vita della professoressa s’intreccia con quella dell’altro protagonista del libro, Yunus, un suo alunno afro-americano con cui lei ha ritrovato la passione. La vita del ragazzo certamente non è facile e alcuni eventi, come la morte in carcere del padre, lo hanno portato a provare un forte senso di estraniazione verso la società di oggi; Bruna prova a capire questo rancore ma Yunus trova progressivamente riparo nella religione islamica poiché è l’unica capace di rispondere alle sue domande.

L’intento di Arianna Farinelli è quello di scattare una sorta d’istantanea della Grande Mela, città in cui si intrecciano vite differenti fra loro, ma che hanno come comune denominatore la disillusione verso la vita, l’insofferenza per i ruoli che essa ci impone e la crisi identitaria che ne scaturisce; è questo il filo rosso della narrazione, a cui fa da sfondo l’America post crisi, una società che sembra aver perso i valori che l’hanno resa grande e che, alla globalizzazione, epoca contraddistinta dall’intensificazione delle relazioni sociali e dall’avvicinamento dei modelli culurali, risponde in maniera divisiva, inconsapevole dell’ineluttabilità.

Gotico Americano è un romanzo che affronta a viso aperto le questioni politiche e sociologiche del tempo, ed è proprio dalla lente con cui l’autrice analizza gli Stati Uniti di oggi, che prende significato il titolo. American Gothic come il quadro di Grant Wood in cui viene rappresentata una coppia di fronte a una fattoria americana, presumibilmente la propria casa, con lui che impugna un forcone quasi a proteggerla; questi individui così austeri vogliono salvaguardare un qualcosa che ormai è diventato passato, come la loro posizione nella società di oggi, inconsapevoli che presto diverranno, spiega Arianna Farinelli durante la presentazione del libro, “la più grande delle minoranze”.

Nel romanzo il piano personale dei protagonisti si mescola a quello collettivo, in quanto legati da una forte crisi d’identità, perché in fondo non c’è salvezza dell’individuo che prescinda dalla comunità in cui si vive, anche in una grande metropoli come New York. Certi aspetti del libro, ci tiene a precisare Farinelli, rispecchiano fedelmente la realtà, come il carcere dove ingiustamente muore il padre di Yunus, Rikers Island ora prossimo alla chiusura; la scrittrice riprende delle storie veramente vissute come quella di Kalief Browder, ragazzo che appena sedicenne si tolse la vita una volta uscito dal carcere a causa delle numerose violenze di cui era stata vittima in quei tre anni di incarcerazione senza processo; o come la radicalizzazione di Yunus stesso, che per molti aspetti richiama le storie di quei tanti ragazzi che sentendosi emarginati sono arrivati, come il protagonista, a compiere la più tragica delle scelte, partire per combattere con il Califfato Islamico.

Di cosa abbiamo bisogno allora per affrontare queste situazioni? Risponde Bruna, di amore incondizionato per il prossimo, ma anche della consapevolezza che la propria libertà non può neppure iniziare se coloro che ci stanno accanto non sono liberi, poiché la libertà altrui è una responsabilità comune.

Dayan said he hopes that under Trump more realistic goals will be set for the Israel-Palestinian conflict

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“If we believe that our alliance is not only with the American government but also with the American people, then we have to forge that alliance with all the relevant parts of the American people”, he told the Post. “You cannot neglect half of the population [who didn’t vote for President Donald Trump] and expect the alliance to remain intact”. For this, the consul believes Israel needs to work with both sides of the aisle in Washington and both sides of what he calls the “virtual aisle” in American public opinion. “It has no basis” stated Dayan, who admits he didn’t expect Trump to win. “Israel’s strategy is to be as friendly as we can with any administration, as long as that administration wants to be friendly with Israel”. In the previous administration, when the first step of the president was to go to Cairo and skip Jerusalem, that hindered the sense of friendship, but fortunately with this administration it’s different,” he said.Dayan said he hopes that under Trump more realistic goals will be set for the Israel-Palestinian conflict. “I hope that the targets that the administration will set are those that are doable, because we need to advance, but with things that are realistic”, he said. “Unfortunately, when I see the declarations by the Palestinian leadership, I don’t see a serious will to reach an agreement”.

Paul Ryan presented the American Health Care Act, health care plan for America

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan presented the American Health Care Act, the bill drafted by the GOP to replace Obamacare, while Ryan presentation has labeled the Obamacare as “unsustainable” and, quoting former President Clinton, “the craziest thing in the world”. According to the Speaker of the new health care bill will allow the Americans to continue to have access to health care with a relatively low expenditure because, unlike the Obamacare, will work on the costs of health insurance policies without weighing the cost of health squarely on the federal government’s coffers , in the project of the GOP remain alive  free insurance to the needy, but these will be financed individually by the single States with funds provided in part by the federal government, in the end will disappear the obligation for employers to provide medical insurance to employees, these can independently choose the health insurance  that best suits their needs.

