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Simon Salafia received his education at the Rabat Primary Government School and at St. Aloysius’ College. He continued his studies at the University of Malta where he graduated in Electrical Engineering. Due to his interest in the Spanish Language, he studied this language and reached its highest level of proficiency, recognised internationally, that is, the Proficiency Level of the Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language (University of Salamanca). He taught Spanish in Spanish-Maltese Cultural Centre, Government Schools, ITS and as a part-time lecturer at the University of Malta.
His main interests and hobbies are travelling, trekking and Maltese History and Culture, with a special reference to the Medieval Period. He is also a licensed Guide and a professional interpreter (in Spanish, English and Maltese, with Italian as a passive language) with an experience of more than 200 conference-days. The most prestigious event as an interpreter was the 5+5 Summit held in Malta in 2012, always working in the Spanish Booth.
Prof. George Gregory Buttigieg
Prof. George Gregory Buttigieg, teaches Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Malta and Plovdiv Medical University in Bulgaria. He also lectures Medico-Legal Studies at the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Rome, Tor Vergata. He has also served on the Medical Council of Malta(16.01.01 – 20.11.03), represented Malta at the Union Professionnelle International des Gynécologues et Obstétriciens (1994 -1997) as well as the European College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology(1996-2002). He was also International Secretary of the Commission for the Exchange of Resident Doctors(1998 – 2001) and represented Malta on the Representative Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2009-2012).
Buttigieg is also a member of the Diplomatic Corps and is Malta’s Ambassador to the Government of the Order of Malta. He is a Knight of Malta, has been decorated with the Commander’s Cross and has been honoured with two Grand Crosses.
Buttigieg has published medically widely in various chapters, books and scientific journals, his latest work being the two volume opus Optimising Maltese Obstetric Medico-Legal Dynamics. He has also authored many works on Hospitaller history and enjoys writing historical fiction. In 2006 he was awarded the National prize for his book Of Craft and Honour and a Templar’s Chronicles. In his younger days, Buttigieg authored many radio-plays and radio-serials, winning many Rediffusion awards.
Although still clinically active, Prof Buttigieg’s work is becoming ever increasingly academic, split between research, lecturing and publishing.
Prof. Joe Friggieri (born 1946) is Professor of Philosophy and a member of the Senate at the University of Malta, poet, playwright and theatre director.
Friggieri was the first professor of philosophy on the University of Malta faculty not to be a Catholic priest and succeeded Peter Serracino Inglott in 1996 upon the latter’s retirement. He holds doctorates from the University of Milan (Cattolica) and The University of Oxford. Friggieri has been guest research scholar and lecturer at the Universities of Venice, Amsterdam, St Andrews, Augsburg and Genova.
Friggieri’s publications include three volumes of poetry, three collections of short stories, a number of plays, as well as two volumes entitled In-Nisga tal-Ħsieb, the first history of philosophy publications in Maltese. He has won several literary awards, including the National Literary Prize three times (1993, 1999 and 2003). One of his most popular works is L-Istejjer tar-Ronnie, published in 1994 by Klabb Kotba Maltin, which caricatures father of four ir-Ronnie, a Maltese middle-aged mechanic, in a series of short stories. The original publication was so popular that it was eventually turned into a teleserial.
In 2004 Friggieri unsuccessfully contested Malta’s first elections for the European Parliament on behalf of the governing Nationalist Party, garnering a total of 5457 votes on first count.
Clare Azzopardi (1977) is an award-winning writer who writes for both children and adults. She is the Head of Department of Maltese at the University of Malta Junior College and for the past several years has been an active member of Inizjamed, an NGO whose mission is to promote literature in Malta and abroad. With Inizjamed, she has co-organised literary festivals and workshops, often in collaboration with Literature Across Frontiers (LAF). Her work has been translated into several languages and has appeared in a number of collections including Transcript, In Focus, Cúirt 21, Skald, Words without Borders and Novel of the World.
Her play L-Interdett Taħt is-Sodda was published in French (Éditions Théâtrales, 2008) and in Arabic (I-ACT, 2009). Azzopardi has also published 2 books of short stories for adults, both of which won the National Book Prize for Literature – Il-Linja l-Ħadra (The Green Line) and Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh (The names they left behind). Her latest collection was published in Croatian (VBZ) and Hungarian (Noran Libro Kiado). Many of her stories where published in literary magazines such as Words Without Borders and Asymptote. Clare Azzopardi took part in several festivals and in 2016 she was chosen as one of Europe’s New Voices.
Trevor Żahra (born 16 December 1947) is a Maltese novelist, poet and illustrator. He has published over 120 books in the Maltese language since 1971, and he is the best-selling Maltese author in history.
Żahra was born on 16 December 1947 in Żejtun. He worked as a schoolteacher for over three decades, teaching art and the Maltese language in government schools. He was married to Stella née Agius from 1971 until her death in 1989, and together they had two children called Ruben and Marija.
In 1971 Żahra published his first novel, a children’s adventure book entitled Il-Pulena tad-Deheb (Maltese for “The Golden Figurehead”). Since then he has published over 120 books written in Maltese. He has written both children’s and adult novels, as well as short stories, poetry, workbooks and translations. He is the best-selling Maltese author in history.
