For Italy’s Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro, the road to Eurovision was born of tragedy. In the aftermath of the attacks on concerts in Manchester and Paris, the duo received countless messages from fans asking whether their own concerts were safe.

“Our fans were understandably afraid, and expressed that fear to us in messages,” Fabrizio told wiwiblogger William in Lisbon following their second rehearsal. “Then we received a letter from a family member of one of the victims from the Bataclan attack in Paris, and it was so touching. We started reading all the messages from our fans and we put them together. The words were already there.”

Their song “Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente” translates as “You haven’t done anything to me”, and takes inspiration from a powerful line written by the partner of a victim of the Paris attacks in November 2015: “You will not have my hate, you will not have my fear.”

The duo wrote the song in an afternoon, driven by the urgency they felt at the time.

Despite being seasoned performers — and two of Italy’s biggest stars — they say they’re in awe of the Eurovision stage.

At first I thought it was easy,” Fabrizio says. “But when I came on stage during the jury show on Wednesday, I actually felt fear of how big this really is.”

Ermal says fear is a good thing in matters of performance.

“I always feel fear before I go on stage,” he says. “I get butterflies in my stomach. But when I feel that, I know everything is going to be okay. When you stop feeling butterflies, that is when you have a problem”.

Their expressive faces convey so much while they sing their song. What are they expressing?

“We feel so many things,” Ermal says. “We feel anger, fear and we feel courage. One cannot feel courage if there is no fear. If you’re not afraid of the fire, you burn yourself.”

Ermal, like Cyprus’ Eleni Foureira, fled Albania in the 1990s. Has he had a chance to speak with her?

“I spoke to Eleni two days ago,” he says. “She’s a really good singer and she’s hot. Oh my god. She stays in our hotel. You never know. I’m kidding!”

Their shared experience — of fleeing conflict in search of a better life — is a reminder of how open borders can change lives.

“I saved myself going away,” Ermal says. “It was a tough time for me. But I want to go back.”

“Borders are made for men. All people are travellers. In front of the border they become immigrants. That’s not right.”

“We all are immigrants because we travel through time. Mankind was not born here. We were born elsewhere, and our fathers used to move around the world. That’s why there are so many different nationalities. But we all belong to mankind and we’re just one.”

“Just like the fingers of one hand. You would never say these are fingers. You would say this is a hand.”

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Pollaski
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Pollaski

Yeah, our ancestors moved around freely. Our ancestors also spent a lot of time whacking each other in the heads with clubs or stabbing people with various pointy objects over things such as water sources and orchards. Borders = Peace. Its why nations have them, and its why individual property owners have them. Because society works best when there’s clear defined boundaries of who controls what. So you do your thing on your side, I do my thing on mine. That doesn’t mean we can’t get together- I’ll happily invite you in- all that I ask is that you respect… Read more »

Ffs
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Ffs

I’m sick and tired of all the crap about the “poor immigrants” and all the PC nonsense. Just eff off

Nadors
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Nadors

What a horrible person you must be

Lala
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Lala

Ermal is tslking about a different story amd not what you label as “cival war”

Kit Kat
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Kit Kat

Nowadays, if you leave your country and you’re poor = e/immigrant. If you do exactly the same and you’re rich = expatriate…
Oh god…

Lala
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Lala

No its about making your mind where you belong, and accept the fact that you do not belong to your previous society. It is about basic stuff such as passing your language

Gippa
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Gippa

There is an error for a misunderstanding in the article. The Bataclan letter was not sent to them, the husband of the victim of that terrorist attack wrote it on his facebook and it went viral, so newspaper reported it and in this way we read it also in Italy.

Gippa
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Gippa

I meant “one of the victims”.

Lion76
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Lion76

What deeper words they are amazing, in their head they have a lot to say and they do all in the right way. Full of principle of humanity please vote for them! Go Italy! Go Ermal and Fabrizio!

me and me
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me and me

Italy and France are deluded.
No borders = Anarchy
How would you like entire Africa to move to Italy?
How much land do you have there in Italy to give a house to every African?

me and me
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me and me

To welcome all ”travellers” of the world in your country, is like trying to make s:ex with The Tower of Pisa. It doesn’t physically fit inside.

Gippa
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Gippa

Actually we (Westeners) are responsible for the majority of the conflicts and for people fleeing their countries. Having said that, a person, in this case Ermal, is intellectually free to say that the borders are an invention and that we are all descendent from migrants because that’s scientifically true. And I also add that it’s casual that we were born where we were born and that it’s kinda impossible to stop people from trying to have a better life and to survive (being survival the thing that moves lives of all species on Earth). It’s a super complex issue (and… Read more »

Lala
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Lala

I would add as an immigrant myself … I say you are not making your life better by leaving your country and a coutry taking you in is not helping you but destryong you look at thr Somali community in Sweeden and thst is how we grow extremism

Lala
Guest
Lala

Exactly! This propaganda is making many flee. But the question is…. why? Is mostly due to social conflicts and not because of what they say freedom and dreams … speaking as an immigrant myself… That is what I concluded …. agree we need to make safer spaces of where people are rather than supporting them fleeing

bsk
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bsk

Yeahhhhhhh they are ready to win…. Miss Universe…

selle
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selle

Absolute naivety personified. Hundreds of thousands of military aged men entering a sovereign nation without permission and with no identification is not and will never be immigration.

Lala
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Lala

Exactly! And you get tragedies like Otranto. Ermal came legaly though with getting recidency through Italian Embassy which was giving visas to many educated Albanians …. sort of the propaganda for freedom …

Lala
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Lala

You need to inform yourself guys …. If Albania was in a civil war… why did it take eo many refugees from kosovo? Becauseit was not in a war but a civil unrest …. stop rewriting history

Maybe
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Maybe

It was initially a rebellion that precipitated into civil war. At first you had a countrywide knee-jerk reaction to people losing their money and causing unrest, but then it gradually became more politicized into North vs. South as political parties used their respective militants to retain or gain power. That’s where it got into “civil war” territory. When the Kosovo refugee crisis happened, the civil conflict in Albania had ended, so there was nothing to prevent Albania from taking them in.

Lala
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Lala

It was NOT a war simply the south was not supportung UCK… its still called a civil unrest

Lala
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Lala

No it did not end to this day we are suffering ask me how my country was destroyed