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Immigrant Children Keep Tabs on Troubles

April 29, 1995

The new language was easy. The harder lesson was their education in fear.

The children of Sada Abdullahi Muhmed and Mohamed Ahmed Farah are now well-versed in the troubles that can face immigrants.

They have heard mocking remarks at school. They keep track of the increasing number of racial attacks around Italy: In March, two Gypsy children injured by a bomb-rigged box in Pisa; in April, an Egyptian man beaten in Milan while attackers shouted ``Dirty foreigner, leave Italy.″

They follow the growing strength of right-wing groups demanding laws to clamp down on Third World immigrants.

The children have encountered no direct confrontations, but are constantly on guard.

One afternoon, 9-year-old Baharudin ran until he couldn’t run anymore. He panted and looked over his shoulder.

He had been playing soccer with some other African boys when a car full of Italians passed. ``They yelled something. I didn’t hear what, but we ran.″

That is Baharudin’s own formula for safety.

``I run,″ he said.

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