Posts Tagged ‘Anna Magro’

  • Gone but not forgotten

    “St. George Preca used to say that the cemetery is the biggest book and I had the opportunity to confirm that,” revealed a Capuchin friar who served as a custodian of the Addolorata cemetery for some years. Living among the dead, day and night, helped him to learn much about humanity and its weaknesses.

    The origial residence and office of the cemetery's custodian - 1 (Photo - Fiona Vella)“The Capuchin friars were selected by the British authorities to administer this cemetery because they were loved by the locals. They had always been the ones who stood by the people during the worst moments and in situations which others avoided,” explained researcher Eman Bonnici.

    “The British authorities hoped to attract people to bury their dead at the Addolorata cemetery. One of the best architects, Emanuele Luigi Galizia, was chosen to design this magnificent cemetery which took seven years to construct at the expense of £33,000. However, a well thought strategy was also required since this necessitated a considerable culture change within Maltese society.”

    “Around 150 years ago, no one was buried in a cemetery except for those who died of contagious diseases or prisoners who were hanged. People buried their loved ones within the churches, chapels and crypts of their towns and villages to keep them close and within sacred grounds. Yet authorities considered this custom as a time bomb for some epidemic catastrophe. From time to time, outbursts of plague and cholera appeared on the islands, and it took days before the malady was identified. Case in points were the first plague victims of 1675 and 1813. Both were buried at Ta’ Ġieżu in Valletta, right at the capital city which was densely populated.”

    “Initially, the Addolorata cemetery was intended to serve as a burial site for Catholics who were from Cottonera, Floriana and Valletta. As an incentive to start a new chapter in burial custom, those who had a private grave in any of these areas, were offered the possibility to choose a space in this cemetery and their grave would be dug for free. They were also given the privilege to use the cemetery’s church for burial rites and prayers before their loved ones were laid to rest. A further benefit consisted of a daily mass which was celebrated in this church and dedicated to all those who were buried within the cemetery.”

    “Although a new law passed in 1863 prohibited further burials within churches, and the Addolorata cemetery was blessed and consecrated in 1869 to be ready for use, it was not that easy to convince the local population who had very strong beliefs related to death and burial customs. No one wanted to bury their dead in the new cemetery. Until one day, a poor woman from Naxxar who lived in Mosta, 64 year old Anna Magro, died at the general hospital, and since she had no relatives, she was the first one to be buried at this cemetery. Some time later, a number of people from Cospicua decided to accept the offer to have their own graves at the Addolorata, and from then, things moved on.”

    The custodian’s role of the Addolorata cemetery was quite challenging. He had the responsibility of all the administration of the cemetery which included the registration of burials, the issuing of burial permits, the applications for new graves, the research for the public about the deceased and their graves, the maintenance of the cemetery and its church, the management of the workers, the distribuition of salaries which was still given out in money, the celebration of daily mass, and the hearing of confessions and spiritual advice. 

    “Originally the friars who acted as custodians were expected to spend the night at the cemetery. I spent around five years living at the cemetery together with a brother who was responsible to cook for me and to take care of the cemetery’s church. Although the brother resided at the cemetery for the whole year, friars alternated every week,” explained the friar.

    “I was shocked when I was requested to become a cemetery custodian. I had studied philosophy and theology, and I had no idea whatsoever about the administration of a cemetery. However, my Provincial promised me that he would provide me with all the necessary assistance and so I accepted the role.”

    Monuments at the cemetery (Photo - Fiona Vella)“Ironically, this work was a blessing in disguise! I had never imagined that the very place connected to death would fill my life with such significant experiences. A cemetery gets you in contact with all the levels of society, from the poorest to the richest, from the average person to the most successful. You learn a lot about humanity’s weaknesses and strengths, about love and hate, about repentance and revenge, about the excruciating suffering of illnesses and death. Ultimately, when the time came, it was actually difficult to leave this role.”

