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JUNE 2014 – ISSUE NO. 234

gIaNNElla dE marcO The top lawyer talks about life, love and the law page 23

a PrESENcE fOr PEacE

Syrian Patriarch Gregorios III speaks about the role of Christians in the Arab world page 28

lUkE dImEch

Meet Valletta FC’s veteran defender page 41

vOlUNtary wOrk aBrOad Does it do more harm than good? page 35

Farah Abdi Somali refugee Farah Abdi opens up about fleeing his homeland, coming to terms with his sexuality, and why he believes integration is the only option page 16

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B AY S T R E E T, S T. J U L I A N S R E P U B L I C S T R E E T, VA L L E T TA


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. contents . INTERVIEWs

16 A Journey of A ThousAnd Miles Somali refugee Farah Abdi tells Philip Leone-Ganado about fleeing his homeland, coming to terms with his sexuality, and why he believes integration is the only option

59 fAshion in The gArden

Barefoot beauties walk the lawn of Girgenti Palace for Sarto’s Spring/Summer 2014 Garden Runway fashion show

musIc & daNcE

23 firsT of her kind

63 dAncing The dreAM

28 A presence for peAce

71 The sound of MAlTese

Giannella de Marco speaks to David Schembri about being the first female criminal lawyer in Malta, second chances, and following in one set of her father’s footsteps

Patriarch Gregorios III, head of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church in Syria, tells David Schembri about the role of religion in a place of war and confusion

socIETy

35 being The chAnge?

Monique Pellegrini Petit and Mireille Coleiro of the Central Academy of Ballet talk Carla Formosa through their latest production

With the release of their debut album Senduq, folk outfit Kantilena tell David Schembri why the Maltese language is so crucial to their music

82 A fresh breATh of bAroque Historical performance specialist Ian Peter Bugeja discusses the Enlightenment, branding, and the impossibility of authenticity with Ann Dingli

Could volunteering abroad actually be doing harm to the very communities it tries to help, asks Philip Leone-Ganado?

93 husTler by nATure

Maureen Saguna meets other young mothers and discusses creative ideas for ensuring your kids have a summer to remember

NaTuRE

77 suMMer boredoM busTers spoRTs

41 lion MAn

Valletta FC’s Luke Dimech tells Philip Leone-Ganado about the stresses and strains of professional football, playing against Mario Balotelli – and what comes next

89 of world cups pAsT

As the world’s eyes turn towards Brazil, Philip Leone-Ganado allows himself a flight of whimsy back to the World Cups that defined his childhood

sTylE

49 here coMes The sun

Fashion Blogger Bianca Darmanin brings us to speed with the latest trends and fashions this Spring/Summer version

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Maltese-born hip-hop DJ Sarah Harrison tells Carla Formosa about carving out a niche in London, meeting Quincy Jones, and touring with Snoop Dogg

95 MAlTA’s subMerged TreAsures Alan Deidun explores the riches surrounding our coasts

hEalTh

105 Missing MolArs

Dr Jean Paul Demajo examines the problems associated with a lack of a posterior dentition

REGulaRs 6 A word froM The ediTor | 8 c body 10 c Men | 12 c fAshion | 14 c living 102 shopping | 107 pApArAzzi 109 circle evenTs pApArAzzi speciAl

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compETITIoN

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WIN a €500 voucher from The Plaza

plus Special Newsagent Prize Draw see pg 6 for details

Send your letterS to: Philip Leone-Ganado, the editor, Sunday Circle, Network Publications Ltd, Level 2, Angelica Court, Guzeppi Calì Street, Ta’ Xbiex, XBX 1425, or email: philip@ networkpublications.com.mt. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and where space is limited. For advertising enquiries email: renee@networkpublications.com.mt or call: 2131 6326/7/8. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole, or in part, is strictly prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed in the Sunday Circle are not necessarily those of the editor or publishers. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome, but cannot be returned without a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The editor is not responsible for material submitted for consideration.


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This month, we’re widening our borders. Our cover personality is Farah Abdi, a young Somali migrant working actively to dispel the negativity surrounding migration. Meeting Farah – intelligent, hardworking and highly-motivated in a way few teenagers are – was both a privilege, and, given recent events, as timely as ever.

© 2012 COTY US LLC

Elswhere, we sit down with the Syrian Patriarch Gregorios III to speak about the civil war that continues to ravage his country, and the role that the Catholic faith can play in such a difficult time. And as so many young people prepare to jet off to developing countries for a few weeks of volunteering, we take a second to examine the real value of the work they’re doing. But we also encounter stories of boundaries being broken closer to home – from a look at the life and times of Giannella de Marco, Malta’s first female criminal lawyer, to a chat with Kantilena about turning the music of the past into the music of the future.

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Lest we forget, it’s also World Cup month! For football fans, we’ve got an interview with Valletta and Malta defender Luke Dimech, and a personal celebration of the greatest tournament on earth. This and more inside. Thanks for reading.

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ON THE COVER

PUBLISHEr John Formosa

NeTwORk PublicATiONs lTd

PUBLICATION & SALES MANAGEr Renée Micallef Decesare

EDITOrIAL Trade enquiries: Vivian Corporation | Tel: 21320338 | www.viviancorp.com

Philip Leone-Ganado www.sundaycircle.com

JUNE 2014 – ISSUE NO. 234

David Schembri

gIaNNElla dE marcO

dePuTY ediTOR

The top lawyer talks about life, love and the law page 23

a PrESENcE fOr PEacE

Carla Formosa Bianca Darmanin Maureen Saguna Alan Deidun Ann Dingli

Syrian Patriarch Gregorios III speaks about the role of Christians in the Arab world page 28

lUkE dImEch

Meet Valletta FC’s veteran defender page 41

vOlUNtary wOrk aBrOad Does it do more harm than good? page 35

Farah Abdi Somali refugee Farah Abdi opens up about fleeing his homeland, coming to terms with his sexuality, and why he believes integration is the only option page 16

COVEr PErSONALITY Farah Abdi

COVEr PHOTO Jacob Sammut

PHOTOGRAPHY

ediTOR

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ArT & DESIGN Sarah Scicluna Jessica Camilleri

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Body 1. Masculine seduction

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2. seductive night tones

Kenzo Homme Night is an energising and sensual fragrant form of lighthearted seduction with a smile. Simple and iconic, the bamboo of the bottle dresses up in the colour of the night. Its zesty effect of Grapefruit over the virile and sexy notes of Tonka Bean and Vetiver, create an invigorating and sensual fragrance. The scent combines different notes, from grapefruit to geranium and guaiac wood. Exclusively represented by C+M Marketing ltd. Tel. 2142 4079

3. Melting Pot of flavours

Luna Rossa Extreme is the latest fragrance from the Prada stable. The heart of the scent is amber mixed with hot black pepper and zesty bergamot. Thrown into the mix are vanilla, juniper and labdanum. It’s a veritable melting pot of flavours which, surprisingly, work extremely well together, creating a unique and beautfiul scent. Exclusively Distributed by Ta’Xbiex Perfumery Limited Tel: 2133 1553

4. the neW star of the PerfuMe World

New eau de-toilette Mercedez-Benz is a modern, masculine fragrance born from the fusion of elegance and technology. The unique scent supports the attraction of power and the art of seduction. Purchase an EDT 40ml and a showergel and get a FREE Mercedes-Benz key chain – offer valid till stocks last. Trade Enquiries: Vivian Corporation. Tel: 2132 0338

5. foot rePair

Mavala’s conditioning moisturizer for feet perfectly softens, moisturizes and protects. The formulation of the Conditioning Moisturizer, containing collagen and allantoin, softens dry skin and prevents chapping. When used daily, it restores skin suppleness and comfort. After the hot summer days, the Conditioning Moisturizer will be the perfect remedy to provide smoothness to your feet. Distributed by C+M Marketing. Tel: 2142 4079/80

6. Protected this suMMer

La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics provides optimal skin protection for all skin types, especially children’s delicate skin. The Anthelios sunscreens for children are available in two forms, both of which are highly water, sand and sweat resistant. Its texture is a smooth lotion that is rapidly absorbed by the skin and an easy to apply spray. With Anthelios Dermo-Pediatrics having SPF 50+ and a very high UV protection, you can rest assured your children are well protected this summer.

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Sunday Circle | June 2014

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NEW


men italian luxury If you love Italian fashion, grab a pair of boxers or briefs from Dolce&Gabbana, which doesn’t only follow fashion trends – it sets them. These underpants and tank tops are styled and designed to fit any man’s lifestyle, whether an athlete or a more mature businessman. Super soft, super fine cotton creates an item with a feel of luxury. At only €40.00 a box, you receive two pairs. Have a look at the collection exclusively at SARTO, Ross Street, St.Julian’s.

SucceSS Beyond the Game Be prepared for an eventful summer of sports with Hugo Boss Parfums. Representing one of the brand’s male fragrance classics, England’s Goalkeeper Joe Hart, Brazilian National Team Captain Thiago Silva and Germany’s Footballer of the Year 2012 Marco Reus have been selected as global ambassadors of the campaigns. Practice your own football moves when you pick up a stylish white football, which comes with its own ball pump when purchasing any large sized Hugo Boss fragrance. Available at VJ Salomone. Tel: 80072387

comfort and Practicality Both Scholl and the Camel Active’s Spring/Summer collection offer a wide range of boat shoes, smart shoes, and sandals – everything a man could seek. Both collections combine colour, practicality and ease with the latest up-to-date fashion trends. Coming in a wide variety of styles and in warm, earthy tones such as beige, brown and mocha, there is a shoe for every occasion. Visit any of the Scholl Foothealth Centres around Malta. Tel: 2144 1870.

PreciSe, reliaBle and functional The new-generation GMT-Master JJ is a distillation of Rolex technology expertise that remains faithful to the style of the legendary watch. The GMT-Master was developed to meet the specific needs of airline pilots, and is now used as the official watch for the famous Pan Am. Rolex has re-introduced the red and blue bidirectional rotatable bezel with cerachrome inserts and finished in 18k white gold. Exclusively represented by Edwards Lowell Co. Ltd, available at Zachary Street, Valleta and Spinola Bay St.Julians. Tel: 21384 503.

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Sunday Circle | June 2014

freSh, SPicy & Woody L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme, “The Force of Water,” provides classic masculine notes in an unfamiliar arrangement. In the top note, yuzu and tangerine are citrus-fresh, awakening the senses with tangy, camphor-like accents. The ardent heart mingles the whimsical tones of blue waterlily with the menthol-cool note of geranium, while a warmth derives from cinnamon, nutmeg and saffron. Cedar and Indian sandalwood delicately infuse the woody base, heightened by a hint of tobacco, while musk contributes strength and sensuality. Represented by C+M Marketing Ltd. Tel. 2142 4079.

your Perfect Shave Braun gives you the solution for any grooming need: assistants that will help you groom your beard, head and body hair. With an extensive range of shavers, trimmers and clippers you are guaranteed an irresistible look. Series 7 is the most technologically advanced shaver. Its revolutionary Sonic Technology adjusts to the density of your beard for the ultimate comfortable shave. Represented by VJ Salomone. Tel: 8007 2387.

For a chance to win a Braun Cruzer Beard and Head simply tell us who was your favourite male personality featured in the Circle this year. Send your answer along with your name and telephone number to hello@sundaycircle.com


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fashion stylish suMMer sandals Armani Jeans’ new summer collection PVC sandals are the ideal and most stylish accessories for 2014. The sandals come in a two-tone pattern, which can either be black with white, or red with blue. The design also incudes a logo detail and a side buckle closure. Being very light and comfortable, they are the perfect buy for summer. Available from Armani Jeans Baystreet, and The Point.

Fun and Fashionable Tommy Hilfiger have just introduced their new peep toe wedges, which combine the utmost beautiful leather with fun fashion. The wedges feature a curved T-strap and a buckle ankle strap with the Tommy Hilfiger flag embossed on the rivet. The Tommy Hilfiger logo is also printed on the leather insole. Available from Tommy Hilfiger Baystreet and Valletta.

eFFortless, suMMery style After seasons of fluorescents and strong hues, the new direction for colour with their renowned energy is pastel and candy tones. The concept of fluidity is the essence of tops and dresses, never exceeding into oversize, comfort is a priority with effortless, summery style. The holiday mood is the starting point of Marella giving lightness to the more formal garments. Available at Marella, Bisazza Street, Sliema.

two looks in one Mexx’s new spring collection is offering the perfect unique and modern accessory for any spring outfit; a 2-in-1 bold print Tote Bag. The bag has metallic straps, with the bonus metallic wristlet, which can also be snapped onto the larger bag or worn on its own. The bag combined with a denim outfit, will give anyone a fun look for the perfect night out. Available at €59.95 at any MEXX stores at Baystreet, Pjazza Tigne - The Point, Valletta and Mosta.

Mediterranean FeMininity Oysho’s Summer 2014 beachwear collection is heavily inspired by the Mediterranean, in a host of prints and nautical tones. Designs include fabulous maxi dresses, swimsuits and bikinis teamed with all the summer must-have accessories you could wish for. In tune with nature, the garments are designed to make any woman feel at her most comfortable and basking in her femininity. Available at Level -1, The Point. www.oysho.com

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Sunday Circle | June 2014

daring glaMour Guess beachwear collection 2014 combines colour and softness, with sensual articles for the woman who can’t resist the glamour of summer. The focus in the women’s collection is on colour, with a must-have fluorescent rainbow effect for the most youthful. Guess’ men’s collection also consists of five different faring themes, featuring groups of different colours, which can be mixed and matched. Collection is available at Guess Stores at The Point, Baystreet and Bisazza Street, Sliema.


