The story of Matteo Arfaoui is the story of a very young second generation Milanese (his father is Moroccan) who got involved in a business in the area. And who at twenty discovers the importance of a commitment in the neighborhood, in contact with people. It is also the story of a redemption, of the desire for independence, achieved by enhancing one’s skills. The company is called Quotidiana, it is made up of a network of newsstands promoted by the MilanoCard group. A small revolution in this sector. The newsstand where Matteo works, in via Bergamo in Milan, in the area between Porta Romana and piazza Cinque Giornate, is not just a newspaper shop. «It has become», Matteo a Vita tells, «a meeting point for many people, because it is also a service counter, a small emergency market and a place to pass by before returning home». The winning and innovative idea is to involve young people in a sector that in many cases appears very mature, when not overwhelmed by changes. There are already 15 newsstands like this in Milan, bought by the 30-year-old Edoardo Scarpellini, who has hired several young people in this initiative. The goal is the newsstand of the future, a 2.0 kiosk in step with the times.
«Since September I have been part of this adventure», Matteo Arfaoui continues, «for me it was a great leap in quality. I was used to working in the world of graphics, after my studies, and all the collaborations actually came via computer. Still it was an office job, albeit a creative one. Here, however, ninety percent of what I do is about human relationships. Relations with my colleagues but above all with those who come to newsstands ». Matteo’s personal path, like that of many young people, had begun a bit uphill: at just 19 he had gone to live alone, even if he had little means. Now this job gives him a different perspective: “I would like to go to Morocco soon and meet my father’s family,” he says, “the time has come to regain some of my roots.”
But in what sense does your work also have a social character? “Above all because we are in the area and in contact with all the volunteer and aid realities, we feel like carrying out a form of public service, with certificates, tickets, services … From a certain point of view, even the bottle of water or the liter of milk make you feel first of all useful to people. In recent weeks, many have told us: you have rekindled Via Bergamo. Then there is a traditional clientele of our newsstand made up of elderly people, used to buying their favorite newspaper and chatting, maybe commenting on some headlines… ».
A world that you young people may have known less …
«I must admit that for me too there was a world to discover: of newspapers, magazines, interests, culture. At the same time, the exchange with those who have more experience becomes an important opportunity. With regard to the various newspapers, the various passions, it takes impartiality: jokingly, I say that sometimes I feel like a Swiss citizen. Neutral”. Soon in the newsstands managed by Quotidiana there will also be a counter of fresh products and a screen where images and information will scroll. «People», Matteo says, «are happy to find what they are looking for in a few minutes and without going to the supermarket. Let’s face it: Covid has changed the way we see products and services. We measure it every day ».