    “Some of my experiences at the cemetery are simply unforgettable. Some of them fill me with distate, others chill me to the bone, while a number of them remind me of the unexplainable power of prayer, love, hope and belief. At times, the pain and suffering which I had to deal with became unbearable and I had to seek out the comfort of the convent. More than the freezing cold of the night which reigned within those historical rooms, it was the distressful questions which people confronted me with, day after day, which affected me most.”

    “Why is your God doing this to me?” asked a woman while carrying her sixth dead foetus for burial. “Her husband had brought the previous five and I had prayed with him and listened to his suffering. It was the first time that I was facing his wife and the news of yet another miscarriage was intensely sad and shocking. In moments like those, I asked God to guide me and he never failed to assist me. This is not the work of God but of nature, I told her. God would never do this to you! Give a name to each child and pray for each and to each one of them and you will find peace.”

    “Around five years passed from this incident. Then, one day, the brother informed me that a couple needed to speak to me. I went out to meet them and they reminded me of their story. ‘I did just like you advised’, the woman told me. ‘And now we have him,’ she said as she reached out to a pram with a beautiful little baby boy inside.”

    Stories poured out from the friar. He was still so emotional about them, as if they had just happenned the day before.

    “On a very cold and rainy day in February, a smart and well-dressed man came to knock at my door. He gave me a grave number and I informed him that it was located in the common graves’ area. The man asked me to accompany him with a car to see this grave and I drove him there.”

    “As soon as I pointed out the grave, the man jumped out of the car, fell to his knees on the ground and began to cry out for his mother’s forgiveness. ‘Forgive me mum! It was not my fault!’ he repeated over and over again while the heavy rain rammed on his back. I felt so distraught for him but eventually I managed to pull him back in the car and help him to calm down.”

    “He told me the story of how forty years before, his mother and his wife had a quarrel, and his wife threatened to leave him if he ever got in contact with his mother again. She even forbid him from going to his mother’s funeral, calling him twice at his office on that day to confirm that he had abided to her rules.  ‘We have four children and I did not want to mess up my family,’ he informed me, leaving me dumbfounded.”

    It was very compelling to witness such hate and thirst for revenge, even after death.

    “One day I was asked to give advice to a very affluent man who came to buy a plot to construct a chapel in the cemetery. He was insisting that only he and his wife, their children and their offsprings could be buried in this chapel, leaving out all his sons’ wives, explicitly named in a contract. I told him that this was very uncharitable on his part but he was resolute. I warned him that on knowing about this, his sons would curse him and his wife but he brushed this comment off, ensuring me that he was leaving them all well off.”

    “The old couple died and they were buried in the chapel. All went well until one of his sons was widowed. He came to us to make arrangements for his wife’s burial in the family chapel. As soon as he identified himself, I braced myself for trouble since it was clear that he knew nothing about his parents’ decision. He could not believe his ears when we informed him that he could not bury his wife in the chapel. He got so angry and swore so badly, cursing his parents over and over again, that we had to threaten him with the police. Matters worsened further when he realized that this condition affected also all his brothers. He called them all and they came to the cemetery in a frenzy, infuriated at this unexpected news.”

    “No matter how much they insisted with us to eliminate this condition, there was nothing we could do. The woman had to be buried in a new grave. All the other brothers bought a new grave too. Their parents’ richly adorned and expensive chapel now lies abandoned and in ruins.”

    Nowadays the cemetery is no longer administered by the Capuchin friars.

    (This article was published in the SENIOR TIMES – NOVEMBER issued with The Times of Malta on 15th November 2018)

    2018.11.15 / no responses / Category: Times of Malta


    Ara ġejja l-mewt għalik, biex tixwik, biex taqlik. Ara ġejja! Ara waslet! Din id-daqqa min tahielek?

    Din il-kantaliena konna ngħodduha b’logħba meta konna żgħar. L-inqas ħsieb fuq dak li konna qed ngħidu. Iżda hekk Eman Bonnicikif nikbru ftit u naraw u nifhmu xi tfisser il-mewt, din issir l-aktar oġġett mistkerraħ f’ħajjitna. Preferibilment lanqas naħsbu dwarha u wisq inqas insemmuha, daqs li kieku qatt mhi ser tasal.

