This weekend I attended the Sabir Literary Festival in Catania and conversed with Sicilian Author Marco Rizzo on his latest children’s book “L’Immigrazione Spiegata ai Bambini.” The festival focused on contemporary Mediterranean identity, culture and citizenship.
Do you know what “sabir” was? I would like to share with all of you an excerpt from the program book that I think may be of interest to many of you:
“Sabir was a lingua franca that merchants and seamen from different countries used for their exchanges in the mediterranean, from the middle ages until the nineteenth century. A shared language that welcomed words from many languages of the region, including arabic, occitan, greek, catalan, turkish, sicilian, venetian and genovese. sabir, therefore, does not belong to a specific population or territory, but it expresses the primary need to explore, learn and communicate beyond borders.”
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