Trade Enquiries: Vivian Corporation tel: 21320338 A R T D I R : PAU L M A RC I A N O P H : M I k A e L jA N s s O N

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living

premIum meatS

InSpIre through polo The Malta Polo Club will be holding its annual Cawnpore Cup match at Marsa in aid of Inspire, on June 14 at 6pm. Spectators are invited to arrive at 4.30pm where Ferraris will be displayed, along with a VIP lounge area and Champagne bar. The match will be followed by a presentation and a Champagne reception. At 8.30pm dinner will be served by Chukkas Restaurant, proceeding to a night of entertainment with a live DJ entertaining in the VIP lounge. All proceeds will go towards the Inspire Foundation.

P. Cutajar unveiled its first own food brand after almost 150 years as one of Malta’s leading importers and distributors of wines, sprits and food. The new brand, Olly’s Premium Eats, is a range of frozen premium meat products created especially for the Maltese market. Olly’s is a family of six products: Angus XXL burgers, 100% Beef Burgers, Mini-Burgers, Chicken Burgers, Chicken Fingers and Chicken Nuggets. Olly’s Premium Eats can now be found in all leading supermarkets.

Speranza With the sponsorship of FIMBank and leadership of Periti Briffa and Valentino, Speranza: a Humanitarian Shelter, was built, developed by a group of thirdyear University students from the Faculty for the Built Environment. The brief for the project was to design a sustainable, simple and well-insulated unit by using low-cost improvements to existing technology, and that’s exactly what the creators did. The shelter is designed to adapt to any individual needs, with every piece of furniture in the shelter, fitting neatly into four supplied cupboards.

Summer ItalIan taSte Bring a taste of Italian summer to your al fresco dining with Aperol Spritz. It’s time to take advantage of summer and use the longer nights to dine al fresco. Make sure you kick off your al fresco feast with refreshing Aperol Spritz. Aperol Spritz is the perfect summer drink with a light, sparkling and refreshing taste. Go on – spritz up your summer whatever you’re doing, with Aperol Spritz. Distributed by Farsons Beverage Imports Co. Ltd. Tel. 2381 4400

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Sunday Circle | June 2014

SunSet grooveS Every Saturday Night Café del Mar will be going on a nautical journey with the Royal Marine. House music will guide you through the sunset and keep you on your feet all night long. Come down to Café Del Mar on Saturday nights to sip on some cocktails and dance the night away. The Royal Marine Sexy and Sultry Saturday Evenings kick off at 6m with entrance of €5. For a chance to win four €30 memberships, entitling you to free entry, visit Sunday Circle’s Facebook page.


178, Marina street, pietĂ  seafront st anne street, fLoriana i teL: 2010 3715, 2010 2949 i www.victorazzopardi.coM

BOUQUET collection


cover story

a jOURNEY OF a

THOUSAND MILES At 18 yeArs of Age, somAli refugee fArAh Abdi hAs experienced more thAn some people do in An entire lifetime. he tells philip leone-gAnAdo About fleeing his homelAnd, coming to terms with his sexuAlity, And why he believes integrAtion is the only option Photography Jacob Sammut

I

n November 2012, a small dinghy carrying 77 migrants arrived in Malta after a three-day journey from Libya. Farah Abdullah Abdi, then just 16 years old, was one of those on board. Nine months earlier, Farah had fled his home in Kenya and set off on a perilous journey into the unknown. In the months that followed, he would be locked up and beaten in South Sudan, cross the Sahara Desert in a pick-up truck, and find himself imprisoned five times while attempting the crossing from Libya. Arriving in Malta and applying for asylum was the end of that danger for Farah, but it was also the start of another journey: coming to terms with himself and his sexuality, the reason for his flight from family and home, where homosexuality remains illegal, punishable by up to 14 years in prison. “When I arrived, one of the women who helped me realised my difference and said I needed therapy,” he recalls. “I danced around the matter with my psychologist for hours without saying the word.” Even now, it takes him a second to enunciate it. “I am...gay. It doesn’t define me, but it’s part of who I am.”

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either see immigrants as poor people who need help, or as people who want to invade our country. But I want to tell a different story,” he says. “I am not a victim. I have gone through a lot, but I refuse to see myself as a victim or expect pity from other people. I work as hard as the nationals, and I want to be accorded opportunities to develop myself just like an ordinary person.” Farah was born in 1995 in a small town in South-Central Somalia, a region that then – as now – was experiencing armed conflict, widespread human rights abuses, and minimal access to social services. Seeking a better life and an education for the children, the family fled to Kenya. There, they spent three months at the Dadaab refugee camp, where conditions were even worse than in Somalia, before moving to Nairobi, where Farah’s father managed to open a small electronics shop. Farah learnt the language, started school, and settled into – all things considered – a relatively normal, middle-class life.

Eighteen months after his arrival in Malta, Farah has been granted refugee status – the highest level of protection available in Malta – and is working as a translator for NGOs active in the field of migration. Still just 18 years old, he is a regular columnist for MaltaToday and has spoken at conferences on child migration in Malta and in Brussels, where he presented a speech alongside EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. A self-written book on his experiences – From Chains to Freedom – is due out by the end of the year.

But from a very early age, he was aware that he was different. “At nursery school, I’d play with the girls more than the boys. The teacher summoned my mother and told her to speak to me: she was very angry; she said I was embarrassing her. I love my mother: she went through so much for me and my brother, and I understand where she’s coming from, being a very religious, culturally-rooted Somali woman, but at the time I hated her.” At 13, he was moved to an all-boys school, at which point he started to slip into depression. “I thought: I’ll never be accepted by my family or my community.”

In person, he speaks with an intelligence and breadth of knowledge that belie his young age (“A lot of people say that to me,” he laughs when I observe as much.) He is also completely committed to his goal of shining a positive light on an issue shrouded in fear and negativity. “In Malta people

LGBT life in Kenya remains a dangerous one: according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 96 per cent of Kenyans believe homosexuality is unacceptable; same-sex relationships are punishable by imprisonment of up to 14 years; and gay people are routinely harassed, blackmailed and extorted by the police.

Sunday Circle | June 2014


cover story

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 17


cover story

“I couldn’t go back and start from scratch again after all that suffering” It was against this background that Farah made the decision to flee from home in search of a safer future. Legal travel was not an option. “In Kenya, no matter how long you stay, you can never gain refugee status or citizenship,” he explains. “I’ve never known what it’s like to have documents: my country has no government, no birth certificates, no legal channels.” Instead – together with his cousin, who was making the journey with him – he was forced to seek out smugglers to carry him on a journey that sees hundreds lose their lives every year. “No mother in her right mind would allow her son to embark on such a dangerous journey,” he writes in one of his columns. “I remember my mother persuading me to stay, by vowing to buy me a car and anything else I wanted. She eventually let me go when I stood my ground, and convinced her that buying me material things would not buy me happiness.” From Kenya, Farah travelled into Uganda and South Sudan. At the border with North Sudan, the group was arrested by local militia on suspicion of being spies. Their money was taken and they were imprisoned in a small room for four days and beaten; one of the girls travelling with the group was sexually abused. In North Sudan, when they finally got out, Farah was forced to grow a beard and wear baggy clothes to hide any external trace of his sexual orientation. He arrived in Libya a few weeks later. “When I saw the chaos, I knew I had to get out as soon as possible. The first time I tried, I was caught and taken to prison. I stayed for 25 days before I managed to escape.” Over the next seven months, more prisons followed. The last time, it took $800 to secure his release – in total, he had spent about $12,000 18

Sunday Circle | June 2014

to get this far. “My mother wanted me to go home; she said I was killing her with worry. But I couldn’t go back and start from scratch again after all that suffering.” On his final attempt, the boat Farah was on was picked up by the AFM about 80 nautical miles from Malta. “When they heard people speaking Maltese, a lot of the people on the boat were scared, because it sounded Arabic, and they thought we were being taken back to Libya. But I recognised the flag and said: no, it’s Malta. That night, I slept like I had never slept in my life. I remember feeling free.” Due to his age, Farah spent just six days in detention, before being moved to the open centre for minors, Dar is-Sliem. He is grateful for being spared an extended stay in the “despicable” conditions of detention, but at the same time, this meant that he was immediately thrust into a new environment with no idea what to expect – and although he was finally free from the need to hide his sexuality from the world, that environment was not always welcoming. Racism was an utterly alien concept to Farah before he experienced it here. Working in construction shortly after his arrival, he was once refused entry to a home where he was contracted to do a job because the owner did not want a black person in his house. Another time, he was physically thrown off a bus after a minor disagreement with the driver – again, the colour of his skin was the issue. “I thought: I’m fed up of this country. They don’t know what I’ve gone through. I’m not a burden to them; I work hard, I’ve never asked for anything from anyone, and they treat me like this?”


Farah Abdi and Maria Pisani

cover story

“As soon as you have a conversation with someone, and they understand where you’re coming from, they just open up” There was also support. Farah speaks passionately about the many people who helped him on his arrival, especially Maria Pisani, the director of Integra Foundation, who he describes as an inspiration and role-model to him. And in time, he came to find friendship also among the rest of the population. “In therapy, my psychologist challenged me to walk into a shop and just start a conversation with someone, and I was shocked at how many friends I managed to make in the community,” he says. “As soon as you have a conversation with someone, and they understand where you’re coming from, they just open up.” “Migrants are looked at as an issue, not as people. Moreover, the government sees us as transitory: it’s always calling for bigger countries to share the burden, but some migrants are here to stay, and build a foundation for themselves. That’s why there needs to be an integration policy. We need to break the language barrier, and we need to stop looking at migrants as victims. Migrants just need to be given a level playing field, and they can contribute just as much as anyone else.” 20

Sunday Circle | June 2014

Having been granted asylum on the basis of his sexuality, Farah’s story is not a typical one. And even today, he settles ever more into life in Malta, it throws up some unique challenges. His relationship with the Somali community in Malta, for example, is sometimes strained. “I write my columns to put migration in a positive light, to tell our stories,” he says. He has at this point got used to the negative responses his writing sometimes gets from Maltese people – some of whom seem offended by the simple thought of a migrant sharing his opinions – but that of his countrymen is harder to bear. “I’m putting myself out there so much, to bring out their stories and put their points of view across, so when I hear them speaking negatively about gays, I feel very hurt.” Interestingly, he feels a similar disconnect when it comes to the Maltese gay community. “They have gone through so much: they’ve been put down by the government and society. But the only struggle they know is sexuality, and some of them – not all – don’t take a second to link that struggle to other struggles. I was very happy to

see the civil unions bill passed, but I was torn. I thought: am I a part of this celebration?” So what comes next for Farah? It is sometimes easy to forget that he is still a teenager, and his dreams are not too different to those of any other teenager. “I want to continue writing, I want to travel the world, I want to go into fashion, and music, and business, and just try different ideas,” he says with a broad smile. Having left secondary school when he left Kenya, Farah is also keen to continue his education, and is going back to school to study for his A-levels in September, with plans to read for a degree in International Relations after that. “One of my biggest role models is Amina Mohammed, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Minister,” he says. “She’s in government, she’s worked in Brussels, Geneva, New York – as a woman, breaking that stereotype, and being where she is today...I want that.” Now free at last to fully express himself, and with so much to contribute, you wouldn’t bet against him getting it.


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INTERVIEW

FIRST OF HER KIND Criminal lawyer Giannella de marCo speaks to david sChembri about beinG the first female Criminal lawyer in malta, seCond ChanCes, and followinG in one set of her father’s footsteps Photography Jacob Sammut

T

he nameplate on the desk reads Dr G. de Marco; the church of St Augustine dominates the Valletta skyline through the office window. Behind the desk sits Giannella de Marco – one of Malta’s most successful criminal lawyers. The nameplate was her father Guido’s; her current status as one of Malta’s finest lawyers was for a time his. When in 1987 Guido was appointed minister, his firstborn was given her baptism of fire as she prepared for two major cases – a trial for attempted murder within two months, and a murder trial within three. She had started working at the firm upon graduating at the age of 23, but did not carry out much work in the criminal field and certainly didn’t have any criminal trials of her own. “Since my father was in his fifties and at the peak of his career, no one was interested in having me defend them when they could have him,”

Giannella says. “It’s not easy when you’re young,” she reflects, “especially when everyone’s going to compare you to the greatest and the best.” In a sense, living up to her father’s reputation took her attention away from another daunting task – that of being the first female lawyer practising in the Maltese criminal courts. “We were never made to feel it was a man’s world,” she says of her upbringing. “When my father was Minister for Foreign Affairs, he used to quip ‘but my wife is the Minister for the Interior!’” Giannella says she encountered a fair amount of misogyny in the Law Courts, but is quick to brush that off. “You just move on, you can’t keep dwelling on the fact that there are some who don’t give you due respect. You fight it, you don’t moan about it, you go on, and you persist. And despite himself, you make him respect you… or her, because women June 2014 | Sunday Circle 23


interview

“If you’re good, no one’s going to worry whether you’re female or male” are sometimes their own worst enemies. I don’t understand it when women complain. If you’re good, no one is going to worry whether you’re female or male,” Giannella says. “That’s how you advance women’s rights, by moving on and not letting your sex be an issue. You don’t compartmentalise yourself. I am a lawyer, not a female lawyer. I’m a lawyer, period.” Motherhood, however, had more of an impact on her life than womanhood: “I did manage to be a good mother – I hope so, I believe so. When I started practising my profession, working mothers felt guilty that they worked. They were made to feel guilty. Consequently they felt that they have to make it up to their children. Nowadays, it’s very different, thankfully.” Apart from defending their clients, criminal lawyers often have to defend their role against popular misconceptions. “I have been at the top of the profession for 27 years. This would not have happened had I not been correct in my relations with the Court, the prosecutors and with my clients. Without a good defence lawyer you can have no justice. The right to a defence through a lawyer is a fundamental right in a democratic society that breathes the rule of law. It is as fundamental as the role played by an able prosecutor and an impartial judge. The lawyer is there to ensure that guilt should not be found unless it is proven correctly and beyond reasonable doubt. A defence lawyer’s job is not to twist the facts, or even the truth, but to see what evidence is produced and give the client the best defence that they possibly can. Some say: how can you be a defence lawyer, when sometimes, your client is guilty of terrible crimes? But equally, how can you be a prosecutor, when the person charged is innocent of what he has been accused of?” Giannella says. “This 24