    Daqshekk ieħor tista’ tgħid għad-dehra taċ-ċimiterji. Postijiet sinonimi mal-mewt, mat-tmiem, mal-firda. Uħud jaħilfu li ma jidħlux ġo ċimiterju, oħrajn lanqas biss iħarsu lejh ma jridu. Imma finalment in-nuqqas ta’ xi qarib tiegħek jew ta’ xi ħadd għal qalbek iwasslek biex tagħmel anki dak li ma tridx jew li qatt ma ħsibt li ser ikollok il-kuraġġ tagħmel.

    Dan l-aħħar dehru xi ritratti taċ-ċimiterju tal-Addolorata li qanqlu ħafna diskussjoni. Fl-istess ħin iżda tinduna illi ħafna min-nies ikunu jridu jaqtgħu fil-qasir dwar dan is-suġġett. Donnu kulħadd jipprova jmewwet il-mewt. Forsi bit-tama li jekk tħallieha bi kwietha, tinsik.

    “Il-mewt taħsibx fiha inti, ħalliha taħseb fik hi,” qalli l-ħabib tiegħi Eman. “Inti m’għandikx għalfejn taħseb fiha għax trid jew ma tridx hi ser taħseb fik żgur. M’għandikx dubju! Allura li toqgħod taħseb fil-mewt kollu ħela ta’ ħin.”

    Kliem minnu u għaqli imma jkexkxek fl-istess ħin l-aktar jekk tkun għaddej tippassiġġa f’xi ċimiterju. Mort għax stedinni hu.

    Bħal bosta minnkom, il-mewt tifxilni. Nippreferi ma naħsibx fuqha. Ma tagħmilx ħafna sens għalija. Insibha iebsa biex nifhem għala toħloq xi ħaġa u mbagħad magħha tassenjalha wkoll il-mewt. Għaldaqstant ċimiterju jqanqalni ferm. Dawk ir-ritratti ta’ bnedmin iħarsu lejja, jnikktuni. Kollha ħajjiet mitfija. Min ħabrek, min tgħażżen, min kien iffortunat, min le, min kien marradi, min b’saħħtu … finalment l-istess tmiem kien qed jistenniehom. Iva, nevita li nidħol f’ċimiterji jekk nista’. It-togħma tal-mewt fihom tinħass wisq.

    “Jiena nurik perspettiva differenti taċ-ċimiterju” qalli Eman. “Jien ma narax il-mewt fih. Anzi! Jiena nara t-trankwillità, is-silenzju, ix-xogħlijiet tal-arti, il-ħmieġ u l-abbandun.”

    Eman, żagħżugħ interessanti ferm. Għandu ħafna għal qalbu r-riċerka. Tieħu gost titkellem miegħu għax jinteressa ruħu fil-fond dwar diversi suġġetti. Iżda mbagħad għandu drawwa li għall-ewwel ixxukkjatni. Jehda jdur maċ-ċimiterji, l-aktar dak tal-Addolorata.

    Għala għandek drawwa daqshekk makabra u grotteska, staqsejtu?

    “Lili jinteressawni ħafna tipi ta’ affarijiet u dan wieħed minnhom. Ma naqbilx miegħek li din tiegħi hija drawwa grotteska. Darba staqsew din l-istess mistoqsija lill-artist u kittieb, illum mejjet, il-Kavallier Raphael Bonnici Cali’ li kien irrisponda illi għalih iċ-ċimiterji ma jirrapreżentawx dwejjaq. Anzi, iċ-ċimiterju tal-Addolorata b’mod partikolari, kien ixebbħu mal-isbaħ villa bl-aqwa xogħlijiet tal-arti. L-iskulturi li hemm maħduma fil-ġebla Maltija u fl-irħam huma biċċiet tal-arti mill-isbaħ u jistħoqqilhom ammirazzjoni.”

