Ghali Amdouni
Andrea Ariano

Italian-born rapper Ghali Amdouni is a genre-defining force within the country’s trap scene. But away from the recording studio, Ghali has become a leading advocate for migrant rights at a time when xenophobic rhetoric is dominant in Italy. Last summer, he donated an inflatable boat to a nonprofit rescuing migrants at sea. The boat has yet to be deployed for a rescue mission because of political restrictions, despite the thousands of annual fatalities in the Mediterranean Sea. This year, Ghali joined volunteers on an orange rescue dinghy in Trapani, where he observed how to perform at-sea rescues. Born to Tunisian parents, 30-year-old Ghali did not hold Italian citizenship for over half his lifetime, thanks to strict citizenship laws for the children of migrants. But the rapper says he is as Italian as he is Tunisian. His lyrics bring communities together by blending Arabic, French, and English in what he calls “an unstable fusion” of his identities. He says, “I stitched scenes of life and emotions that were at the periphery of the Italian mind and brought them center stage.”

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