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attitude is worrying not so much because it displays a lack of appreciation of the role of the defence lawyer but because it betrays a lack of understanding of the fundamental right to a fair trial. It is even more worrying when these sentiments are expressed by sections of the media.” That, she explains, is why it is important for judges to resist pressure from all quarters, to be impartial and free of prejudice, and that is why she is wary of certain cases being subject to a ‘trial by media’. She attributes her professional success to the values her parents instilled in her: being prepared and never presumptuous; to always study hard, to be a fair and worthy opponent, and to respect another person’s point of view while still holding on to your own. Crucially, in her case, never to let politics get in the way of work, dealings with people and friendships. Despite working with people who have committed sometimes very terrible crimes, Giannella believes people are fundamentally good. “Man is fundamentally good. I’ve met a lot of people across all walks of life, and from across all social strata, and charged with various crimes, from the most heinous to the lightest, they are all fundamentally good. It is society and the way life treats them which makes them go off and do bad things.” She sighs as she goes through a mental catalogue of the cases she’s dealt with over the years. “For example, when it comes to paedophiles, you’ll find that often they themselves have been abused. Where was society then, when they were abused?” But hasn’t she ever met someone who she felt was pure evil? “I must admit that there was one person I’ve met in whom I could not find anything good.” Did she still have to defend him? “When I don’t like a


interview

“Maybe, subconsciously the fact that politics occupied so much of my father’s time was something that didn’t make me too keen on it. It takes over your private time and privacy, and I love my private life”

person, I can’t tell them I don’t want to defend them. But if we can’t get on, my concern is that I can’t give that person the best possible defence, and I have a duty to give the best possible defence so in one way or another… When there isn’t good chemistry, you just can’t.” In this case, she did not have to let him off herself: “He was murdered, eventually. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword, I guess.” Her work is charged with emotion, she admits, particularly when she believes in a client’s innocence, or recognises that theirs was an isolated mistake. As a lawyer, she has also learnt to leave judgments for judges and magistrates. The more you work, she says, “the more you learn how not to judge, and the more you learn how to understand how things are hardly ever black or white, and how there’s a lot of grey in between. You learn how important the quality of humanity is.” While she admits to being harder on herself and her loved ones than she is with her clients, she herself is grateful for a second chance she got. She happened to be the first woman to get a divorce under Maltese law – marrying her long-time partner, lawyer and former politician George Hyzler in September last year. When on holiday in a friend’s country estate in Tuscany, they received news that the divorce bill had passed through the first reading; there and then, George got on his knee and asked her to marry him. As she tries to describe that moment, her beaming smile gets in the way of her words: “It felt like a lot of love was coming my way, and I felt blessed, funnily enough. I felt blessed to have been given the second chance at happiness: that’s how I feel.” Looking back, she feels that marrying so early on in her life was unwise – she wishes to have worked and travelled more – but then again she feels blessed to have enjoyed her two boys as a young mother. 26

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Her wedding day last year was one of the happiest days of her life. “We were very happy. It was a beautiful, happy day, something that George and myself thought would never come about.” The two share their lives in their cherished Mdina home: “When you go through the gates of Mdina, you feel you’ve left all your problems of work behind – even though I’d be carrying a file with work to take home and study. But the tension you leave outside: there are very few cars. People walk through Mdina at all times – couples, old and young – people going to Mass, and many tourists… then there are the karrozzini, and the bells. Because the roads are narrow, and so quiet you can actually hear footsteps and people talking, the guides relating incidents that may or may not always be quite historically accurate. I love that. There’s a sense of peace and serenity in Mdina which is so unique and beautiful.” With her father, brother and husband involved in politics at various points in their lives, has she ever considered politics as a career? “No,” she replies. “Maybe, subconsciously the fact that politics occupied so much of my father’s time was something that didn’t make me too keen on it. It takes over your private time and privacy, and I love my private life.” She would, however, have considered a career in international affairs – citing her love of diplomacy and travel as two key reasons for the choice. Still, being a lawyer would still be her first choice. Back to the Dr G. de Marco nameplate on the desk – does she feel she still lives in her father’s shadow? “I wouldn’t call it a shadow,” she smiles – “I live in his glow!”


religion

A Presence

FOR PEACE What is the role of religion in a place of War and confusion? david schembri meets patriarch gregorios iii, head of the greek melkite catholic church in syria Photography David Schembri

S

yria. Keywords: Middle East, civil war, regime, Assad, Arab Spring, violence, refugees. In Western consciousness, this is what Syria represents. Following in the wave of the Arab Spring, which many of us unquestioningly supported, Syria has trailed on, three years down the line, its president-dictator still in power, and blood still on the streets, its time for front-page headlines long gone; a staple – for now, at least – of international news pages. Capital: Damascus. Famous for the road leading to it, where a Pharisee called Saul from Tarsus, saw the light and converted to Christianity. That two clichéd expressions in Western parlance know their origin to this fateful moment is testament to what happened later – with Saul becoming Paul, and turning Christianity into a major religion. Daraya is 9 kilometres away from Damascus. It is here that Loutfi Lahham was born in 1933 – growing up to become a priest, a bishop and now Patriarch Gregorius III of the Greek Melkite Catholic church. Born to a Christian family, he was orphaned at a young age and was brought up in Lebanon. “I feel I’m Lebanese and Syrian,” he now says, shortly after having given an impassioned speech at a conference organised by Aid to the Church in Need in Malta. Having served in Lebanon as a priest, and as an archbishop in the Holy Land, Gregorios is in a privileged position to comment on the state of the region and, more specifically, the meaning of being Christian in an overwhelmingly Islamic population. The picture he paints of Syria when growing up is of a tapestry of cultures and religions living side-by-side – extending to celebrating (to a greater or lesser extent) each other’s holy days, not merely tolerating each other. This conviviality is at the heart of the unique mission he believes Christians have in Syria and the Middle East.

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“It’s different than being a Christian in Malta – almost all Catholics – or in the Mediterranean, or Europe,” Gregorios says. “To be Christian in a place where in spite of being a little group, you are considered, you are respected, you have a role in institutions, houses, schools, orphanages. I founded a big centre, an orphanage, a school, a youth centre… and Muslims want to send their children to our schools, to our centres, to be near to us, living in our country, in our neighbourhood,” the patriarch says. “All this is very important to me as a Christian, to see I have a role, not just [trying to] survive.” Survival is a real issue for Syrians living nowadays. Thousands of people have been killed in a war which he believes has gone on for too long. “I don’t see a real need to kill, to destroy in order to have democracy.” Yes, he says, the government is corrupt. Yes, there is the question of the secret service. And yet, oppression, in the time of Bashar al-Assad, who took over from his father Hafez, had been decreasing. “Some, yes,” the patriarch acknowledges, “but not to the point that we need the destruction that’s going on now.” Many Christians have been victims of this conflict, including Jesuit priest Francis Van Der Lugt, who was killed by a masked gunman after refusing to leave Homs. Although Fr Van Der Lugt’s killing was related to his faith, many other Christian casualties of the war were due to war, and not to persecution, the patriarch states. Gregorios is sceptical of the intentions of the rebels, noting that in the first month of the conflict, 100 police stations had been destroyed. “Is that a peaceful protest?” he says. People he knows who have been in demonstrations have told him that “they had been paid by the opposition”. When challenged about this, he says: “I’m not saying something from my own imagination; I know people who said


religion

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 29


left religion

they’d been paid.” On the other hand, he knows Christians in the army who said they’d only been allowed to use batons at the start of the Arab Spring “in order to avoid tension”. “So I don’t think it was worth it to do such a huge attack and destroy electricity, stations and so on. Therefore I say it wasn’t really an inside war, but from the outside,” the 80-yearold patriarch says. Peace in the Middle East would ensure a Christian presence, which he believes is crucial to cultural diversity in the region. The mission for the Christian in the Middle East is to develop society as a whole, and act as a bridge between the Islamic Arab world and the “Christian” west, “to bring the values of the gospel in an Islamic society, maybe to develop a society in terms of freedom of religion, liberty, democracy, respect for the human being, women, the place of them: to bring them from one side as values of the gospel, to bring them from the other side as human values.” “That is what’s said in the gospel, that we are light and salt, and to be the yeast in the dough. You are little in the dough, but you work. That is the Christian. A little group; you’re not in every place, almost hidden, not always showing, but working, and having an influence, an impact. That is, I think. If our people are convinced of that, they can stay.” He also warns of the risk of having one-religion states, and is critical of the idea which is sometimes floated to divide it into sections according to the religion. “Why? Why? I can’t understand how not one European country reacted on the declaration of Israel being a Jewish state. I have nothing against them, they are people like other people, but to declare themselves as a Jewish state means: what is my place as a Christian? Where I have 2,000 years of presence, where I have more holy places than all other Muslims and Jews? What about the Arabs?” he asks. “What about the picture of human beings being together, dialogue, conviviality, we will destroy all the history of this people who used to live together for many centuries. 1455 years were living together like a tapestry, with all the colours, and now to destroy that? It means to live in a ghetto. That is not good. It’s a pity. We have to avoid the ghetto mentality for anybody. It is not worthy of man to live in a ghetto. God created us to be a paradise to others, harmony,” he says. Ultimately, Christians are there to bring peace, and Gregorios has been travelling the world to raise awareness of Syria’s needs to church leaders round the world. The pope has recently made a bold statement in favour of peace while in Palestine; Gregorios believes this is a litmus test for the Christian faith. “This, for me, is a very important chance for the church to have one voice and to have credibility in the world. It also means to have a testimonial for the faith,” he says. “I think if the church manages to bring peace to Syria and to Palestine, it would be a big gain for the Christian faith – look, faith is more powerful than weapons.” 30

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“It is not worthy of man to live in a ghetto. God created us to be a paradise to others, harmony”


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SOCIETY

BEING THE

CHANGE? Volunteering for a few weeks in deVeloping countries has always been held up as a rewarding way of giVing something back. but could Volunteers actually be doing harm to the Very communities they try to help? philip leone-ganado finds out more Alexia Rossi, now 29, has been working on voluntary projects overseas since she was 16 years old: in Brazil, India, Nepal and Ethiopia. After a number of years, she felt the need to contribute to something more sustainable than simply helping out on existing projects for a few weeks at a time. Working with a non-profit organisation, FACES (For All Cultures and Ethnic Societies), she began raising funds to build an orphanage in Kenya – and, after five years, the orphanage opened its doors. Yet even with so much collective experience behind them, and while the project today continues to bear fruit, over the years

that followed the group found themselves dealing with a number of problems thrown up by the approach with which they set off. The orphanage, for example, was planned to house around 20 children, but as soon as it was built, the government stepped in and said it should house up to 60. The architect who designed the building was not aware of differences in the way kitchens are set up: the orphanage later had to build a separate room to accommodate the way they cook, using the original kitchen as a store. June 2014 | Sunday Circle 35


SOCIETY

“I think these short-term trips are more about the experience of the volunteer than the needs of the community”

“We saw an opportunity to make a difference, to make a difference quickly, and to do something that was very rewarding for us,” says Alexia in hindsight, “but we didn’t do the proper groundwork or consult with the people on the ground that we should have consulted. Sometimes I ask myself whether we were too motivated by our desire to leave something permanent as soon as we could, and didn’t pay enough attention to the full complement of needs of the community.” Every summer, dozens of young Maltese people venture overseas to volunteer for a few weeks on projects in developing countries, primarily in Africa and India. The implied value of their work lies in the notion of giving something back, devoting your time and energy to help the less fortunate. Volunteers also get a new insight into global poverty and the life of the poor – undeniably, for many, the experience can be lifechanging. But are those the volunteers try to help receiving as much from the exchange? Around the world, a debate is starting on the effect that the burgeoning “voluntourism” industry is having on developing communities. “I think these short-term trips are more about the experience of the volunteer than the needs of the community,” says Alexia. “There’s an element of colonialism as well: we know what has to be done, let’s go and show these people how to do it. But the way we do things isn’t always the best and doesn’t always apply to people in other countries.” Even something as benign as playing with children in a school or orphanage, she believes, can 36

Sunday Circle | June 2014

sometimes end up doing more harm than good. “You go there, you form these attachments, and then you leave. For children, it can be a trauma: a separation every few weeks.” There is also a question of dependency: if foreign organisations adopt the role of providing basic needs, when will domestic civil society and government be given the opportunity to provide the same? Moreover, if the needs being addressed by the volunteers are not the most germane to the community, the result can be extremely damaging. In Nepal, for example, an investigation by UNICEF found the existence of a growing orphanage trade: parents are tricked into sending their children into orphanages with promises of an education paid for by foreign volunteers, while the owners of the orphanage use them to lure in donations. The demand from well-intentioned volunteers for orphans to sponsor has created a market to make those orphans available. “The people we help look up to us: we come from a different culture, we’re seen as the rich, sometimes they try to get out of us as much as they can,” says Fr Michael Bugeja, who is the University chaplain and coordinates groups of volunteers for the Jesuits’ overseas projects. He explains that to avoid perpetuating unhealthy relationships, volunteers never give anything to people individually, instead anything received in donations is given directly to the institution they are working with, which then uses it to address its own needs in a broader manner: “This helps us enter a friendship with the person rather than becoming their material giver.”