    Mit-tikmixa ta’ xufftejja, Eman intebaħ li ma tantx kien ikkonvinċini u għalhekk stedinni biex meta rrid immur dawra miegħu fiċ-ċimiterju tal-Addolorata ħalli jurini x’ried jgħid eżatt. “Mhux l-ewwel darba li nieħu lil xi nies li naf għal xi dawra maċ-ċimiterju. Naf l-oqbra b’għajnejja magħluqa. Uħud ġieli jistaqsuni nurihom il-qabar ta’ xi personaġġ magħruf u jiena neħodhom fil-post bil-qalb kollha.”

    Aċċettajt! Jiena sfida nikolha. Malli wasalna mill-ewwel intbaħt illi għal Eman dan il-post għandu tifsira differenti. Iġib ruħu daqs li kieku qiegħed fi kwalunkwe post ieħor komuni. Ma flaħtx ma nistaqsihx…

    Għaliex tiġi hawn? Xi tħoss meta tidħol hawnhekk? Meta tara dawn l-oqbra madwarek x’effett jagħmlulek?

    “Ma jagħmluli l-ebda effett,” weġibni. “Il-mewt ma timpressjonanix. Jiena cold-blooded bħall-vampiri…”

    M’hawnx għalina! Bdejna bit-tajjeb. Bi kliemu aktar tregħixt. Hu nduna u daħak, “Jiena ġebel biss nara. Ġebel, xogħlijiet ta’ arti u stejjer ta’ nies. Niġi hawn b’rispett. Għall-bidu, meta kont żgħir, kont niġi hawn biss għal xi funeral. Id-drawwa li nżuru aktar sikwit bdiet meta mietet iz-zija ta’ nannti. Kienet sorju missjunarja li għexet ħajja ta’ tbatija kbira imma fl-istess ħin kellha ħajja interessanti immens. Għamlet ħamsin sena tgħix fil-Ġappun u l-Korea. Kienet Hiroshima waqt il-gwerra u ħarġilha ħafna mard minħabba r-raġġi li għaddiet minnhom. Kienet il-Korea fi żmien l-invażjoni tal-Korea ta’ Fuq. Kienet tidħol ġo rħula u ma ssib xejn. Kullimkien maħruq u mbagħad tilmaħ munzell ta’ tfal għarwenin, kollha maħruqa fuq xulxin. Rat ħafna ma’ wiċċha u batiet iżda mbagħad mietet fl-irqad hawn Malta u wara li dfinniha bqajt inżur qabarha u mbagħad inżur tal-oħrajn.”

    Taf kif beda hawnhekk?

    “Iċ-ċimiterju tal-Addolorata ġie mibni fuq l-għolja magħrufa bħala tal-Ħorr għall-ħabta tal-1862. L-arkitett tiegħu kien il-Kavallier Emanuele Luigi Galizia. Ix-xogħol dam sejjer sebgħa snin sħaħ taħt id-direzzjoni tal-Perit tal-Gvern Mikiel Busuttil. Ġie mbierek u kkonsagrat fl-1869 iżda għall-ewwel ħadd ma ried jidfen fih.

    F’dawk iż-żminijiet kienet għadha teżisti d-drawwa li n-nies jidfnu lill-egħżież tagħhom fil-knejjes jew min kien ikollu, fiċ-ċimiterju tal-belt jew raħal tiegħu. Iżda ġara illi fl-1863 il-gvern ippubblika liġi li kienet tipprojbixxi d-dfin fil-knejjes tal-ibliet. Fis-sena ta’ wara din il-liġi ġiet estiża wkoll għal kwalunkwe lok fil-limiti tal-Belt Valletta, il-Furjana, il-Birgu, l-Isla u Bormla. Fl-istess sena il-Vigarju Ġenerali Mons. Carmelo Scicluna ntbagħat mill-Isqof Pace Forno biex ibierek iċ-ċimiterju. Madanakollu l-fehma tan-nies mhux la kemm iddawwarha.