Trump's 'bromance' with Russia's Putin appears to be cooling

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Relations between Putin’s Russia and America Trump are at historic lows, in fact, due to continuous and repeated scandals regarding the contacts between his electoral campain managers and members of his administration with Russian agents and diplomats had forced President Trump  to dissociate, at least temporarily, from his Russian colleague. In Moscow they did not take well the new American line, especially the appointment of Gen. McMaster, known for his anti-Russian positions, as Advisor for National Security and the American irritation for some military operations carried out by the Russians in Syria have helped to cool relations. According to some european officials, remained anonymous, the current US policy is much closer to European interests than those of Russians, especially the statements made by US Ambassador at the UN about the Russian annexation of the Crimea, that Americans still do not recognize, bode well for the detractors of Trump-Putin axis.

6 airstrikes against Al-Jawf governorate launched by Saudi-American aggression's warplanes

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The Saudi-American aggression’s warplanes launched on Thursday six strikes against different areas in Al-Jawf governorate, killing a citizen in Al-Masloub area. Coalition continues to strike Saada province with a series of air raids on various areas; the aggression warplanes targeted al-Qarrad area in Baqem border district and al-Dhaia’a area.

America’s new direction under President Trump

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On the 8th of November the American people elected the republican Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. However, the election results took almost everyone by surprise. In fact, the victory of Donald Trump was absolutely unexpected, mainly because of the polls that had predicted the success of Hillary Clinton. In any case, the election results show a deeply divided country between two completely different visions of America and opposite ideas of the US role on the international stage. In order to understand why Americans elected Donald Trump in spite of predictions, it will be useful to examine his domestic policy proposals as well as his foreign policy goals.

Donald Trump’s domestic policy can be summarized by the slogan “Make America great again”. He ran his campaign focusing on the American working class and emphasizing the idea that America has a great potential that has not been put into practice so far. The reasons, according to Trump, can be found in an excessive privilege of the financial economy at the expense of real economy. Real economy boosts the economic growth and makes it possible to achieve prosperity, while financial economy is considered responsible for the housing bubble, burst in 2007. Trump referred to his sustainers as a great movement willing to change America. His rhetoric has been considered as populism by a large part of the country, but the majority of the population saw in it a way to feel they had the power to change the direction of America. According to some experts the voters took a stand against the establishment. The refusal of the traditional political class is not something isolated in the international stage as we could see in June the Brexit referendum, as well as the recent electoral results in many European countries. The main tools to make America great again, in Trump’s opinion, are a tax cut for companies, more restrictive rules on migration and inflexible laws for criminals and terrorists. The tax cut is thought to sustain the economic growth by helping companies to remain in the US instead of delocalizing their production abroad. Trump’s position on migration has been largely criticized, because he proposed to build up a wall at the Mexican border and to expel all irregular foreigners living in the US. Finally, his position about criminals and terrorists has been considered racist by a large part of the US citizens. In particular, he proposed to introduce strict laws to solve the racial issue in the US, but this kind of measure alarmed the Afro-American population that has been protagonist of many protests during the last year, because they feel discriminated by the police. The rigidity of Donald Trump about the race issue is going to cause even more friction between the government and the Afro-American communities in the country.

Let’s now focus on Donald Trump’s foreign policy. His project can be identified by the word “isolationism”. As regards the economic relations with other countries he would like to introduce protectionist measures, because he thinks that the economic problems of the US are mainly due to the globalization process. This is not an isolated position if we look at the United Kingdom which will probably get out of the EU single market. The idea of focusing on America’s problems rather than carrying out military interventions worldwide is the argument that convinced voters. Americans do not understand the reasons of the great involvement of the US in the Middle East as well as in other parts of the world, as they are not achieving any advantage from that interventions. Trump argued, during his campaign, that the US should spend less money on NATO and interventions abroad, giving more military independence to their allies and using all the money to improve Americans’ standard of life. This isolationism in foreign policy leads to some important consequences. Firstly, the relations with the EU is going to change, in the military field as well as in the economic sector. In fact, Trump expressed his opposition to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which should be signed by the US and the EU. Nevertheless, the most important change in international relations would be a change of attitude towards Russia. For his part, President Putin expressed his willing to restore peaceful relations with the US. The main consequence of a reconciliation between the US and Russia would possibly be an agreement on the Syrian and Ukrainian crises. The stabilization of the Middle East as well as the solution of the Ukrainian crisis would remove the threat of a direct confrontation between Russia and the US. On the other hand, the future relations with China are uncertain. Trump made some declarations against China’s economic strategy and he expressed the will to be economically more independent from China. However, we should bear in mind that China possesses the major part of US external debt. Another aspect of Trump’s foreign policy, which would affect the entire world, is whether he will decide to respect or not the agreement on climate change negotiated in Paris the last year and entered into force few days ago. Finally, it is not clear if Trump will continue the reconciliation with Iran, and if he would respect the nuclear deal with that country.