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SOCIETY

“For a patient who’s terminally ill, simply knowing that there’s someone by your side can be priceless” For the past 12 years, the Jesuits have been taking groups to work for a few weeks in a home for dying patients run by the sisters of Mother Teresa in Addis Ababa, as well as helping out in orphanages run by Maltese institutions in the country – and Fr Michael firmly believes that their presence has left tangible benefits on the institution they are helping, which has upgraded its facilities and now has a complement of full-time doctors and nurses.

rather than attempting to build a new one in a country that already had a number of struggling institutions, they established what was needed, and what they could provide, coming up with a 10-part plan – each addressing a different aspect of the hospital, and each with a set of measurable outcomes – which they hope to complete over 5 years. Crucially, they’re encouraging the hospital to collaborate at every stage, removing the element of dependency.

The key, he says, is working hand-in-hand with the local community. “We don’t go up with our own projects: we insert ourselves into the reality of what already exists. We make sure that we don’t leave a lacuna: things go on because we were doing what is usually done.” He also places an emphasis on volunteers who have material skills to contribute: doctors and medical students help to train local staff, engineers when they assisted in the building of a desalination plant. But he also believes there is a space for volunteers who just want to help out where they can. “In a clinic like that, there’s always room for personal contact – that’s where the volunteers make a difference, where the person who’s sick has someone to talk to. For a patient who’s terminally ill, simply knowing that there’s someone by your side can be priceless.”

“First of all,” she says. “You have to do thorough and lengthy groundwork. Find out what exists, what the community needs and wants, speak to different organizations, and the government, find out the regulations and the reality on the ground. Secondly, be realistic about your aims: it’s false to believe you’re going to change the world.”

Alexia also points to the possibility of making a difference in individual people’s lives, but maintains that translating that into a sustainable difference that is empowering for the local community as a whole remains very difficult – although not impossible. With the lessons learnt from their experience in Kenya, her organization is now also working on a project in Tanzania. Working with an established hospital in Dar es Salaam 38

Sunday Circle | June 2014

There is no doubt that volunteering can be a rewarding experience for both the community and the volunteer, but it is clear that, embarked upon without proper forethought, it can become little more than an alternative holiday, and a potentially damaging one at that. “Find an established project that you can just fit into, not where they need to create something for you,” Alexia advises would-be volunteers. “Go somewhere where your skills will be relevant. Get an understanding of the community you’re working with, what their needs are, and how you can address them. Maybe that means you won’t work with the people directly, maybe you’ll work with the administrator helping them to use a computer. It’s not as glamorous as playing with the children, but maybe with your skills, that’s how you can best use your time. At the end of the day, it’s about their needs, not what’s most gratifying for you.”


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LION MAN sports

Fresh From claiming the league and cup double with Valletta Fc, Veteran deFender luke dimech tells philip leone-ganado about the stresses and strains oF proFessional Football, playing against mario balotelli – and what comes next Photography Jacob Sammut

Luke Dimech is an intimidating guy. With his imposing frame, hair cut into a Mohawk, body covered in tattoos, the Valletta FC defender is not necessarily a man you’d want to meet in a dark alley. “I suppose I’m not your average looking fellow, and that has given me a certain reputation,” he says. But when I sit down with him over coffee, the first thing I notice is how soft-spoken he actually is. “Off the field I’m actually a very quiet guy,” he shrugs. “But on the pitch, it’s a different story. When I cross that white line, the person I usually am is out of the window. I’m a strong guy, and I use my attributes to my advantage: I’m aggressive, I’m angry, I’m very hard as a player.” It has been just over a month since Luke’s club Valletta FC claimed the Double, winning both the FA Trophy and – in a dramatic final day showdown against bitter rivals and league leaders Birkirkara – the Premier League. That day, Birkirkara needed only a draw to claim the title, but Valletta pipped them to it with a 2-0 win, sparking a pitch invasion and the most intense celebrations local football has seen in a while.

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 41


sports

For Luke, the victory was particularly sweet. “I had already been involved in one of these deciders before and unfortunately, we lost. So it was nice to atone for how things happened the first time round,” he says. “Valletta was the only team I had never won something with. I had a point to prove, and it took me two tries, but I finally did it.” Not that he remembers much of what happened on the day. “It’s a bit of a blur,” he laughs. “You’re so focused in the week leading up to it, trying not to think about what will be going off. It was a very emotional day, very draining: pressure had been accumulating on us for weeks. After that, it was mostly a sense of relief and disbelief that we actually managed to do it, and that I got to experience what the winning players got to experience last time.” For the veteran defender, now 37, the win was just the latest achievement in a successful 20 year career that has seen him play for clubs in Malta, Ireland, the UK and Cyprus, becoming the first Maltese player to play in the group stages of the Europa League, accumulating 76 international caps and captaining the national team along the way. “It’s kind of an adventure,” he says of his globetrotting career. “I’ve been lucky enough to play abroad quite a bit, so it’s always been interesting and exciting. But at the end of the day, it’s your job. Although it’s in a different place, football is football. You get into a routine of how you need to perform and how you need to live to get there.”

And while he is the first to admit that while – as jobs go – he’s got quite a sweet deal, he is keen to stress that it’s not all glamour and excitement. “People think we’re lucky. And I have been lucky to play and get paid for something that’s everyone’s hobby. Sometimes you take that for granted,” he admits. “But you’re putting a huge amount of physical pressure on your body, and it takes longer and longer to recover. So you make sure you eat well and don’t exert yourself much. You can’t spend time in the sun because you’ll be dehydrated, you can’t go out a lot, you have to travel a lot, you don’t have a weekend. I’ve been very lucky to do this for 20 years, but these days when I get up in the morning I feel everything that I’ve done in the last 20 years.” The routine, it seems, even affects the way you approach the most basic aspect of the game: victory and defeat. “Winning becomes a mentality,” he explains. “I don’t really celebrate my wins. You want to be doing it all the time; it becomes second nature. What you don’t want to get used to is losing. Unfortunately, when it happens, I am still a very bad loser.” How does this affect him, I ask, when it comes to the Maltese national team, where victory is so hard to come by? “With the national team it’s a different kind of thinking. Nobody’s expecting anything: you’ve got nothing to lose. If you can play with pride and passion, that’s all they can ask of you.”

“Winning becomes a mentality ... What you don’t want to get used to is losing”

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sports

“Your body always feels the aches and pains, but your head tells you: go on, you can do another year” While pointing out that the small pool of talent on which the island can draw is always going to limit its potential, Luke points to victories against Hungary and away against Armenia, draws against Turkey and Moldova, and a creditable result away against Italy – all games in which he played a part – as evidence of small but significant improvement. “Regardless of the outcome, it’s a proud moment to wear the red shirt of Malta. I always came back from wherever I was to play, even if it meant missing games,” he says. “It’s a good level to test yourself on and find out how good you are, because you end up playing against some very good players.” Over the years, those players have included Zlatan Imbrihamovic, Mario Balotelli, and more, but Luke insists that their star status was the last thing on his mind when he lined up against them. “I’m not easily starstruck. It’s still your job, so you try not to get overwhelmed with that sort of thing. You do your best not to let them play the way they’d like. With Balotelli it was a case of trying to keep him under wraps; that usually aggravates people, and it aggravated him. We had a bit of an altercation, but it’s all part and parcel of the game. It could have been anyone else.” At 37, Luke is aware that his playing days have entered their twilight. When we speak, in fact, he is in Malta to discuss his future with his club: they want him to stay another year, but he remains at a crossroads. “Once you’ve stopped, you can’t go back, so you have to make sure you make the most of it. But your mind tells you one thing and your body tells you another. Your body always feels the aches and pains, but your head tells you: go on, you can do another year. And I don’t want to be that player: ‘look at Luke, he’s finished, but he hasn’t realised it yet.’” Has he given thought to what he wants to do after football? He sighs deeply. “Yeah, quite a bit actually. It’s one of the hardest decisions for me. I started playing when I was 9 or 10 years old. What do you do after something you’ve done for so long? A lot of people tell me I should go into coaching, not to throw away the experience I have. And I think I might try doing that, if possible. But I’ve also got a graphic design course booked in the UK if I do stop, so I do have options. “I know that I’ll be able to enjoy a weekend, not worry so much about what I eat and staying out too late, I can go on holiday any time of the year – so I think first I’ll get back to being normal, and then figure out where I want to go from here.”

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Sunday Circle | June 2014


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style

HERE COMES THE SUN With summer fast upon us, the darkness of Winter gives Way to bright colours and bold patterns. fashion blogger bianca darmanin brings us up to speed With the latest trends and fashions this spring/summer season Photography Nicky Scicluna

Cardigan - List Roma Vest & Bag - Promod Shoes - Stivalletti Shorts & hat - United Colours of Benetton

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 49


style

W

hen choosing what to wear, I always start

off by deciding on the socalled ‘highlight’ of the outfit and work my way around it, keeping the rest as basic as possible. Hats are the best way to upturn any simple and unsophisticated look in seconds and add statement to any outfit. Besides the fact that they are the ultimate life savers when having a bad hair day, even if it’s just a pair of jeans and a tee, or a shorts and vest combination, a hat will add just the right amount. The summer season is all about colour. It’s a breath of fresh air from winter’s dark hue, to see an influx of colours once Spring/Summer collections take over the racks. But there is one colour which personally I will never let go, no matter the season or temperature: black. To get the best out of both worlds think of mixing simple and sophisticated black pieces with bright patterns and prints. Don’t limit yourself to just clothes: bright block-coloured accessories and patterned shoes will also do the trick!

Jacket & Bag - Promod Lace Crop Top - Suite Blanco Shorts & Bracelet - United Colours of Benetton Shoes - Stivalletti

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 51


style

Shirt - List Roma

With the warmer weather, fashion likes taking the back seat, with more

Top & Trousers - Suite Blanco

laid-back and easy to wear trends. And what’s more laid-back then a causal

Bracelets - Promod

classic: denim? Top fashion brands like DKNY and Balmain added a couple

Shoes - Stivalletti

of denim blue outfits to their latest Spring/Summer collections, showing us just that denim can be just as glamorous. Bleached or stone wash, boyfriend or slim, distressed or frayed, everything will work this season. Add on some lace or crochet details and you’ll instantly add some bohemian appeal.

52

Sunday Circle | June 2014


style

Dress & Shoes - SYL

Unless you’ve been tucked away on a desert island for the last ten years,

Necklace & Bracelet - Promod

it should come as no surprise to find out theat florals are one main trend this summer (and the previous ten). Soft pastel hues or bright technicolor bouquet prints are always a favorite with designers, and this Spring/Summer is really no different. Mixing florals with basics or going head-to-toe in a flowery print truly depends on how daring you want to be. If you want a midway between sombre and eye-catching, try going for a dress with a minimalistic silhouette, bursting with floral attitude.

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 53


style

It’s no summer wardrobe without a maxi dress hanging in there somewhere. They’re summer’s staple piece and can be worn round the clock. A

change

of

accessories

(think jewellery, shoes, bag, scarves) and you can wear it to any night-time occasion. Keeping it simple is the key. Look for a classic beige cotton dress with gypsy lace trimmings if you want it to be an evergreen summer purchase. You’ll be hanging on to this one for a long time!

Bianca is a 25-year old junior architect with an appetite for

imagery,

creativity.

design

From

and

watching

her mother sew, to modelling for over eight years, fashion and clothing have become her constant addictions. You can follow her daily outfit posts,

sewing

ventures,

fashion inspiration and life experiences on her personal style blog: The Fashion Carousel www.thefashioncarousel.com

Our Style pages this month shine a spotlight on fashion Shoes - Stivalletti Bag - List Roma Short Necklace & Bracelets - Promod

outlets at The Plaza Shopping Centre, Bisazza Street, Sliema. www.plaza-shopping.com.

Long necklace - Suite Blanco

Special thanks also to

Dress - United Colours of Benetton

Hotel Phoenicia Malta

CLOTHES & ACCESSORIES ARE SPONSORED BY promod . suite blanco . united colours of benetton . stivalletti . sYl . list roma

54

Sunday Circle | June 2014


mandcomalta


style

Fashion in the Garden Barefoot Beauties walked the lawns of the Prime minister’s summer residence at GirGenti Palace for sarto’s sPrinG/summer 2014 Garden runway fashion show on may 8, featurinG Blumarine, dolce & GaBBana and emPorio armani Words Luke Engerer

W

alking into Girgenti Palace felt like walking into an old-fashioned Italian wedding: classical embellishments, traditional food and sounds-fromthe-south perfectly blending into the surroundings of Girgenti. Vintage sophistication with a modern touch set the stage for the stunning collections from these three Italian Luxury brands. June 2014 | Sunday Circle 59


style

The show opened with Blumarine. The collection embodies Bohemian attitude and a natural elegance. Wallpaper prints with coloured flowers on an ecru background, exalted by blue lagoon colour combinations and Art Nouveau inspiration for the patterns. Iris prints with abstract floral designs combined with green and chocolate with contemporary Boho graphics. From the flowy, floral, colourful Blumarine collection the show moved on to Emporio Armani for men, with a look that is basic, pure, modern and visual. Graphic effects obtained with a highdefinition technique offer playful geometric shapes on clothes, bags and shoes. The collection offered infinite shades of white, putty and ice with touches of Armani blue and teal green. Dolce & Gabbana closed the show. The theme for the women’s collection is an imaginary journey to rediscover ancient Sicily, where history and myth come together. The Greek temples and theatres, symbols of classic architectural perfection, are reinterpreted as if in a dream; as if a traveller, having visited some of the marvelous landscapes of ancient Sicily, wanted to re-create those unique settings in his mind: that type of beauty, 60

Sunday Circle | June 2014

magic and enchantment can only be found in such a vision. Only in an imaginary world can the unexpected and irrational intertwine with spontaneity and naturalness. The unforeseen is interlaced with spontaneity, creativity with the absurd, and dreams with reality. The prints for the collection are unique and recognisable: lithography of ancient Sicilian temples, prints of ancient coins that were used in the various cities of the island, traditional decorations of Sicilian ceramics and maioliche (Sicilian traditional glazed pottery). Almond tree flowers are printed, hand-painted or applied on the fabric to obtain a three-dimensional effect. The Dolce & Gabbana Men’s Summer 2014 draws inspiration from Sicilian mythology, the Greek origins of which are still retraceable in places such as the Valle dei Templi of Agrigento, at the majestic amphitheatres, like the one at Taormina, and at the Tempio di Apollo of Syracuse. Creativity and tailoring research are the cornerstones of the collection, where the fantastical, triumphs in the prints of antique gods such as those of Zeus and Apollo, whose effigies are present in the whole collection.