    Hawn Malta minn dejjem kien jeżisti kult qawwi tal-mewt u r-reliġjon tagħna jkompli jsaħħu. Jitlob rispett lejn il-mejjet; li nagħmlulu quddiesa, li nidfnuh u li nitolbu għalih. Iċ-ċimiterju u l-ġisem tal-mejjet huma meqjusa bħala sagri. Affarijiet tal-mejjet nikkonsidrawhom bħala relikwa. Nilbsu l-vistu u nibnu l-isbaħ monumenti fiċ-ċimiterji tagħna. Kienet diffiċli biex tikkonvinċi n-nies tibdel drawwietha. Hekk jew hekk l-Addolorata kienet imbiegħda wisq minn bosta postijiet u żjara lill-qraba kienet ser tkun diffikultuża.

    Iżda ġara illi fit-22 ta’ Jannar 1872, mietet Anna Magro, armla u tallaba mwielda n-Naxxar u li kienet toqgħod il-Mosta. L-anzjana ta’ 64 sena mietet fl-isptar ġenerali ta’ Malta u peress li ma kellha lil ħadd, hi ndifnet fiċ-ċimiterju tal-Addolorata. Kienet l-ewwel waħda li ndifnet hemm.

    Xi ftit taż-żmien wara, il-Bormliżi ftehmu biex jibdew jidfnu l-mejtin tagħhom f’dan il-post u hekk sar. Fil-fatt fuq in-naħa t’isfel taċ-ċimiterju, issib għadd ta’ oqbra tal-Bormliżi. Huwa nteressanti li wieħed isemmi ġrajja li donnha li llum intesiet…. F’dawk iż-żminijiet, bħala gratitudni għall-ko-operazzjoni tal-Bormliżi f’dan il-proġett, skont il-Kanonku u riċerkatur, Dun Giuseppe Bonello, meta n-nies ta’ Bormla aċċettaw li jkunu l-ewwel nies li jidfnu n-nies tagħhom hawnhekk, inħarġilhom digriet li għadu japplika sal-lum li kien jgħid illi l-Bormliżi għandhom il-privileġġ illi jdaħħlu lill-mejjet tagħhom fil-Kappella tad-Duluri li hawn fiċ-ċimiterju sabiex jgħidu l-aħħar talb qabel id-dfin. Iżda illum naħseb illi dan id-digriet intesa għax għaddew bosta snin u qatt aktar ma użah, sa fejn naf jien.

    Bil-mod il-mod imbagħad id-drawwa li jidfnu f’dan il-post bdiet tindara.”

    Ftit ftit bdejna deħlin il-ġewwa…

    “Ara. Dawn huma oqbra tas-suldati li  kienu fil-commonwealth u li mietu hawn Malta waqt il-gwerra. Innota kif kull wieħed minnhom għandu qabar għalih waħdu. Ħela meta llum rari jiġi jżurhom xi ħadd u meta hawn talba tant kbira għall-oqbra.”

    “Trid nurik aktar ħela?” staqsini. Matul triqitna ġibidli l-attenzjoni lejn diversi oqbra illi kien jidher biċ-ċar li ħadd m’għadu jieħu ħsiebhom. L-aħħar dfin li sar fihom kien snin twal ilu u jidher li qatt ma ntmessu minn dak iż-żmien ‘l hawn. Min-naħa l-oħra kien hemm ċertu oqbra li għalkemm kienu jidhru li ilhom hemm, il-ġebla tagħhom ma kinetx mimsusa, qishom qatt ma ntużaw. F’postijiet oħra, kien hemm irqajja vojta kollha ħaxix u fjuri. Lanqas xorok biss ma kien hemm. Eman qalli li jista’ jkun li dawn kienu xi partijiet li ntlaqtu bil-gwerra.

    “Dan l-aħħar il-gvern kien qed isemmi li ser jagħti oqbra ġodda. Imma jaħasra dak kollu ħela. Jekk ser nibqgħu nibnu fih, dan iċ-ċimiterju ser jasal sa Santa Luċija. Jien għandi suġġeriment ieħor – nużaw dawk l-oqbra li llum jinsabu abbandunati.

