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.






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Out of Palermo

moas suspends rescue operation in Mediterranean

September 5, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning, MOAS

THe NGO non profit MOAS has suspended rescue operations of migrants in the Mediterranean and will move to south east Asia to rescue migrants there.
MOAS was founded in 2014 to reduce the loss of lives along the migration path between Africa and Europe. In the following three years MOAS rescued more than 40,000 people including children, women and men who were victims of violence, poverty and persecution.
MOAS co-founder Regina Catrambone explained to supporters: "At present, there are too many questions without an answer, and too many doubts about those trapped or forced back to Libya.

"The horrific tales of those who survive depict a nightmare of abuse, violence, torture, kidnapping and extortion.

"MOAS does not want to become part of a scenario where no one pays attention to the people who deserve protection, instead only focusing on preventing them from arriving on European shores with no consideration of their fate when trapped on the other side of the sea."

The rescue ship will now sail to the Bay of Bengal between the borders of Myanmar and Bangladesh to save the fleeing Rohingya people. The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim ethnic minority who have faced persecution in Myanmar. Many of those who have fled describe troops and Buddhist mobs burning their villages and attacking civilians in the province in Rakhine.

The United Nations has described them as the most persecuted people on earth, with Pope Francis appealing for an end to violence on 27 August.

Fishers of Men: Watch this movie about MOAS saving migrants at sea

July 9, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning, MOAS, documentary

Click on the caption to watch this excellent documentary about the work of MOAS.
From their website:
The creation of MOAS was one family’s reaction to the European migration crisis that they saw unfolding in the waters of the Mediterranean. Fishers of Men is a documentary film that follows the Catrambones as they embark on the MOAS journey and gives an inside view into the work of the NGO throughout their time at sea.

The documentary uses footage from media outlets and embedded video journalists to map the history of the charity and give a raw, unfiltered view of what maritime search and rescue operations really look like. Filmed across several years footage shows MOAS responding to the developing crisis in the Central Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. The film outlines the various aspects of the rescues as told by the search and rescue crews, tells the stories of those they rescue and gives an insight into the challenges faced by the Catrambones as they fight to keep the charity alive.

Borders did this

May 26, 2017

Tags: immigrants, catastrophe drowning, MOAS, rescue, death, trouble, Africa, sicily, immigration, Phoenix, ship, death, tragedy, loss, borders

33 casualties on board, including 7 children, 14 women and 12 men, as boat carrying approximately 750 people partially capsizes in the Mediterranean.

24th May 2017 saw one of MOAS’ most tragic rescues to date. Overcrowding and sea swell tipped hundreds into the water during a rescue yesterday. 32 bodies were recovered to MOAS vessel Phoenix alongside 604 survivors, one of whom (more…)

Rescue NGO MOAS responds to questions about funding

May 14, 2017

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

Rescuers have been accused by some Sicilian authorities of taking money from traffickers to fund their efforts. Here is part of the response from MOAS:
"When questioned about why all our disembarkations are carried out in Italy, and not say, Malta or Tunisia, our representatives explained that MOAS is not the decision-maker in this (more…)

MOAS ship Phoenix docks at Catania with hundreds of migrants and dead boy

May 6, 2017

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

From La Repubblica 6 May 2017
CATANIA, Sicily -- The rescue ship Phoenix belonging to the non-governmental organization MOAS docked at this port this morning bearing 394 rescued migrants and one dead 10-year-old boy who was allegedly murdered by his trafficker. MOAS co-founder Regina Catrambone, who was also aboard, said the boy was pistol- whipped to death by a trafficker when the boy refused to give the trafficker his baseball cap. NGOs rescuing migrants at sea have been accused by certain Catania officials of accepting money from traffickers to pick up shipwrecked migrants and plague Europe with them. Catambrone and the other NGOs say they run their operations with donations from supporters.


NPR: couple spends millions to save immigrants

May 17, 2015

Tags: NPR, rescue, mediterranean, sea, immigrants, Malta, sicily, europe, MOAS, Phoenix, ship, couple, wealthy, help, humanitarian