DANCE

Dancing the Dream Celebrating 25 years of a partnership that has led to a few of the most memorable danCe produCtions in malta, monique pellegrini petit and mireille Coleiro from Central aCademy of ballet are again in motion, preparing for their next produCtion Photography Elisa von Brockdorff

F

or many years, one production has held a special place in the hearts of the duo behind the Central Academy of Ballet. Now, they feel that the time is right for their school to reveal their adaptation of the much loved A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “We had wanted to do it for many years,” explains Mireille Coleiro. “In fact, we had asked Peter Howitt, our set designer, to start the preparations six years ago, and the time has finally come to use them,” continues Monique Pellegrini Petit. Having wanted to create an adaptation of the production for so long, why it has taken them so long to actually go through with it? “It took us a while to find the right dancers suitable to fit certain characters and main roles.” They both express how

fortunate they are to have Nicola Buhagiar, one of their past students, once again playing a main role for Central Academy. Nicola shall be playing the role of the Fairy Queen Titiana, accompanied by guest artist Keith Micallef taking on the role of Oberon. Along with many other guest artists, playing the role of Puck is Warren Bonello and Gino Camilleri playing Bottom. The much-anticipated night is being held at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta, with Central Academy of Ballet being one of the first few schools to be fortunate enough to offer their students this opportunity. With such a grand atmosphere and a historical past, preparations to perform at the theatre have been very exciting for both Mireille and Monique. June 2014 | Sunday Circle 63


DANCE

“An outdoor venue is the best option to capture the ambiance and mystical effect of A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Despite the challenges associated with working in such a large, open-air space, they believe that the opportunity for their students to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream on such a big outdoor stage is not something they should pass by. “An outdoor venue is the best option to capture the ambience and mystical effect of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Monique explains. The ballet, which was first premiered in 1962 with choreography by George Balanchine, has been adapted by many different choreographers over the years. Monique and Mireille find their adaptation mostly inspired by Frederick Ashton’s take on the production: The Dream. A few changes to his choreography inevitably had to be made to accommodate the needs of their students, as they have in many of their previous productions. Nonetheless, for those wishing to experience the nostalgic effect brought on by the ballet of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the use of Felix Mendelssohn’s music will do exactly that. Anyone who has previously attended productions performed by Central Academy of Ballet is aware of the importance they give to their Spanish Dance and Flamenco students, who have always been in the capable hands of Svetlana Silina. Therefore, further adapting the ballet to their needs, they have found a way 64

Sunday Circle | June 2014

to creatively introduce two Spanish dances into the ballet. “It was Mireille’s idea actually,” confesses Monique. “She suggested representing our Spanish dancers as snails in the enchanted fairy forest, with the use of their tail skirts acting as snail trails.” With preparations only beginning last March, this is the fastest the academy has ever prepared for a production. “Even though time is always against us, our students have willingly dedicated themselves to our busy rehearsal schedule,” Monique explains. Both Mireille and Monique agree that preparations for productions such as this, and seeing the end result on show night, is the main thing they look forward to. “Although we are a ballet school, we give our utmost importance to the set design and costumes of each production, making each one as unique as possible,” Monique explains. Mireille adds: “Yes, we make sure that we give our utmost attention to everything that goes into making our performances as enjoyable as can be.” A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take place on July 7 at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta. Tickets can be obtained from St James Cavalier. For more information, contact 99432604 or 7906 8682. Also featuring guest artists, Marisha Bonnici, Tamara Micallef, Robert Scicluna, Alexander Spiteri and Stuart Vella


Photograph Rene Rossignaud

education

A SCHOOL FOR LIFE San anton School haS been at the forefront of education for the paSt 25 yearS, and the next 25 yearS look bright, SayS head of School dr Joe gauci

P

arents will do everything in their power to ensure their children get all they need. They may, as things go, even go as far as to set up a school where their dearest would get the best formation they possibly could. That is precisely what happened in 1988 when San Anton School was founded, and although the founding parents’ children are now old enough to be parents themselves, as some indeed are, today’s younger generations are still reaping the fruits of the effort this committed band of parents made just over 25 years ago. “The founding parents’ desire to give a holistic, cutting-edge education to their children has run through the 25 years of existence of this school,” Dr Gauci, the Head of School says. “They didn’t just want to set up any school – they wanted it to be the best as it could possibly be.” Thanks to the input of two of its founders, Dr Max Ganado and Notary Dr Pierre Attard, the fundamental belief of parent involvement in the educational process of their children was achieved by establishing the Parents’ Foundation for Education. Equally sound are its educational principles, encapsulated in the model created by two visionaries intimately acquainted with the philosophy of education: the late Prof Fr Peter Serracino Inglott and Prof Kenneth Wain, who were directly involved in setting out the school’s pedagogical framework. Indeed, the fact that it has taken decades for the local educational milieu to 66

Sunday Circle | June 2014

embrace principles the school upheld at the start, such as inclusion and co-education, is testament to the far-reaching vision – and soundness – of the school’s foundations. “These ideas were groundbreaking back in 1988. Having the whole 11 years of compulsory schooling in a coeducational setting was a first for Malta, and it is now something the government itself is looking to implement,” Dr Gauci says. Academic excellence – the vast majority of students go on to postsecondary education – is central to the school’s ethos and the manner in which this becomes the lived reality at the school. It is however but one of the many facets of the holistic formation teachers, administration and support staff at San Anton School strive to offer students. Non-academic activities are not extra here – each student gets the opportunity to develop through a wide range of activities, including sport, art, music and drama. The small size of classes – and the direct stake parents and teachers have in the wellbeing of the school – results in a school that has a very palpable sense of community, Dr Gauci reports. “Modern educational philosophy states that all stakeholders of a school should be well-engaged in the workings of the school. This began from the very inception of the school,” says Dr Gauci. Thanks to the school’s strong Social and Emotional Literacy Department, and to series of programmes where older students are trained in and tasked with taking younger


education State-of-the-Art Sports Facilities

Young students enjoying the benefits of the school`s nature area

Dr Joe Gauci

The original school at Villa San Anton, in Attard

The first San Anton Students and Staff in 1988

students under their wing, bullying is negligible. The community spirit has been so present that in the early years of the school’s existence, teachers and parents joined forces in physically refurbishing the first school premises.

confidently. “If you were to speak to a child from our school, you’ll find they are very confident and will be able to effectively articulate their thoughts and argue a point convincingly, even if they don’t know you,” he says.

The school has come a long way since then – and not merely in terms of the distance between the villa in Attard and the school’s current location in L-Imselliet, limits of Mġarr. Now boasting airy classrooms, a top-notch sports track and a multi-purpose hall on the way, the school keeps investing to offer the best quality formation possible, one eye on what’s next. The countryside surrounding the school offers an opportunity for students to spend most of their day in the fresh country air, and the school also offers an outdoor nature area that allows them to experience – hands on – and indeed extend the teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom.

The first quarter-century has elapsed – where does the Head of School see the school heading towards in the coming 25 years? “I see San Anton continuing at the forefront on education in Malta, and, why not, Europe,” Dr Gauci says. “We will, among other areas, continue developing in the fields of Science and Digital Learning and Technology where we want to keep building on our current strengths. Crucially, our ultimate aim must remain that of mentoring our students to become the responsible, confident and successful individuals they can be, and to assure them of their ability to make a positive contribution to the world around them.”

The school also boasts of cultural diversity, and close to a tenth of students are not Maltese. “This is very good for all students, as they are exposed to different perspective and lifestyles. Parents integrate with our school community and students settle in very well, both in their academic achievements and also among their peers. We strongly believe in looking at students as individuals. You are not a number; you are a person with unique talents and weaknesses. While we help to push students to achieve their goals, we recognize their weaknesses and help them overcome them,” Dr Gauci says.

And if the past and present are anything to go by, the future looks bright. For more information contact San Anton School, L-Imselliet, l/o Zebbiegh MGR 2850, Malta | Tel: 2158 1907 Email: admin@sananton.edu.mt | Web: www.sananton.edu.mt

The focus on individual development and expression has meant that former San Anton students can be singled out in post-secondary education and the working world for being able to express themselves effectively and June 2014 | Sunday Circle 67


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Visit The Plaza Shopping Centre for Father’s Day on Saturday June 14 to enjoy an afternoon of shopping while your kids have fun in activities including facepainting, puppet shows, storytelling and more, including free Happy Meals from McDonalds, 5 per cent discount and free gifts from Juniors on Level 3 (while stocks last)

To participate, simply fill in the form below, answer the question and submit your form in the competition box located at The Plaza Shopping Centre on Level 3 Name: Telephone Number: Email Address: ID Card Number: What anniversary is the Sunday Cricle celebrating this year? (Hint: check our ed’s word) From which newsagent did you acquire your copy of the Circle this month?

The Plaza Shopping Centre, Bisazza Street, Sliema www.plaza-shopping.com June 2014 | Sunday Circle 69


VALLETTA | SLIEMA Join us on Facebook Facebook.com/MarksandSpencerMalta


music

the sound of maltese

With the release of their debut album Senduq, folk outfit kantilena tell david schembri Why the maltese language is so crucial to their music

A

Photography Nicky Scicluna

round a decade ago, the Marsa garage used by Kantilena – Alessandro Lia, Adrian Camilleri, Alberto Garzia and James Baldacchino – was being used for very different music. Then belonging to a band called Anomaly – in which Alessandro played drums and James played bass – their music was quite similar to the progressive metal which is pounding its way through the walls into the band’s quiet rehearsal room when I catch up with them.

When Anomaly disbanded, it was back to a clean slate, and after a while, Alessandro and James agreed to start a new project together. “From day one, the only criteria we set ourselves were that I felt more comfortable on the violin and Sandro wanted to explore singing and playing the piano, so we set those two, and the third criterion was that it had to be in Maltese,” James says. At around the same time, Adrian, also a former metal player, was writing music in Maltese he wanted June 2014 | Sunday Circle 71


music

“I think we’ve still got a tambourine we could attach to a hi-hat stand so we could leave our hands free”

to perform, and a chance encounter between Alessandro and himself led to the formation of Kantilena. Starting life as a trio, the three members intended to stay that way, and spent their formative months trying to find ways to perform more than one instrument at one go. “I think we’ve still got a tambourine we could attach to a hi-hat stand so we could leave our hands free,” James recalls. The experiment didn’t lead to the line-up the band uses nowadays, and in the five years of the band’s existence, various musicians have come and gone. The one that stuck, however, was Albert. Thanks to his background – and a Master’s degree – in classical music composition, Albert introduced a pattern of thought which challenged what had been done so far, and Kantilena as we now know it is was born. With its core line up of voices, guitar, violin, piano and accordion, the band can’t help sounding “folk”, and it does not shy away from that label. The question, however, is whose folk it is. A peek into Senduq reveals songs that could easily become barroom anthems while others have an Italian, sometimes Balkan, feel that make you want to dance along. The band members’ progressive rock roots make their way to Kantilena’s oeuvre through the use of odd meter, while the structure of some songs is more Porcupine Tree than il-Budaj. “The instruments we 72

Sunday Circle | June 2014

employ are traditional. If we had to play our set with no amplification, we could still play it, as we’ve done several times,” Adrian says. However, he insists that although tradition is given its due, the band is looking forwards, not backwards, and that Kantilena is not a “sarcophagus” for Maltese traditional music. “Structurally, the songs aren’t exactly folksy, and it’s the same with the lyrics: there’s an element of experimentation to what we’re doing.” Funded by the Malta Arts Fund, the work behind Senduq saw the band members record rough demos of their material and taking it apart to make it structurally cohesive: each note the session musicians had to play was scored out beforehand, leaving the valuable studio time for recording the best take possible. It doesn’t mean there is no experimentation in the album, and there is even place for a €4 toy piano and a Maltese guitar made by Indri l-Pupa. The words, and the lyrics, take pride of place in Kantilena’s songs, sometimes reminding the listener of the Italian singer-songwriter tradition, with the unique sounds of the Maltese language giving life to the often-introspective lyrics. The language question – “Why write in Maltese?” – elicits a range of different reasons from each band member. “Maltese language gives you all the flexibility you need to express yourself,” Adrian, who writes the lyrics for half of the songs on the album, says.