    Kieku jien nagħmel Family Plan ta’ kull qabar li hawn fiċ-ċimiterju. Ħaddiema hawn kemm trid li jistgħu jgħinu f’dan il-proġett. Kull min għandu qabar hawn, jintalab jikkonferma li l-qabar hu tiegħu sa ċertu data partikolari. L-oqbra l-oħra, dawk li huma abbandunati, għax il-linja ta’ dik il-familja mietet kollha, għandhom jiġu mibjugħa bi prezz speċjali lil dawk li għandhom bżonn qabar għall-familja tagħhom. Ma’ dan il-kuntratt ta’ bejgħ, nagħmel ukoll numru ta’ kundizzjonijiet fosthom illi dan il-qabar jibqa’ jappartjeni wkoll lis-sidien oriġinali. Il-fdalijiet tagħhom għandhom jitpoġġew fil-qiegħ tal-istess qabar u jiġu ssiġillati b’sodda tal-konsos biex la jitħalltu u wisq anqas jintmessu. Is-sid il-ġdid ikun ukoll marbut li jieħu ħsieb l-irħam jew il-monument li jsib fuq dan il-qabar. Kulħadd jaf x’jiġri inkella – l-ewwel naċċettaw il-kundizzjonijiet u mbagħad l-affarijiet tas-sidien ta’ qabel jisparixxu. Bi pjan bħal dan, kieku jintlaqtu żewġ għasafar b’ġebla waħda. L-ewwel nett ma jkollnix għalfejn inkabbru ċimiterju li diġà huwa kbir ħafna. It-tieni, dawn l-oqbra ma jibqgħux abbandunati u tingħata aktar dinjità lill-mejtin tagħhom.”

    Il-kundizzjoni taċ-ċimiterju tal-Addolorata tbikkik. Mogħdijiet mfarrka u maqlugħa, bosta minnhom minħabba l-Siġra mwaqqgħafriegħi kbar tas-siġar li jdawwru l-inħawi. Ħaxix ħażin ħiereġ minn kullimkien. Oqbra u kappelli mifqugħa. Saħansitra f’post minnhom sibna siġra mwaqqgħa fuq numru ta’ oqbra li apparti li kienet tkerrah u qed tagħmel il-ħsara, kienet f’nofs il-passaġġ li trid tgħaddi minnu. Funtana b’arkitettura mill-isbaħ kienet mimlija bl-ilma qiegħed. Il-ħmieġ u t-telqa evidenti kull fejn tmur. Abbandun totali.

    “Ara dawk in-nies x’jaqalgħu l-ħaxix ħażin minn fuq il-qabar ta’ qrabathom,” qalli Eman. “Mhux għarukaża din? Mhux tal-mistħija? Anzi ejja ħa tara dan,” qalli filwaqt li ħadni ħdejn taraġ mikul waħda u sew. “Spjegali naqra kif ser jgħaddu b’tebut minn fuq dan. Ara veru ma nafx kif ma ndaħħkux waqt id-dfin aħna! Dawn mhux kundizzjonijiet xierqa kemm għal min jaħdem hawn u wisq anqas għall-qraba tal-mejta li biżżejjed ikunu mnikkta.”

    Ħasra! Għax dan iċ-ċimiterju huwa magħruf bħala wieħed mill-isbaħ fid-dinja proprju minħabba t-tqassim meqjus tiegħu u anki għax-xogħlijiet artistiċi li fih. Eman dawwarni maċ-ċimiterju daqs li kieku kien f’daru. Bqajt skantata b’ċertu monumenti li rajt. Ftit ftit bdejt nara b’għajnejh u għal xi mumenti irnexxieli ninsa li qegħdha f’post il-mejtin u jkolli nammetti li bdejt nieħu gost indur hemm ġew.

    L-aktar monument li laqgħatni għandu storja ħelwa ħafna miegħu u jmur lura għall-1904…

    “Dan qabar ta’ negozjant Taljan u ġie maħdum f’funderija f’Ruma,” spjegali Eman. “Kien jismu Attilio Micari u kellu Monument omm u ibenommu anzjana ħafna tgħix Malta. Darba minnhom ġie lura għall-għarrieda u ommu Giovanna tant ferħet bih li mietet f’idejh. L-iben tant ħassha l-mewt tagħha li bnielha dan il-qabar imponenti b’rispett lejha. Innota l-ġmiel tad-dettalji mirquma: is-siġġu, l-imħadda, il-ħwejjeġ, il-fattizzi. Hu miet fl-1915 u ndifen hawn magħha. Iżda dan il-qabar jixhed ukoll storja oħra. Ara d-daqqiet li fih. Dawk toqob kkawżati mix-xrapnel għax daċ-ċimiterju ġieli ntlaqat waqt il-gwerra. Sfortunatament illum huwa abbandunat għal kollox.”

