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EDITORIAL

Celebrating outgoing Ambassador Alberto Pieri

Active and present with compatriots in complicated years

08-09-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo

This is coming from someone who has already said goodbye to eight of them: it is always difficult to say goodbye to an ambassador.
Not so much because you often do not physically have the opportunity or because (personally on one occasion, in the past) you prefer to think of it as goodbye, but above all because ambassadors are not like footballers, except in very rare cases they are not expected to return to the same 'team', i.e. as representatives of our government in the same country where they have already been head of diplomacy.
So it will also be the case for Alberto Pieri, who exactly 4 years after the start of his mandate, on 3 September 2018, returned to Rome yesterday, awaiting his future destination in the world. I, who by trade follow the affairs of Italy and Italians in Kenya and Kenya with Italy and our countrymen, can tell you that Pieri has been one of the most active and committed ambassadors ever in Nairobi.
He has been so because he has gone through moments that have never been so delicate for relations between the two countries, with the case of Silvia Romano's kidnapping, and unique in their global problematic nature such as the pandemic. He was the only ambassador to Kenya who had to manage the repatriation of almost a thousand compatriots in an almost impossible period for travel, even within individual countries and continents. Last but not least, for three years, again due to contingent problems, he also had to manage the Italian Institute of Culture as regent and considering the many initiatives put in place, including many on the coast (becoming the most present and collaborative Ambassador for events and meetings).
Paying homage in this same space to the previous representative of our institutions, Mauro Massoni, four years ago I wrote: "Few of us know and understand the responsibilities and freedom of action associated with the title of Ambassador, a role in which humanity can often even be mistaken for a lack of shrewdness".
Pieri knows this lesson very well, so much so that I could make the opposite argument, because he was capable (and often, given his Romagna verve, as jovial and sincere as Sangiovese, he was a little raped to do so) of appearing all too institutional, meticulous and formal, for the deep sense of the institution he represented abroad.
As I got to know and frequent him personally, having many pleasant, useful and constructive chats and even indulging in a few excellent lunches and a glass of wine in the brief escapes from celebrations and other events, I appreciated his professionalism more, precisely because Pieri always knew how to wisely balance his character, ethics and needs.
As I already said about Freemasons, I may seem biased, because Alberto Pieri has also been close to the realities of Malindi and Watamu, he has appreciated and often shared my, our efforts for the unity of the Italians in Kenya and a fair information, commitment to the Culture and history of our presence in this country and the interaction that must go hand in hand with the very fast development of this people.
Pieri has concluded agreements with universities, launched programmes with county governors, and sponsored Italy's 'green and blue' commitment on several occasions, with a strong focus on environmental and recycling issues.
So much for rhetoric: goodbye Alberto Pieri and a big hug to his sunny wife Emilce.

TAGS: ambasciatorepierieditorialesaluto

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