“Maltese is beautiful,” Alessandro, who writes the other half, chips in. “Yes, on an aesthetic level it works,” Adrian interjects, “but on a practical level I don’t see why I shouldn’t write in Maltese. If someone can give me a valid reason why I shouldn’t write in Maltese…” To reach a wider audience, perhaps? “I don’t think the idea that the Maltese language isn’t comprehensible outside our shores is a valid one,” James says. “Yes, most of our audience is going to be in Malta, however there are foreign bands that we ourselves listen to who sing in languages that we don’t understand.” “And our backgrounds in music are all from cultures where communicating to a wide audience isn’t our aim,” says Albert. “If you want to sell to a wide audience, you wouldn’t be writing death metal or contemporary classical music. Objectively, if you had to take our songs and arrange them for analogue synths and whatever and retain the language, they’d be more intact than if you had to keep the instrumentation and translate them to English. The colour of language is essentially what we’re moving with.”

“If someone from 50 years ago listens to the song, he might find something of himself in them. There are things that make us Maltese” Scholars of language have often said that a language is a world of its own; Albert agrees: “I think in our songs there are a lot of elements of how we, as Maltese people, see ourselves. We’re sometimes touchy, sometimes quick-tempered, sometimes grotesque, sometimes we keep everything stored inside. I think these things would have been lost in English – this is a Maltese perspective, of today’s culture and society. That, too, is why it’s folk: it’s a picture of today, and today is tomorrow’s folklore. I’m not saying that the past is that different from today, but it’s also the same. If someone from 50 years ago listens to the song, he might find something of himself in them. There are things that make us Maltese.” “I think in a nutshell, the answer to that question would be: why not?” James says. In the past decade, with Maltese-language bands like Brikkuni and Xtruppaw drawing in audiences that wouldn’t be seen dead at a song festival, where most Malteselanguage songs have their birth, the use of the language has seen something of a resurgence. “It’s amazing that in these two months – there are going to be three album launches in Maltese: Plato’s Dream Machine, Fastidju– and us,” James says. Senduq, the band’s offering to the table, is a reference to the chest so often found in Maltese households – sometimes containing valuables, sometimes discarded children’s clothes. “We thought it would be a good name for an album to invite listeners to open it and discover what’s within it,” James says. June 2014 | Sunday Circle 000


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FAMILY

The long, hazy summers of our childhood usually hold some of our besT memories. maureen saguna meeTs oTher young moThers and discusses creaTive ideas for ensuring your children geT The same greaT memories Summer is fast approaching and so are three long months of holidays for our two little ones. When I was their age, I used to live for those seemingly endless weeks of freedom and fun. Our days were spent in the sea or playing on the rocky beach we lived next to, the only interruption to our adventures being a couple of hours to devour lunch and play quietly at home while our parents had their siesta. Fast forward 30 years and my summers could not be more different. I wish my own children could enjoy crystal clear seas until their bathing suits wore thin and their skin turned chocolate brown. Unfortunately, the sun is too strong now and we are also more aware of its dangers, so whole days at the seaside are no longer an option. So, what we usually do is put on our swimsuits after breakfast and head to the sandy beach close to our home, armed with water squirters, buckets and spades. By 10:30am, it is time to head home.

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FAMILY

This is where my headaches start. The truth is, I am not very good at entertaining children. I would much rather let them loose on a beach or playground and watch them run wild. Once within the four walls of our living room, however, a certain amount of structure is needed to prevent whines of boredom. While some mornings are taken up by summer school, reading clubs and dance lessons, the afternoons remain mostly free for us to fill up with fun. What this usually means is the drafting of a list of things to do at the very beginning of summer. Abi, mother to three children aged between 9 and 13, does the same with her children: “At the start of summer, we make a big list of places we want to visit in the summer,” she tells me. “It can be anything: going into a church you always wanted to look into, or visiting a museum. This summer we also plan to board the Sa Maison ferry from Gozo and go to the Valletta Waterfront, something we never have time to do during the school months.” The general consensus seems to be that anywhere air-conditioned is the only acceptable place to while away the hottest hours of the day, until it’s safe to go back to the beach. Afternoon shows at the cinema and visits to the National Aquarium or the little museums and art galleries that litter our islands are all great options for the occasional afternoon out. If I have to be honest, however, most

“At the start of summer, we make a big list of places we want to visit in the summer” 78

Sunday Circle | June 2014

afternoons are spent in the comfort of our own house, going through a list of fun activities that keep us out of the scorching heat and out of each other’s hair. So far, the list of activities to try this summer includes shadow puppet shows, making paper dolls, creating pasta necklaces, playing dress up and creating photo albums with photos taken with disposable cameras. Since my children rarely sit still long enough to watch a film, they would rather roll out a yoga mat and follow a Cosmic Kids Yoga video. The upside is that they really enjoy the stories they get to act out while exercising. On afternoons I would rather curl up with a book, I allow them to create their own masterpieces using window markers on our floor-to-ceiling glass doors. All it takes to clean it up is some water and a little patience. Something as simple as making an indoor picnic out of their afternoon snack is also fun and usually gets them to eat more fruit than they normally would. You could also try building a tent made out of sheets and chairs in the living room or allowing them to create salads and fruit dishes that do not require the use of a hot oven and that they can then take to the beach with them in the late afternoon. A perennial favourite at our house is creating collages with cuttings from magazines from the recycling pile. I was thinking they could then set up an exhibition with all the crafts and paintings they usually end up producing during the summer months.


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HEALTH

Most parents I speak to agree that one of the best ways to keep the children entertained and cool during the hottest of summer is to turn the humble bathtub into a sort of indoor pool. Some use bath bombs, bath paints and glow-in-the-dark sticks to add to the fun. There might be some mopping to do when it is over, but everyone agrees that the mess is well worth it. Amanda, whose children are five and three years old, has found a way to kill two birds with one stone: “Since all our kids are English-speaking and need help with Maltese, we were thinking of meeting up every week at someone’s house and organising games, cooking and other activities in Maltese with some of their friends.”

“We were thinking of meeting up every week at someone’s house and organising games, cooking and other activities in Maltese with some of their friends” On a similar note, I have friends who meet at each other’s houses a couple of times a week, where the hostess teaches the children something she’s good at, like baking or knitting. For older children, you can also help them write a play which they can then act out in front of their families. They could also create their own props and costumes, something that would require them to be creative and work as a team. This sort of project could take weeks to complete and is sure to remain one of the children’s fondest memories. I should know: the summer of 1990 will forever be etched in my memory as the summer of the dance show I choreographed with my best friend for the viewing pleasure of our families. Our list is growing ever-longer but, at the end of the day, summer is also a time for relaxing, recharging our batteries and reconnecting with each other. So, before we start ticking items off our to-do list, we will make sure to spend some muchneeded time just enjoying each other’s company and catching up with friends over a bowl or two of ice cream.

May 2014 | Sunday Circle 000


MUSIC

Gagliardi outfits courtesy of Bortex Fine Tailoring Additional home accessories by Camilleri Paris Mode Hair Alex Lapira at Cut Coiffeur Make-up Tanya Cardona Location Palazzo de Piro

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MUSIC

A Fresh Breath

OF BAROQUE Ann Dingli Discusses the enlightenment, brAnDing AnD the impossibility of Authenticity with bAroque historicAl performAnce speciAlist, iAn peter bugejA Photography Brian Grech Shoot Assistant Mary Rose D’Amato

The saying goes: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But what if one is imitating something from the past, something which is no longer there to be flattered? In that case, what is imitation the sincerest form of? The answer comes in the form of one Ian Peter Bugeja: a young classical conductor, harpsichordist and fortepianist, and the first Maltese citizen to undertake a performance doctorate (in historical performance) overseas – at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Through the ensemble he established – Les Bougies Baroques – Ian Peter contributes to the practice of historical performance, a mode of performance, akin to reenactment, that aims to adhere to existing knowledge of the artistic and creative criteria of a specific period in time. Ian Peter surrendered to his musical calling at age eight, following two years of music tuition, when he gave up dancing lessons and was urged by his parents to streamline his extracurricular activities. He thus began to focus exclusively on his piano lessons with his tutor, Maria Dolores Amodio. It was not long until he began practising without his parents telling him to, marking the first inklings to both them and him, that music was something he was naturally inclined towards. It is not difficult to imagine an eight-year-old Ian Peter being a precocious child. As an adult he is articulate, incredibly well read and possesses a photographic memory fed by his multidisciplinary and colourful interests. He confesses that even as a young boy he “always wanted to have as many books as possible to play from, other than the exam pieces.” Indeed, Ian Peter is imbued with a sincere and unrelenting love of music.

What’s more, this self-evident devotion is pledged to a singular genre – the Baroque. “I was always the freak student who asked for more Bach as opposed to more Chopin! I think that was the first hint to my piano teacher that – no, he’s not a Romantic, he’s a Baroque spirit, through and through.” The seeds of a Baroque sensibility were sown at a ripe age. Ian Peter credits his years at St Aloysius’ College with cultivating his love of showmanship – an important aspect for his future career in historical performance. He read for a B.A. (Hons) in Music at the University of Malta, but garnered a more lasting education from his constant touring with the musical ensemble he had formed as a teenager. “One of my best memories of touring was getting to conduct the St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra when I was 19; I had to pinch myself when I got up on stage.” By the end of his undergraduate degree, Ian Peter had been bitten by the performance bug. He was offered a place on the MMus conducting course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, which prompted the shipment of 25 boxes of full scores, vocal scores, orchestral parts, instruments and all the Baroque paraphernalia a 20-something year-old might need. “I did my two-year Master’s in Cardiff under the tutelage of conductor-in-residence David Jones, and then I took a gap year. That was when Les Bougies Baroques really started to flourish. At this time, I was also developing my doctorate proposal.” Les Bougies Baroques is the literal manifestation of Ian Peter’s near-obsession with Baroque history, iconography, and of course, music. “I set up my first ensemble at the age of 14. It went through a few incarnations before culminating in Les Bougies Baroques, which coincided with my decision to specialise solely in historical performance. I set up Les Bougies Baroques in the UK in 2012.”

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 83


music

To me it’s never about recreating something blindly. It’s never just about historical verisimilitude, because I have enough self-awareness to realise that we can never truly be ‘authentic’, but we can certainly be ‘historically-informed’ This makes for a unified product that is devoid of the ‘tug of war’ on artistic vision that conductors and directors tend to have in a modern opera house setting.” Yet despite his fully-fledged commitment to the 17th and 18th centuries, his grasp on what is needed to promote his company is astutely contemporary. “The fact that I’m always online engaging with this generation through social media helps, as it’s an indispensable tool for us in reaching the younger generation,” he explains. “It is no secret that Baroque music has become a bit of a cult or a fetish for most, including myself, and we have taken full and honest advantage of this in drawing our audience members in. We have a great following wherever we go. It’s all down to the branding.”

Ian Peter had brought together a group of like-minded musicians to promote the virtues of a period to which he describes himself to be inextricably drawn. “To me the Baroque virtues of overall balance and symmetry, boldness, ornamentation, allegory and affekt are sacrosanct and a core part of my being. The Enlightenment is the most wonderful period in history and I struggle to enjoy anything that comes after it.” But how does Les Bougies Baroques reach a varied audience, and maintain its relevance in this century? “A lot of people in the 16-28 bracket are interested in what we do and come enthusiastically to support us,” he explains. “To them, we symbolise a fresh, new way of doing things that they haven’t encountered before.” The freshness Ian Peter describes is not born of reinterpretation or reinvention, but of an unrelenting holistic approach to creating the most immersive musical and theatrical experience possible. “Our success has been due to the fact that we always present a unified product that reflects a certain charm and theatricality. When we put up staged operas, I direct the show not just musically but also dramatically; I design the sets, costumes, and lighting.

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Much with the same fervour with which he approaches his musical craft, Ian Peter maintains a white-knuckled grasp on the image and projection of Les Bougies Baroques, citing his branding role model as “Louis XIV: the undisputed master of branding!” Indeed, Ian Peter’s own persona extends out of this carefully promoted brand, with a theatrical nature and flamboyant delivery lent even to his everyday conversations. Yet his intentions are nothing short of serious. He is committed to “making it as the next big thing in historical performance,” and plans to do so in tandem with completing his doctorate, which non-circuitously concerns the role of the music director in the 17th and 18th centuries. The subject of imitation may again be called into question in the midst of Ian Peter’s fantastic affection for this musical epoch. “To me it’s never about recreating something blindly. It’s never just about historical verisimilitude, because I have enough self-awareness to realise that we can never truly be ‘authentic’, but we can certainly be ‘historically-informed’. My aim therefore, is to breathe new life into the music whilst recreating it, as opposed to saying – ‘this is how they did it before, and here’s an accurate imitation.’ ” So, in essence, what Ian Peter is after is sincerity, not imitation. As for flattery? Well, it’s not been famous for getting anyone anywhere, and this uomo universale certainly seems to be getting where he needs to be, on his own terms. www.ianpeter.net / www.lesbougiesbaroques.com


travel

Off the Beaten Track MALTA HAS A LoT MorE To oFFEr THAn Sun And SEA. WE TAKE A LooK AT THE FIVE dESTInATIonS THAT HAVE rECEnTLy BEEn AWArdEd AS EuroPEAn dESTInATIonS oF ExCELLEnCE (EdEn) For THEIr unIquE ASPECTS oF LoCAL HErITAGE santa luĊIja, Local Intangible Heritage

The 16th century maritime city of Isla – with its iconic gardjola watchtower, imposing bastions commanding spectacular views over the Grand Harbour, and the traditional regattas drawing huge crowds twice a year – was given the award for Aquatic Tourism. “Isla offers a pleasant walk along its streets, each with its own character,” says Executive Secretary Arthur Perici. “This also offers the opportunity for visitors to visit various key landmarks such as the Basilica dedicated to the birth of the Virgin Mary, the cave of Mikelin and the Sheer Bastion (IlMaċina), before a lunch at the waterfront area, where all the restaurants are owned by residents from the locality employing local staff, guaranteeing a unique, friendly experience in direct contact with the local population.”

