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

Sicilians offer swimming, diving lessons to refugees traumatized by their sea crossing

July 16, 2017

Tags: trauma, fear, water, swim, scuba, dive, immigrants, sicilians, warm, heart, empathy, compassion, refugees, crossing, Mediterranean

From the Washington Post:
By Michael Birnbaum July 15 at 7:12 PM
MESSINA, Italy Abdoulie Jallow lives on the Sicilian coast, but until recently, looking at the Mediterranean Sea filled him with dread.
The azure water reminded the 17-year-old Gambian of his journey from Libya last year, a middle-of-the-night departure on an overcrowded dinghy in which he had to abandon himself to his faith in God. (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…)

The wall of kindness

February 7, 2016

Tags: palermo, urban, wall of kindness, muro della gentilezza, sicily, poor, immigrants, mosque, Via Celso, sicilia, kindness, heart, center, giving, generous, thoughtful

The wall of Kindness in Via Celso in the city center
Following a European trend, someone in the heart of Palermo has started a "Wall of Kindness". One clothesline where people can leave what they want to donate, or take what they need, not far from the city's principal mosque. Here is a one-minute video report from La Repubblica.

Italians have heart

June 23, 2015

Tags: italians, immigrants, border, Italy, France, cell phones, solar panel, heart, generous, thoughtful, off the grid, peasant, farmer



From La Repubblica. A peasant farmer whose own home and farm is off the grid, set up a solar panel for the immigrants who are sleeping on the rocks at Ventimiglia, the border between (more…)

Eternal Embrace

May 16, 2014

Tags: naufragio, refugees, dead, drown, shipwreck, heart, embrace, undersea, Sicily, Mediterranean, racist, grave, cemetery, marine, coast guard, documentary, film, video, European Union, laws, care, love, death

Watery grave, heart's embrace

This is a freeze frame from a video taken by Italian Coast Guard rescue and recovery divers of two refugees who died embraced on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea just off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa on Oct. 3, 2013, after the worst tragedy in those seas since 2000. Three hundred sixty-six people drowned together that day.
In this picture, two of them face each in what was left of their embrace. The empty space between them forms a heart. They died (more…)

Home for Homeless Women

April 14, 2014

Tags: accoglienza femminile, fra biagio conte, suor mattia, homeless, women, mensa, dining room, via garibaldi, palermo, kindness, heart, sicily, sicilia, care, dignity

A corner of the 100-seat dining room of the Accoglienza Femminile of Fra Biagio Conte's Missione Pace e Speranza
Last week I visited the Women's Home, one of three centers comprising Brother Biagio Conte's Mission of Peace and Hope. It houses roughly a hundred homeless women, palermitans and immigrants, single women, women with young children and women with infants. It is housed inside the former convent of Saint Catherine of Sienna in Via (more…)

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