    Impressjonanti u mill-isbaħ. Inti u tħares lejhom, omm u iben mgħannqin f’tgħanniqa eterna, jagħtuk l-impressjoni li imħabbithom saħansitra rebħet fuq il-mewt u ma tantx trid wisq biex timmaġinahom ħajjin hemm quddiemek.

    F’mumenti hekk tapprezza s-serenità u l-ħemda tal-post. Jirnexxielek tibda tinnota is-sema kaħlana, il-fjuri u s-siġar u l-agħsafar jgħannu fil-friegħi tagħhom.

    “Dan il-post huwa sagru u jixraqlu r-rispett u l-kura. Hija għarukaża kif tiġi hawn u ssib dan l-abbandun kollu. Ilni niġi hawn is-snin u ftit li xejn nara xi tibdil. Il-post minsi għal kollox. Dawn il-monumenti li urejtek huma xogħlijiet imprezzabbli. Uħud minnhom qed jittieklu minħabba l-elementi u ż-żmien li għadda minn fuqhom. Jekk ser jibqgħu jitħallew għal rieħhom, il-ħsara li ser issirilhom ser tkun irreparabbli. Għaliex f’dan il-pajjiż ma nafu napprezzaw xejn? Mhux talli, niftaħru b’li ser isir ġdid u nitilqu dak li diġà hawn. Ħela, nuqqas ta’ ppjanar u mmaniġġjar ħażin tal-ħaddiema. Messu hawnhekk jintefgħu erbgħa min-nies li xogħolhom ikun il-manteniment tal-post. Biex ma nsemmux ir-restawraturi li huma meħtieġa.”

    Domna ħafna nduru madwar dan iċ-ċimiterju li donnu m’għandu l-ebda tarf. Aktar ma beda jgħaddi l-ħin, aktar bdejt inħossni qed nifhem x’jiġbed lil dan iż-żagħżugħ lejn dan il-post. Mhux il-mewt imma l-preżenza tal-arti u tal-arkitettura li jżommu ħajja l-memorja ta’ min ikun ħadimhom u ta’ dawk li l-arti tkun qed tirrapreżenta. U fuq kollox l-istorja tan-nies li jinsabu hemm.

    “Jiena nammira ħafna l-bniedem li ħadem fis-silenzju u b’sagrifiċċju imma imbagħad illum huwa minsi. Għalhekk nieħu pjaċir nintroduċi dan il-post lil nies oħra… biex nibqa’ nfakkarhom. Qed tifhem għala niġi hawn issa?” qalli Eman bi tbissima hekk kif bdejna ħerġin mill-kanċell il-barra. “Dik kienet biss togħma żgħira tal-post. Meta trid, nerġgħu niġu u nurik aktar.”

    Din id-darba ma nħsadtx. It-togħma tal-mewt għal dan il-post kienet marret. Tiskanta kemm il-perspettiva ta’ bniedem ieħor kapaċi tiftaħlek bibien li forsi inti b’forza tkun qed iżżomm magħluqa.

    Forsi anki min suppost qed jieħu ħsieb dan il-lok qed jagħmel l-istess. Forsi hu ż-żmien li anki hu jiftaħ għajnejh…

    (Dan l-artiklu ġie ppubblikat fit-Torċa tal-24 ta’ Mejju 2009 u ġie wkoll magħżul minn Din l-Art Ħelwa biex jiġi ppremjat bil-ġieħ ta’ Prix D’Honneur fil-kompetizzjoni ta’ kitba dwar il-wirt kulturali mibni fl-2009)

    2009.05.24 / no responses / Category: Torca - Perspettivi