Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Tough job

April 29, 2016

Tags: palermo, crime, cops, police, crowd, encircle, prevent, capture, burglars, escape, shots, fired, air, gun, tough, job, support, mafia

From this morning's La Repubblica.

Residents of La Kalsa, the ancient Arab-founded neighborhood of old Palermo and several businessmen helped a burglar pursued by police to escape. The police were encircled by the crowd and the thief got away with 10,000 euros he and three others had just robbed from a market (more…)

The heart of Palermo: city hosts parents of wounded refugee Yusupha Susso

April 22, 2016

Tags: Yusupha Susso, Gambia, shot, head, parents, heart, palermo, immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

Remember my blog about Yusupha Susso, the young Gambian refugee in Palermo who was shot in the head by a mafioso who wanted to prove he owned the territory the young man and his friends were standing in? Yusupha survived after five days in an induced coma. He speaks five languages, is the son (more…)

Daily News has story of 500 disappeared African immigrants but uses a photo of WHITE people in trouble

April 20, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

The caption says:
"Yannis Behrakis/REUTERS
Some 500 refugees, not shown, were feared dead after a shipwreck in the Mediterranean."

Why do you think the Daily News used a photo of white people in trouble at sea when the disappeared immigrants were all from African countries? There are plenty of file photos of black immigrants being saved.

Here is the story from the NY Daily News: (more…)

Tragic rescue of African survivors today

April 18, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

From the Giornale di Sicilia:
They said they left Libya on a rubber raft carrying 130-140 people. 108 f them were rescued by the Ship Aquarius of the SOS Mediterranean non profit group. Two drowned, six bodies were found on the bottom of the raft which had bent into a V shape, disabled, the motor (more…)

Alarm in the Mediterranean: 500 immigrants missing

April 18, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.museum, brtish museum, artifact, current culture, european

There is a boat carrying 500 immigrant missing in the Mediterranean. The boat left Egypt three days ago and nothing has been heard of them since.
The alarm was given by the Rome-based Eritrean priest Musie Zerai, for years a reference point for immigrants who find themselves in trouble in the Mediterranean sea. A few of the (more…)

HUndreds more immigrants arrive Sicily today

April 17, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

33 immigrants were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard near Noto. According to La Repubblica they were probably Iraqis, Syrians, Afghanis and Somalians who left Turkey four days ago on a merchant ship who were then made to get off the ship and onto a motorboat after midnight last night.
Meanwhile the ship Orion which took aboard 464 immigrants rescued in the Strait of Sicily n four separate rescue operations by the Orion (106) the ship Bettica (118), the motorboats Aquarius (116) and Gaz Victory (124)

900 African immigrants arrived Sicily yesterday.

April 14, 2016

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy, suit jacket, bow tie, child, voyage, party, delusion

It took all night to process the nearly 900 African immigrants saved from the Mediterranean Sea by the Norwegian ship Siem Pilot. Among them were 138 unaccompanied minors. Four people fell into the sea during the crossing, two were saved, two drowned. Story from La Repubblica.

Update on Fra Biagio Conte

April 11, 2016

Tags: Fra Biagio, biagio conte, mission, Hope and Charity, protest, letter, pope, president, Via Archrafi, sheds, promise, palermo

Fra Biagio Conte, the self-made brother who started a new religious order in Palermo to serve the poor, homeless and refugees, who feeds and houses a thousand people a day, is about to set off on a journey to Rome by foot, carrying a wooden cross, to see the pope about getting some support (more…)

Palermo's solidarity with wounded immigrant; mayor at head of protest march

April 9, 2016

Tags: immigrant, bulling, mafia, wounded, gunshots, The Gambia, Mayor, Leoluca Orlando, protest, racism, immigration, africa, palermo, sicilia, sicily, incident, march

A young man from Gambia was peacefully talking on a street corner with friends from his native Gambia when a mafioso-type jerk from the neighborhood came up to them and started insulting them. Usually, the immigrants will turn and run. But Yusupha Susso, a 21-year-old Gambian stuck up for himself and for his friends. (more…)

Volunteers to fix apt confiscated from Mafia

April 6, 2016

Tags: volunteers, mafia, Albegheria, Santa Chiara, Addio Pizzo, poor, poverty, family

The city has given two apartments confiscated from the Mafia to needy, homeless families. But the apartments needed lot of work. So volunteers from the anti-Mafia association Addio Pizzo ( Goodbye, Protection money) and the mission of Santa Chiara put on a fund-raising dinner that brought together unemployed construction workers, architects, tradesmen and donors. A woman immigrant who had been helped by the mission volunteered to cook a dinner from her own country. Together they will fix up the apartments in a hurry before squatters can move in.

Arabian horse beauty contest in La Favorita Park

April 3, 2016

Tags: palermo, la favorita, park, clean, horse, arabian, contest, equestrian, beauty, urban

Mayor Leoluca Orlando had closed the La Favorita park to traffic for a few weeks of intensive cleaning before Easter. When the normally messy and littering Palermo public left it absolutely clean after Easter Monday's traditional Pasquetta picnic and barbecues, the newspapers reported the fact giddily. Now here's a scene from an Arabian horse beauty competition in the Favorita, Palermo style.
(more…)

Fra Biagio says he's leaving Palermo and Sicily

April 1, 2016

Tags: Fra Biagio, biagio conte, mission, Hope and Charity, protest, letter, pope, president, Via Archrafi, sheds, promise, palermo

Fra Biagio Conte, lay founder of the Catholic church's youngest order, the Missionaries of Charity and Hope, says he is leaving Palermo hurt and disappointed because of what he calls the city's obstruction of his plan to help unfortunate people. Biagio Conte and his colleagues, guest "brothers and sisters,"an army of volunteers and (more…)

Quick Links