Symposium on discovering southeast Malta
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 email@example.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.