The Princes' Islands are the tourist destination for those who want to leave behind the frenzy of the immense metropolis on the Bosporus. These islands have been for millennia a laboratory of cultural contamination, as testified by recipes, smells, tastes, and words.
The portrait and the hawk
The meeting with Vartuhi and with the fate that divided her from her sister in 1946. She lives in Musa Dagh, in Armenia, where a huge hawk reminds travellers of the Armenian fighters who in 1915 opposed the Ottoman troops. The fifth episode of the story “From the Caucasus to Beirut”.
On board the Pobeda
Vartuhi left Beirut in 1946, to reach Soviet Armenia aboard a ship called "Pobeda". In Stalin's land, however, the survivors of the genocide saw the dream of a homeland turn into a nightmare. Travelling to the Caucasus on the paths of migrations. Fourth episode of the story "From the Caucasus to Beirut".
Nostalgia before memories
Professor Adakessian’s slow pacing up and down the halls of the Armenian University of Haigazian, Rafi and his shoe factory in centre city Beirut, the present that shows up again in the old pictures of the Pobeda, the Russian ship that carried thousands of Armenians from the Lebanon to Soviet Armenia. The third episode of the story “From the Caucasus to Beirut”.
Sarop’s armed struggle
Arafat’s bodyguard, then on the front line in the Armenian armed struggle and for 10 years a prisoner in a Syrian jail. “When I came out, everything had changed. The USSR no longer existed”. The meeting with Sarop, in Beirut’s Armenian quarter. The second episode of the report “From the Caucasus to Beirut”
When roads do not end in Rome
14th and last post. They say all roads lead to Rome. Even that of Mussa Khan and the thousands of Afghanmuhajirins for whom Italy is just a stop in the restless and tormented search for a better life. Among the building sites along the Ostiense Station stops the story of a journey that has no end
A tale of rivers and borders
8th post. Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece. Three separate nations united by the Evros-Meriç-Maritsa, today the last door for the muhajirins attempting to land in Europe. Maybe Mussa Khan has already passed here, but more and more of his traveling companions are losing their lives in the dark meanders of the river
Mussa Khan. Downtown
7th Post. Istanbul: connection between two continents, Asia and Europe. Where refugees like Mussa Khan are obliged to pass, especially now that the routes of the muhajirins have shifted towards North. Here, their destiny crosses with the contradictions hovering between economic development and denied rights
Mussa Khan. Dead end
6th post. The Silk Road of the Third Millennium carries human flesh. Its terminal on Turkish soil is Izmir: here, muhajirins arrive. Muhajirins, like Mussa Khan, who try the Aegean route to end up, too often, at the bottom of the sea. To look for him, I need to enter Basmane, Europe’s last door.
A meeting with the devil
4th post. The kaçakç?lar , human traffickers, have neither business cards nor sales offices. They mingle with the people in the alleys, in the cafés, in the square in front of the mosque. Shifty, invisible, always on the migrants’ route, they could be the only way to find Mussa Khan’s tracks again
Mussa Khan: The Jirga of Gaziantep
5th post. The distance, journey and precariousness are notenough to deprive the Afghan refugees of their roots. The “Jirga” meets also in Gaziantep. The assembly of elders sits to face the painful topic of exile, but also day-to-day problems of those who hover between a bitter present and an uncertain future
On the trails of Mussa Khan
1st post. Months, years, constantly moving. Rejected, invisible, on the margins. This is the destiny of the Afghan muhajirins , on a tenacious search for the dream called “Europe”. With the episodes of the “Mussa Khan” blog, we are going to tell their odyssey through Turkey, Greece and Italy, until the Ostiense Station in Rome
On the trails of Mussa Khan. From Afghanistan to Rome Ostiense
Mussa Khan. The other side of the acropolis
Athens. The place where democracy was born hides a dark and painful side: it is the streets and squares where the muhajirins live illegally, waiting for a future that never comes. A black hole that swallows lives and destinies, where Mussa Khan seems to have gotten lost
Mussa Khan. Greece, poor Greece
Victims of conflicts that do not concern them, like the hoary one between Greece and Turkey, which has left a mortal trail of mines along the border of the Evros. Even when they get to the long desired Hellenic land, however, the muhajirins find a country in the midst of an economic crisis, less and less willing to offer them protection and grant them asylum
Cyprus: Small Mediterranean Library
In literary matters, Cyprus acts to a large extent as a satellite to the larger Greek or Turkish space. Although it has a fairly vigorous poetry tradition to contribute, it largely depends on the mainland when it comes to novels and prose. Visitors looking to discover the island's cultural face might have to look elsewhere, such as in art and history books.
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