In conclusion, it is too soon to make predictions about how America and its relations with the rest of the world will change. It mainly depends on whether Trump will respect his electoral program or not. According to his first public declarations he is probably going to moderate some points of his electoral program (in particular his positions about race, gays, Muslims etc. ). Trump announced his will to cooperate with Obama’s administration in order to preserve the most important achievements that have been reached over the last 8 years. Obama, for his part, expressed his support to the new President in order to allow him to succeed in his mandate.

 

 

Syria would like to cooperate with USA

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Damascus is ready to cooperate with US President-elect Donald Trump if his policies are in line with Damascus’ expectations, the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s Political and Media Adviser Bouthaina Shaaban said on Thursday. Shaaban said that Damascus hopes the United States to become an active participant in the fight against terrorism. She added that Syria is not interested in the elections’ result, confirming that what concerns Damascus is the new President’s policies and how it would coincide with Syria’s expectations.

The uncertain future of the relations between Cuba and the US

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Over the last two years, the relations between Cuba and the US have improved significantly. Obama’s administration carried out a great negotiation process through the last presidential mandate. The major points of Obama’s foreign policy towards Cuba have been the restore of diplomatic ties, the efforts to lift the embargo and the fight to close the Guantanamo prison. However, this period of reconciliation between the two countries is now threatened by the uncertain position that will assume the next President of the US, Donald Trump.

Cuba and the US severed diplomatic ties in 1961, after the revolutionaries headed by Fidel Castro took the power in 1959. The main reason of this choice was the fact that the new Cuban government nationalized all the US Companies and properties on the island. As a consequence, since 1960 the  US government imposed progressive economic sanctions on Cuba.

In 2014, after a period of bilateral talks, Obama and Raúl Castro announced that the two countries would restore diplomatic relations. In that occasion they reached an agreement on a prisoner swap. The peace talks were encouraged by Pope Francis.

In April 2015, President Obama and Raúl Castro met at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. It was the first time the leaders of the two countries met since 1961. Finally, in July 2015 Cuba and the US succeeded in restoring diplomatic ties, and embassies were opened in both countries. The reconciliation was accomplished when Obama visited Cuba in March 2016.

Nevertheless, there are some unsolved problems between the two countries. The first and the most difficult to solve is the embargo. The embargo has been partially lifted by Obama’s administration, by restoring commercial flights between the two countries, removing travel bans as well as restrictions on remittances and bank services. However, Obama couldn’t lift the embargo in a definitive way because of the opposition of the US Congress, which has to express its approval on the measure. Another unsolved problem of the negotiations with Cuba is the Guantanamo prison. The prison was opened in 2002 on a piece of territory of the Cuban island, which was taken by the US as a compensation in 1903 since they sustained Cuba in its independence war against Spanish colons. Cuba claims that territory since the revolution succeeded. Obama promised to close the prison in Guantanamo, because the public opinion and many organizations protested for the violations of human rights that were committed in it. In that prison, people suspected of terrorism were detained after the terrorist attacks of 2001, without having access to a fair trial. Even though Obama transferred most of the prisoners to other places, assuring the respect of their rights, he couldn’t close the prison so far.

The recent election of President Donald Trump on the 8th of November is probably going to affect the relations between the two countries. However, the way in which the situation will change is not clear enough. In fact, Trump didn’t express a clear position on Cuba. He just said few things about the relations with the Caribbean country. He criticized the agreement reached by Obama, saying that he would probably renegotiate a more advantageous deal. But at the same time he was accused, during the presidential campaign, of violating the embargo some years ago by sending executives of his Company to Cuba in order to find out if it was possible to do business on the island.

The relations between US and KSA will remain strong

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A senior American diplomat has reassured the Kingdom about America’s continuing commitment to strong and robust relations regardless of the changes one may see after the US administration is led by Donald Trump. Christopher Henzel, deputy chief of mission at the Riyadh-based US Embassy, said that the Saudi-US partnership “will remain strong.” “This partnership is driven by the interests of both countries, and is sustained by the dense network of relationships and cooperation that has developed over the past 80 years,” said Henzel, while speaking during an election night reception hosted by the US Embassy here on Tuesday.

PM Netanyahu has been invited by President Trump to meet him in the US

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President-elect Donald Trump invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with him in the United States at the earliest opportunity. Netanyahu had called Trump to congratulate him on his electoral victory earlier in the day. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the invitation came during that phone call.
Netanyahu assured Trump that the United States has no better ally than Israel as they discussed regional issues. The conversation between them was heartfelt and warm.

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