The tiny hamlet of Santa Luċija in Kerċem exemplifies everything that is so loved about the Gozitan village idyll, and is particularly active in promoting its unique local heritage with a number of annual events: the Bis-Saħħa wine festival, the Ikla tan-Nanna (a traditional meal with all local ingredients), and the Winter Light Festival in honour of the patron saint. The prehistoric Mixta site within its confines represents what is probably the first human settlement on the islands. “Santa Lucija is a very small hamlet,” says Carmen Bellamy, a member of the Administrative Committee. “The picturesque Village Square remains the focal point. There is also Għar Ilma which supplied water to Victoria, and parts of the majestic aqueduct built to transport the water still stand on the road from Victoria.”

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mer an Brim raphy b y Jonath

Santa Lucija

Photog

Isla

Photography by Philip Grixti

Isla, Aquatic Tourism

G har b


travel

GĦarb, Regeneration of Physical Sites

Nadur, Emerging Rural Destination

Within the confines of Għarb lies Wied il-Mielaħ, a typical Gozitan valley and one of the most important natural sites on the island, with a conglomeration of rubble walls, flora and fauna, and geological features. “This valley which was abandoned and neglected over the years has been rehabilitated and restored to its natural beauty and is nowadays a tourist attraction and families going there for family outings,” says Mayor David Apap Agius. “The town also has a wealth of sites of historic importance: it has recently restored the medieval San Dimitri chapel, Pilgrimages Cross and Ta’ Sdieri Bridge, among others, and hosts the Sanctuary at Ta’ Pinu, a renowned place of pilgrimage.

With 87.5 per cent of its area falling outside the permitted development zone, Nadur remains a place of unparalleled rural charm: incorporating everything from the tranquil bays of San Blas and Daħlet Qorrot to the vast plantations of citrus and olive trees in Binġemma valley. The town has also become synonymous with its rich cultural activities: the famous carnival, the June Agricultural Fair, and the annual Wine Festival. “A number of foreigners have standing appointments with our activities,” says Councillor Rita Mifsud. “The activities are part of what give us our identity, and the fact that visitors can share in that, and feel part of it, offers an entirely unique experience.”

MellieĦa, Protected Sites

European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) is a project initiated and co-funded by the European Commission which is managed and implemented by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), which promotes sustainable tourism models across Europe. The project focuses on little-known destinations which pursue their economic growth in such a way as to ensure the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism while enhancing their typical characteristics. The EDEN runners-up are: Santa Venera, Żejtun, Żurrieq, Lija, Qormi, St Paul’s Bay, Birgu, Xewkija, Sannat, Xagħra & San Lawrenz

Mel lieha

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Photography by Ivan Vella

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Te phy by

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With a number of natural bays including the famous Għadira, overseen on either end by the majestic church of Our Lady of Mellieħa and the historic Red Tower, Mellieħa needs no introduction as a sun and sea destination. But as Deputy Mayor Clayton Bartolo explains, it is much more than that. “Walking in Mellieħa offers you so much: from spectacular views to pure natural environments. Walking along the Aħrax Road brings you to a small chapel and a hidden lagoon; there’s the clay at Selmun, the old stone beehives at Mġiebaħ; Manikata is a traditional agricultural community...you won’t get all these experiences in many other places.” With Iljieli Melliħin, the town is also pushing cultural activities, encouraging visitors to spend the night and see more of what this beautiful destination has in store.

Nadur June 2014 | Sunday Circle 87


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sports

Of WOrld Cups past

As the world’s eyes turn towArds BrAzil for the Biggest pArty on eArth, philip leone-gAnAdo Allows himself A flight of whimsy BAck to the world cups thAt defined his childhood

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 89


W

hen Atletico Madrid won La Liga last month, and the players hoisted manager Diego Simeone into the air in celebration, every neutral fan in the world cheered with them. Except me. Of course, I was as pleased as anyone to see the underdogs triumph with a fraction of the budget of Barcelona or Real Madrid, playing highenergy, attacking football. But I couldn’t bring myself to celebrate their success – because 16 years ago, Diego Simeone broke my heart. It was 1998. England were playing Argentina in the World Cup round of 16. Somewhere in Malta, I was eight years old and arguing with my parents over how soon we could leave the restaurant we were at to be home in time for kick-off. 1998 was my first proper World Cup: I was too young four years earlier to remember much beyond Roberto Baggio’s ponytail. This time round, I was supporting England, largely because most of the children at school were supporting Italy, and I didn’t really like the other children at school. Today, of course, the idea of supporting England carries far too much postcolonial baggage for a Maltese overthinker like me: I’ll be safely cheering on Belgium or The Netherlands instead. But back then, there was nothing less complicated than cheering on Ince, Shearer, and Owen.

“I was supporting England, largely because most of the children at school were supporting Italy, and I didn’t really like the other children at school”

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Football can never again be as real, as vivid, as it was that year. The grass seemed greener than it could possibly have been, the players more gargantuan than seems likely; when a local commentator made the particularly hackneyed remark during one particular half-time that the next goal would be critical, I seized on it as the word of God (even today, I could tell you his name and what he was wearing). To a child of that age, the World Cup exists in the same realm of quasimythology as the stories he reads before bed – in fact, it’s probably a vain attempt to reclaim that wonder that keeps us watching long into adulthood, when the magic has faded into a firm belief that you could teach your team’s manager a thing or two if he only gave you the chance.

Red October Malta

The precise details of England-Argentina elude me. I remember Owen’s wonder goal, and I remember England losing on penalties (this, of course, was to become something of a running theme). But I don’t remember much else...


except for one thing. Seeing England get knocked out hurt like finding out Santa Claus isn’t real, but it was nothing compared to the disbelief, the shock, the anger, of Beckham being sent off for kicking out at – who else – Diego Simeone. For weeks I’d maintain that Beckham was merely rolling around in pain and happened to catch Simeone’s leg. It was easier than believing that the ref – Kim Nielson: I can’t name too many refs, but I can sure as hell name him – was right to send my boyhood hero off the pitch. World Cups tend to resolve themselves into single moments. When all is said and done, the spectacle fades away and all that’s left are images seared into our minds with a clarity that everyday life could never achieve. If France 98 is forever Beckham staring up at that horrible piece of red cardboard, 2002 is Ronaldinho, mesmeric runs and floppy hair, looping that fluke of a free kick right over David Seaman’s head. Then, 2006 is Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi, a glorious moment where everything we knew about the game of football suddenly stopped being true for just an instant. And 2010? It’s hard to remember anything over the sound of vuvuzelas, but grimace with me as you remember Luis Suarez mistaking himself for a goalkeeper in the last minute of the quarter final against Ghana – and the tears of a continent as Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty. The World Cup has never been about football – not really. It’s about Panini sticker albums, which my mother cannily turned into a studying aid by trading me packets of stickers for completed chapters. It’s about the garish kits and the ludicrous hairstyles (step forward, Carlos Valderrama). It’s about huddling round a radio with your classmates where the teacher can’t see you, listening to snatches of crackly commentary from the games in Japan and South Korea and doing your best to avoid screaming when you hear what sounds like a goal (or maybe a corner: it was a really cheap radio). It’s no coincidence that so many people who claim not to like football will over the next month adopt as their mantra: “But it’s the World Cup...” The World Cup is sport: but more than that it’s war, it’s spectacle, it’s a party, it’s life and death. When the whole world turns its attention to one place at one time to watch what is ultimately a relatively trivial pursuit, what is created is nothing short of magic. I don’t yet know what moments from Brazil 2014 will stay with me until the day I die, but I can’t wait to find out.

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muSic

Hustler by Nature AheAd of A concert in MAltA At the end of the Month, hip-hop dJ SArAh hArriSon tellS cArlA forMoSA About cArving out A niche in london, Meeting Quincy JoneS, And touring with Snoop dogg

A

fter moving to London to pursue her musical theatre education, Sarah Harrison felt herself longing for a career focusing solely in music. That longing was the start of her long and lonely journey down the music business. Today, the “hustler by nature”, as she describes herself, represents what many Maltese seem to think is unachievable. Having started her very long journey in music from a very young age, Sarah has pushed through many boundaries present in the music industry and found her niche in the Hip Hop DJing scene. Working as a female music artist, in the busy bubble that is London, Sarah was forced to toughen up. “Unlike men, women don’t support each other in any industry, not only in the music one,” she explains. She found herself competing with women, who due to the harsh sexism present in their industry, have succumbed to treating other women as men treat them. However, witnessing this abuse made Sarah see the importance in the way she carried and represented herself around anyone she worked with. Working in London, Sarah found herself competing with people from all around the world. Nonetheless, she soon realized that to work in the music industry, regardless of your origin, you have to

have international appeal to succeed. In early 2012, Sarah proved just that. Her first break came when the renowned Snoop Dogg spotted her tracks on SoundCloud and invited her to support him on his European summer tour. “Having only just started developing my DJing skills, Snoop was the first person to motivate me and push me to focus on djing in the Hip Hop scene.” Sarah was also fortunate enough to meet Quincy Jones, who was to be a major, inspirational milestone in not only her career, but also her life. “Quincy worked very closely with Michael Jackson, who inspires the child within me,” Sarah explains. “He is beyond explanation, and knowing that I have the support of a man who supported Michael, is truly amazing.” Later this month, Sarah will be visiting Malta to be part of an exclusive party weekend organized during Malta Music Week. Malta Connect plans to offer a VIP Mediterranean party experience, where people from all around the world are invited to discover what Malta has to offer. Featuring DJs such as Tim Westwood and Sarah Harrison herself, the event hopes to bring a new music scene to the Maltese Islands, by breaking through the House and Dance boundaries with Urban and Hip Hop music. So what’s next? With her own hustler spirit, Sarah wishes to continue her transatlantic aspirations and eventually bridge the gap accross different territories. “I feel ready to spread my wings to American grounds and live the infamous American Dream.” for more information, visit www.imsarahharrison.com or www.maltaconnect.com June 2014 | Sunday Circle 93


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Nature

Malta’s subMerged treasures AlAn DeiDun shows us the reAl treAsures surrounDing our coAst

Despite constituting less than one per cent of the global ocean volume and covering slightly more than one per cent of the global ocean surface area, the Mediterranean Sea harbours a disproportionately high fraction – approximately 20 per cent – of global marine biodiversity. In addition, of the estimated 17,000 marine species recorded to date from the Mediterranean Basin, an estimated one-fourth are considered to be endemic, or unique to the same marine area. For these two reasons, the Mediterranean is known as a biodiversity hotspot. The list of such endemic species includes some of the most charismatic and characteristic Mediterranean

marine species, including Neptune Grass (Posidonia oceanica), stone coral and the Maltese skate. Besides the endemics, the Mediterranean Sea is also home to an impressive number of charismatic species, including the loggerhead and green turtles, the pilot and fin whales and the epitome of vulnerability – the monk seal – of which only an estimated 500-600 individuals still persist in the wild. The Maltese islands are a quintessential Mediterranean archipelago; as such they are blessed with a considerable chunk of such Mediterranean marine biodiversity. Our waters even have bragging rights over our own endemic species, with the Maltese top shell, which appears to be

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nature

speckled with white snow particles, being known only from local waters. This phenomenon, known as spot endemism, is rare indeed since in the absence of rigid barriers to dispersal in the sea, it’s fairly uncommon to have marine species being restricted to a relatively small area as that of the Maltese Islands. The Maltese marine area presents a variety of different depths and seabed types, which in turn support a large variety of marine habitats. These include rocky seabeds at shallow depths which are mainly colonized by sun-worshipping brown and green algae; some brown algae, like Sargassum, have spherical air bladders which allow detached branches to float and to colonise unchartered grounds. Green algae range from the minute and umbrella-shaped Acetabularia to the plate-size Codium bursa. Bare sandy bottoms have an air of desolation: this could not be further from the truth. In view of the absence of cover from predators, marine species living here either resort to camouflage, or to stinging venomous body parts, or to other refuges, such as tubes as in the case of fan worms, or the sand itself, or even vacant snail shells as in the case of hermit crabs. Two other commonly-encountered marine habitats within Maltese waters include seagrass meadows and the shade-loving coralligenous habitat. Seagrass species are the only group of flowering plants (yes, they flower and some even shed oliveshaped fruit) to have fully colonized the sea, and are considered to be keystone species. A keystone is the central stone in an arch and its removal would irreversibly cripple the arch. This title is a fitting tribute to the numerous roles played by the seagrass meadows: acting as a nursery for fish species, releasing of oxygen in the water column, protecting the coast from wave action, providing food 96

