On 16 August the Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Than landed with his mega-yatch in the port of Brindisi. He returned to the city of Puglia with a desire to realize: to find and thank Teresa Borsetti, a local woman who is now eighty-nine years old and who hosted him in her house twenty-one years ago.
Grandmother Teresa met Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in 1997, when he made him enter his house. Apparently the emir was walking in Brindisi followed by his bodyguards when he felt the urgent need to use the toilet (in a Puglia far from the tourism of today, in the silence of the early afternoon hours between the alleys of white lime). No one had been available to help him except for Mrs. Teresa who, sitting in front of the house, let the emir enter and made available his bathroom. To tell of that episode was a daughter of the woman: “He was a very tall man, handsome in appearance and dark in complexion. He needed a bath, he was accompanied by his bodyguards and there was the maritime agent Teo Titi who took care of his stay in Brindisi. My mother welcomed him into the house, allowing him to take advantage of the bathroom. Here before there were no public places. It was only after he was told that he was an emir”.
The meeting lasted a lot: over an hour and a half, Teresa offered coffee and purcidduzzi, the pugliese pancakes covered with honey. Little is known about what has been said in front of cups and desserts, also because the rules of security were mandatory: no video and no photo. But al-Thani would have told Teresa (this is the only direct testimony from one of the woman’s children) that he was impressed with the kindness shown then. “She opened the house to a stranger she needed: a gesture of great courtesy that I did not forget”, she would have said moved. And it’s not over: grandmother Teresa the Sheikh left a gift that remains top secret and, above all, an invitation: “Come and see me at the end of the year with all her family”. And he already paid for the airline tickets.
Finally, after the meeting, he took his leave and together with his yacht he left for Otranto to continue his holiday in Italy.