Keen to improve cultural and social integration in the capital, Rome city council has announced it will be offering free courses in Arabic to adults and children in Rome. Lessons will start within a month at the S. Lorenzo community centre in Via dei Campani, declared Pamela Pantano, the city councillor leading the initiative. I had this idea some time ago, but after what happened in Milan with the closure of the Islamic school, I realised the project had to be speeded up, she added. Ms Pantano adds that there is a lot of talk about integration but no real opportunities for people to get to know the Arab world, its traditions, customs and culture. Courses for children will be held in the afternoon and for adults in the evening, and will be free to all. But integration has to be a two-way process says Ms Pantano, and schools have to be open to dialogue between cultures. Above all, the campaign aims to reach out to children of Italian-Arabic marriages.
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