Sunday Circle | June 2014

to herbivorous marine species and stabilizing the seabed itself through their roots. Coralligenous habitats are amongst the most colourful of Mediterranean marine habitats, being dominated by the bright hues of sponges, red algae, sea squirts, coral and false coral species. The bright orange colonies of the star coral are perhaps the signature species for these habitats in view of their popularity with underwater observers. Such a habitat is normally encountered at low-light intensities, at the mouth of caves, under boulders, along vertical drop-offs and in other shaded conditions. The major invertebrate (thus excluding fish, marine reptiles and mammals) groups of marine organisms include crustaceans, which may range from crabs and lobsters to minute prawns and shrimps, and the sessile barnacles, molluscs, which range from familiar snails to smart cephalopods (octopus, cuttlefish and squid), echinoderms, ranging from starfish to sea urchins, brittle stars and sea cucumbers, sponges (the most primitive group of animals around), cnidarians (jellyfish, sea anemones and corals) and polychaetes (bristle worms, such as the bearded fireworm, dreaded by divers). One of the most anomalous marine species encountered by divers in shallow waters is the green spoonworm, for which the female greatly eclipses the male in terms of size and within which the proboscis can be extended up to 10 times the total body length. Upon being disturbed, this bright green worm, which secretes a chemical currently being investigated for the manufacture of antibiotics, retreats at breakneck speeds. The islands’ waters most important trump card is the high degree of underwater visibility as a result of their unparalleled transparency. Different factors are complicit in this – the waters are general devoid of suspended plankton populations in view of the lack of nutrients,


nature

and strong currents generally prevent the accumulation of what small concentrations there might be. This results in good light penetration and the disarming ethereal blue hue of the Mediterranean which attracts divers and snorkellers from the world over. Yet another crowdpuller within local waters is the stunning underwater geomorphology, with numerous caves, tunnels, arches and other formations peppering our coastal waters as a result of the pliable nature of our limestones which lend themselves to moulding by the master craftsman that is the sea. An ever growing number of wrecks is also gracing Maltese waters as a result of a pro-scuttling policy adopted in recent years. These wrecks are mostly considered as oases in an otherwise barren sandy environment, acting as artificial reefs by providing a surface on

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which marine vegetation and sessile animals, such as sponges, false corals, corals, and grazers can colonise. Across Europe, there is a drive towards increasing ocean literacy, a branch of environmental education aiming to sensitise the public about marine assets and issues, including a series of short, intensive marine biology courses organised by Aquabiotech here in Malta, which also offers an option to introduce participants to diving or snorkelling – because what better way is there to experience the marvels of the Mediterranean than being in it? Interested parties can visit www.aquabt.com or email gdm@aquabt.com for more information


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Gozo’s ProPerty AmbAssAdor Frank Salt real eState branch manager marie grech, who haS Spearheaded the gozo oFFice For 25 yearS, recallS the early yearS oF the houSing boom, and lookS to the Future to explain why gozo Still makeS the ideal property inveStment These days Marie Grech is a stalwart of the Gozo property industry. Having worked her way up over the years, she has overseen countless sales and purchases, and even helped to encourage the sector’s general development. “This job was definitely meant for me!” smiles Marie, a busy mum who joined the team in 1989. “I had just returned to Gozo from Australia and was looking forward to a relaxing summer; I had no intention of working. However, a friend knew that the new Gozo office was looking for a secretary and convinced me I should put myself forward. In the end, I went along for the interview and found myself absolutely hooked! A year or so later I was offered the management position there and I haven’t looked back since.” The FSRE Gozo office was actually the first of its kind on the island. “We weren’t a development company so we had to change perceptions along the way,” Marie explains. “It required people to shift away from the ‘sensar’ mentality that prevailed at the time which took some encouragement, but they soon adapted to the idea.” Back then it was mostly foreigners on the list of property clients in Gozo. “People regularly fell in love with Gozo while on holiday and they would be eager to see their options for purchasing a property. Prices then were low when compared to the UK so sales came easily. It was very exciting.” “The market has gone through all sorts of highs and lows since then. In the early 90s there was a surge of Maltese wanting to purchase holiday homes on Gozo, which helped to tide over the dip in foreigners because of the Gulf War and the European recession. Meanwhile new markets emerged too, including from Hong Kong and South Africa.” “Even though other agencies have opened up, we have always prided ourselves on giving a good, honest service and this has set us apart. It’s always great to see customers coming back to us whenever they need a property service. As a result, Gozitan property owners are always eager to give us their properties to place on the market and they trust our advice on everything from valuations to marketing. We’re always happy to help.” It’s that desire to go the extra mile that helps to set the Gozo branch apart. “We offer a whole range of supplementary services, including pool servicing, and property finishing and furnishing,” says Marie. “The office is constantly buzzing with the array of jobs waiting to be done, and the whole team works together brilliantly.”

Naturally Marie has had the odd challenge along the way. “What I didn’t realise was that I had landed straight into a predominantly man’s world,” she quips. “At first I was frowned upon by both workmen and professionals alike, but they soon got used to me. In fact, they started asking for my unique perspective and woman’s opinion!” “Today we have clients from all over the world and Gozo continues to charm them. We’re also attracting quite an upmarket clientele, which is fantastic – as long as we have the right properties for them!” “In relation to that, I think it is vital that MEPA and the other relevant authorities join forces to create a plan for the island’s property industry – it’s pointless having an endless supply of apartments available if the market wants houses with gardens. Gozo is small, and we must ensure that we only build what is needed and in demand.” Marie is also adamant that now is the right time to invest in property on Gozo. “I have always believed in the property market here, even when it had reached its lowest point. Now prices have been stagnant for a while, so they are bound to shoot up soon, which makes this the ideal opportunity. Good properties are limited though, so buy well to ensure your investment is secure,” she adds. www.franksalt.com.mt

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 101


those

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Formulated for face and body, Expert Sun Aging Protection Lotion SPF 50+ by Shiseido is a high performance protector with a superior resistance to water. It protects skin’s inner and outer layers against UVA&UVB damage, and prevents photo-aging effects, such as wrinkles and dark spots. It smooths on evenly to the skin with no trace of stickiness and fits skin perfectly to prevent UV ray damage. This lotion is perspiration-resistant, sandproof and easy to remove, making it also ideal for summer and winter sports. If you enjoy using make-up at the beach, this is also suitable as a make-up base. Always shake well before using. For more information contact C+M MARKETING LTD. | Tel. 2142 4079

2. PROTECT YOUR KIDS

Avoid direct sun exposure for babies and young children and keep them safe with Sun for Kids by Lancaster. This time-saving, water resistant, anti-sand mist can be applied even onto wet skin, without leaving any traces after spreading. It provides UVA/UVB and infrared protection to keep kids protected on a summer’s day. Suitable for children over 3 years old. Available from X-treme | Tel: 2388 2000

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Get ready to hit the beach with Guinot’s NEW Glamour Gel SPF15. Special Sun Filters reduce harmful effects on the skin by absorbing UVA and UVB rays. The Glamour Gel also contains Nucleic Defense technology, which protects the DNA of the living cells during sun exposure. Its creamy gel texture becomes a smooth and rich oil when massaged, giving the skin a soft satin finish. For your nearest Guinot Salon contact PHBS Ltd | Tel: 2142 4401/2/3

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102 Sunday Circle | June 2014


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HEALTH

MISSING

Molars Dr Jean Paul DemaJo examines the Problems associateD with a lack of a Posterior Dentition

Are you one of those patients missing all of your molars in either your top or bottom jaws – or both? If so, for how long have you missed out on chewing on your back teeth? Missing your molars is a very common scenario, which often goes untreated for a very long time. This is mostly due to the fact that in most individuals these teeth aren’t visible with the normal aperture of the mouth. There are four types of teeth in our mouth: incisors, canines, premolars and molars, positioned from the anterior to the posterior zones respectively. Incisors are for biting and canines for tearing whilst premolars and molars for chewing. EffEcts of lack of postErior tEEth: 1. Toothwear: Biting and having to chew on just the front teeth leads to tooth-wear. Over a long period these front teeth lose height and appear very smooth as they are being overused. 2. Tooth fracture: These anterior teeth are far weaker than their posterior neighbours, resulting in micro-cracks which may lead to tooth fracture and/or de-coronation (breaking the crown of the tooth leaving just the roots). 3. Tooth mobility: Teeth are supported in their sockets thanks to the gingival tissue, in particular to the periodontal ligament fibres attaching them to bone. If teeth are under excessive stress then this ligament suffers and with time teeth start moving, resulting in tooth loss. This may also cause the teeth to drift outwards, splaying themselves and increasing the spaces between them. 4. Tooth pain: overloading of the anterior teeth may result in them dying off, requiring root canal treatment and further prosthetic work. 5. Bone loss: Loss of posterior teeth in either jaw results in bone loss as the bone does not receive a stimulus due to the lack

The list goes on and on. It is never too late to replace your missing posterior dentition both with removable or fixed teeth. The repercussions are serious. Take action now and ask your dentist for advice!

of tooth roots. In the top jaw the bone loss causes a reduction in distance between the maxillary sinuses and the mouth. In the bottom jaw the distance between the mouth and inferior dental nerve present in the mandible is also reduced. Over a long period, the volume of bone loss may be very large. This would mean that if implants are planned, maxillary sinus bone grafting would be required in the top jaw and bone grafting would be required in the bottom jaw increasing the element of surgery for the patient and complexity for the dentist. 6. Tooth migration: Missing teeth would cause present teeth to drift into the resultant space, creating odd contacts on chewing, excessive toothwear facets, as well as inconvenient food packing around the remaining teeth. Upper teeth often over-erupt into the space of the lower missing teeth due to lacking their antagonist to chew on. Over a number of years these upper molars may completely descend into the space of the lower missing molars causing traumatic biting onto the gum. These upper teeth would also appear very long, exposing their roots and reducing their aesthetics. Adding insult to injury, these upper over-erupted teeth would, on closure of the anterior teeth, take up the space of the missing lower posterior teeth, not leaving any space for the dentist to replace the lower missing teeth. 7. Dento-Facial aesthetics: Cheeks tend to collapse inwards resulting in poorer aesthetics giving rise to an older-looking appearance. 8. Digestive problems: Chewing our food mixed with our saliva is the first stage of digestion. If food is not chewed but gobbled instead, this may result in indigestion and acid build-up. Patients who lack posterior teeth also steer clear of eating certain foods resulting in a lack of nutritional intake.

Dr Jean Paul Demajo is a Dental and Implant Surgeon trained in London working in private practice in Malta

June 2014 | Sunday Circle 105


1. Fortunato & Jane Farrugia, Joanna Bellia & Jesmar Cannao

4. Mr & Mrs M Said & Jesmond Ciantar

2. Noelene Mangion, Louise & Anthony Magro

3. Pierre Mizzi, Philip Galea, Adrian J. Mizzi & Ivan Grech

5. Alfio Zappala, Janine Montebello, Natasha Gatt, Vince Saliba, Mark Muscat, Chris Tabone, Peter Van der Kreeft, Jesmond Ciantar & Joseph Rapa

6. Adrian J. Mizzi, Bernadette Bonnici Kind & Tiffany Pisani

PAPARAZZI • 1-2: Mediterranean Bank guests during the finale of the Malta Fireworks Festival on April 30. • 3: Launch of Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Malta on May 21 at Baystreet. • 4-5: Aviko Culinary Event at Villa Arrigo on May 19. • 6: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week event held at Pjazza San Gorg, Valletta on May 27. 7. Sam Borg, Rosemarie Abela, Peter Borg, Alexander Aicolina, Calvin Briffa & Michael Vella

8. Sam Borg & Peter Borg

• 7-8: Gagliardi Fashion Show celebrating Bortex 50th Anniversary at The National Library, Valletta on May 29. • 9-10: Launch of the latest scent by Dolce & Gabbana during an exclusive party at Villa Bologna, Attard. • 11-13: Sarto Spring/Summer 2014 Garden Runway fashion show on May 8 at Girgenti Palace. * For inclusion in Circle Paparazzi contact Renee Micallef Decesare on renee@networkpublications.com.mt

9. Louis Grech, Sylvia Grech, Alexandra Tabone Ferrante, Maria Abela & Charles Abela

11. Muriel Grech & Paolo Mannino

10. Sylvia Grech, Louis Grech, Joanna Salomone, Thomas Bonello Ghio & Rose Azzopardi

12. Mark Felice, Mrs Lorraine Castagna & Mr Eman Castagna

13. Antonio Maione, Antonio Petrachi, Guglielmo Pontoglio, Michelle Muscat, Michelle Farrugia, Natalie Farrugia & Vincent Farrugia


pa pa ra zzi special

1. Carla Formosa, Nick Formosa, Martin Vella & Margaret Brincat

1-8: The MsV liFe Top enTrepreneur oF The year awards 2014: The Economic

Update (Network Publications) hosted over 350 VIP guests and nominees at the InterContinental Malta. The awards program aimed to recognise entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

2. George Barbaro Sant & John Formosa

4. Bettson staff members

7. Anita Aloisio with colleagues from Nexia BT

11 Delegates attending the Forum

M Dahmani, Hussein Benown & H.E. Soaud Geblaoui

Economic Update co-organised the MaltaTunisia-Libya B2B Networking Forum together with the Tunisian Embassy, the Libyan Embassy and the Libya Business Council on May 8. With over 25 exhibitors and sponsors, the Forum was attended by 45 Tunisian and a dozen Libyan business companies, and attracted over 500 delegates, overseas businessmen and corporate level executives, including the participation of over five embassies.

3. Joe & Carmen Dimech, Tonio & Marlene Porthugese

5. Joe Cuschieri & Patrick Oqvist

8. Liz Barbaro Sant & Sheila Dean

9-13: The MalTa-Tunisia-libya neTworking ForuM 2014: The

6. Patrick J. O’Brien & Kenneth Farrugia

9. H.E. Souad Geblaoui

10. H.E. Soaud Geblaoui & Martin Vella

13. Edward Zammit Lewis addressing delegates


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WHERE LIGHT IS LIFE. PONSOMBY STREET, MOSTA MST4032 2143 2571 INFO@VCT.COM.MT WWW.VCT.COM.MT MON-FRI 08.00-18.00 THU 08.00-20.00 SAT 09.00-12.30


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June 2014 – Issue No. 234