Sym­po­sium on dis­cov­er­ing south­east Malta

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of its first two sym­posia ‘The Że­j­tun Ro­man Villa’ (2012) and ‘The Last Turk­ish Raid of 1614’ (2014), Wirt iż-Że­j­tun has an­nounced its third sym­po­sium ‘Dis­cov­er­ing South­east Malta’.

This re­gion, which en­com­passes the largest har­bour in the south, a beau­ti­ful coast­line with its own ecosys­tems and at­ten­dant in­dus­tries, such as fish­ing and salt ex­trac­tion, as well as nu­mer­ous sites of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal, his­tor­i­cal and reli­gious im­por­tance, de­serves to be given much more at­ten­tion than it has re­ceived up till now.

There is gen­eral con­sen­sus that much needs to be done for ex­am­ple, in terms of con­ser­va­tion and preser­va­tion of the many his­tor­i­cal sites, which are lit­tle by lit­tle dis­ap­pear­ing. As tourists go, it is only Għar Dalam and Marsaxlokk, as a typ­i­cal fish­ing vil­lage which are pro­moted as tourist des­ti­na­tions. Which is a pity, as the South­east has so much more to of­fer! How can this re­gion be de­vel­oped in a sus­tain­able way, so that the ru­ral and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, the pos­si­ble at­ten­dant eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and the in­her­ent cul­tural her­itage co-ex­ist har­mo­niously?

In order to ini­ti­ate a dis­cus­sion, Wirt iż-Że­j­tun has in­vited var­i­ous speak­ers from dif­fer­ent en­ti­ties to present their re­search on dif­fer­ent as­pects of this topic. Ar­chi­tect Ruben Abela, Pres­i­dent of Wirt iż-Że­j­tun, will trace the mil­i­tary his­tory of the re­gion through the ex­ist­ing mil­i­tary struc­tures, very few of which un­for­tu­nately, have been re­stored or adapted for fur­ther use. Ms Michelle Borg from the Plan­ning Au­thor­ity will pro­pose that an aware­ness of the com­plex­i­ties of coastal sys­tems can fa­cil­i­tate the cre­ation of al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions to coastal use, which so­lu­tions would then safe­guard ecosys­tems and at the same time em­power lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to­wards the sus­tain­able use of the coast.

The Se­nior Cu­ra­tor of the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ar­chae­ol­ogy, Sharon Sultana, will ex­plore var­i­ous types of ma­te­rial ev­i­dence that can be found in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ar­chae­ol­ogy and ex­plain how cer­tain his­tor­i­cal sites can be re­searched and re­con­structed up to a cer­tain ex­tent through this ma­te­rial ev­i­dence. Dr Na­dia Theuma, an es­tab­lished re­searcher new bak­ing recipes from the US, all of which make an ap­pear­ance in my up­com­ing cook­book.”

Meike’s eye for great pho­tog­ra­phy and her knack for cre­at­ing easy-to-fol­low recipes has en­sured her on­go­ing suc­cess and, her up­com­ing cook­book, pub­lished in­ter­na­tion­ally by Pres­tel, will con­tinue to fol­low the same, win­ning for­mula but in a com­pletely repack­aged way.

“While some recipes from the blog have made it into the book, the vast ma­jor­ity are com­pletely new or have been given ma­jor tweaks,” she con­tin­ues. “I be­lieve good food should be sim­ple and fun to make and should never feel like a chore — par­tic­u­larly since many of us have to cook af­ter a hard day’s work.”

The 256-page, hard­back book, which is cur­rently avail­able for pre­order from all ma­jor book­stores in Malta, in­cludes stun­ning, full-page food pho­tog­ra­phy taken by Meike her­self, as well as six ‘Meet In Your Kitchen’ fea­tures, in­clud­ing one with the Ċini fam­ily from Gozo, who have been har­vest­ing salt from Xwe­jni Bay for gen­er­a­tions. in the fields of tourism, cul­tural de­vel­op­ment and re­gional brand­ing, will in turn, look at the ru­ral and agri­cul­tural her­itage of the re­gion and an­a­lyse its in­her­ent po­ten­tial as a tourist des­ti­na­tion, as well as ad­dress the so­cio-eco­nomic im­pact that such ac­tiv­ity would have on the re­gion and its com­mu­ni­ties.

This idea is fur­ther de­vel­oped by dif­fer­ent speak­ers. The his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ol­o­gist Comm. Dr Ge­orge Cas­sar will dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of the de­vel­op­ment of reli­gious tourism in the South­east re­gion, whereas in a joint pa­per, Dr Ja­son Bon­nici and Ar­chi­tect Ruben Abela will pro­pose

“Malta has some truly de­li­cious and gen­uine prod­ucts, in­clud­ing tasty veg­eta­bles, fab­u­lously lux­u­ri­ous olive oil, and proper coarse sea salt — all which add a new layer of flavour to any dish. I want to cel­e­brate the rich and colour­ful story of Malta’s fare and recipes, and to im­part some of the things that I’ve learnt about cer­tain in­gre­di­ents to my read­ers all over the world,” she con­cludes. the cre­ation of a Na­tional Geo Park for the South­east re­gion, which will of­fer vis­i­tors the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence what the re­gion has to of­fer in terms of cul­ture, his­tory and her­itage. Ar­chi­tects Daphne Fenech and Katya Sam­mut will dis­cuss their pro­posal for the cre­ation of a her­itage park which would un­lock the cul­tural her­itage po­ten­tial of the South­east re­gion, as well as en­sur­ing the con­ser­va­tion and safe­keep­ing of im­por­tant sites. Such a project would also con­trib­ute to the cre­ation of off­shoot economies as well as strengthen al­ready ex­ist­ing com­mer­cial in­vest­ments.

Eat In My Kitchen: to cook, to bake, to eat and to treat will be avail­able for pur­chase as of Tues­day 4 Oc­to­ber. To find out more about Meike and her recipes, please visit

Mr Alex Mus­cat from the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter will give a pre­sen­ta­tion about l-In­wadar Na­tional Park, a gov­ern­ment project aimed at safe­guard­ing the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and giv­ing peo­ple an open area to en­joy.

The fi­nal word will be given to Ms Tracey Ann Vella Cumbo, Wirt iż-Że­j­tun sec­re­tary and a grad­u­ate in Ar­chae­ol­ogy and Cul­tural Her­itage Man­age­ment, who will pro­pose a num­ber of mea­sures that can be in­tro­duced to gen­er­ate so­cial, cul­tural and eco­nomic ben­e­fits for the re­gion so as to cre­ate a sus­tain­able mar­ket to put the South­east re­gion on the vis­i­tors’ map.

The sym­po­sium is open to the gen­eral pub­lic and any­one in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing, is kindly asked to regis­ter by send­ing an email to Wirt iż-Że­j­tun on wirtiz-ze­j­tun@gmail.com. The event will start at 8.30am on Satur­day, 8 Oc­to­ber and will be held at Villa Sant’Anna, Triq il-Qaliet, Marsaskala. Wirt iż-Że­j­tun looks for­ward to wel­com­ing all those who are in­ter­ested in safe­guard­ing the her­itage of the South­east re­gion, be­fore it is ir­re­triev­ably lost.

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