Żahra illustrates his children’s books with his own drawings. He also designed a set of two EUROPA postage stamps for MaltaPost in 2001.
Żahra has won multiple literary awards throughout his career, including Malta’s national literary prize for a record 15 times. Books which have won prizes include Taħt il-Weraq tal-Palm, Is-Seba’ Tronġiet Mewwija, Ħolm tal-Milied, Lubien, Taħt Sema Kwiekeb, Provenz and X’Tixtiequ Jagħmel il-Fenek? He was also awarded the Midalja għall-Qadi tar-Repubblika on 13 December 2004.
Judge (Emeritus) Silvio Meli obtained his doctorate in laws from the University of Malta. Earlier he read economics, sociology, philosophy and history of Mediterranean civilization, obtaining his B.A. (General) (Part I) with distinction. He furthered his studies at the Faculty of Theology, Malta, obtaining his Diploma in Theology. At the Ecclesiastical Trubunal of Malta, he read Canonical Marriage Jurispudence and Procedure. he specialized at post-graduate level in Jurispudence and Human Rights at a post-graduate course organized by the University of Luton in Strasbourg, France. He also obtained his post-graduate Diploma in European Community Competition Law and his post-graduate Diploma in European Community Law both from King’s College, University of London.
He started his professional career in private practice and subsequently served as Senior Counsel for the republic. He was appointed Magistrate, Senior Magistrate and finally Judge of the Superior Courts of Malta.
He presently lectures in Philosophy of Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Malta as Teaching Associate and has authored many artivles on various legal, philosophical, theological and historical topics published both locally and abroad, together with a book entitled Judgements of the Malta Commission of Fair Trading.
Giovanni Bonello was Judge of the European Court of Human Rights from 1 November 1998 until 31 October 2004. As the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected the names proposed by the Maltese Government, Bonello’s term was extended, in terms of article 23 para. 1 3 CON of the European Convention on Human Rights, until 19 September 2010. In 1990, he was nominated Chief Justice and President of the Constitutional Court but declined the appointment.
Bonello has been considered a “liberal” judge. He has been the first judge whose separate opinions were published during his tenure, later also the separate opinions of the Portuguese judge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque were also published in Italy. Judge (later Court President) Nicolas Bratza and leading authority on Human Rights Law Michael O’Boyle published them with Wolf Legal Publishers of the Netherlands. His separate opinions were also collected in the book When Judges Dissent, published in 2008.
Upon his retirement from the European Court of Human Rights, Court president Jean-Paul Costa said “Vanni” brought “robust independence of spirit and unflagging commitment to the protection of human rights”. He displayed such qualities time and again in numerous separate opinions given in his unique and memorable style, which was “elegant as it is forceful”, using “vocabulary as rich as it is rare”. In fact, his opinions led Judge Bonello to attain “near-legendary” status among all those who followed Strasbourg case law, he said. President Costa said Judge Bonello was a true gentlemen who gained the respect and affection of all those who worked with him, whether they agreed with him or not. He was a marvellous ambassador for his profession and his country. “Along with his professional achievements, Vanni is a man of broad and deep culture, a connoisseur of great art and a distinguished historian. Now that he can finally take his leave of the Court, he can and will dedicate himself more fully to these intellectual and aesthetic pursuits.” The president recounted an anecdote about the man he befriended during his long term at the Court. He said he had tried making a modest personal contribution to Judge Bonello’s historical studies about the French occupation of Malta during the Napoleonic era, however, he soon realised his assistance was almost useless because Judge Bonello knew virtually everything there was to know on the subject.
Born in Saint Petersburg, brought up in Vienna, and now living on the Mediterranean island of Malta, Daria’s love of travel is only matched by her fondness for capturing the invisible, in nature and in others. Storytelling and intriguing context are what make her pictures; her static images are living paragraphs of a story which has been only partly told. Formally trained at an art school and well-versed in graphic and web design, she has worked as an art director of several companies before starting her own business. She had several exhibitions in Europe and was featured in a number of magazines. Her works are in private collections all over the world.
Ronald Bugeja twieled Tal-Pietà fl-1978 u joqgħod ix-Xewkija, Għawdex. Spiċċa l-edukazzjoni tiegħu fl-iskola tas-snajja’ Abram Gatt, Bighi ġewwa l-Kalkara, fejn ikkwalifika fis-sengħa tal- elettriku. Illum jaħdem bħala uffiċjal pubbliku.
Ronald Bugeja huwa PRO fl-Assoċjazzjoni Glarac Malta, li fiha wkoll jirrappreżenta lil bużnannuh Giuseppe Francica kif ukoll l-erba’ midalji li ngħataw fis-servizz tiegħu. Huwa wkoll membru f’Research Team Program ġewwa Nüremberg fil-Ġermanija, li jagħmlu studju fuq il-bijografija u l-istorja tal-Führer Adolf Hitler kif ukoll l-istorja tal-Ġermanja fit-Tieni Gwerra Dinjija.
Il-kitba u l-lingwa Maltija minn dejjem kienu l-ispirazzjoni tiegħu. Fil-fatt, huwa beda jaħdem fid-drama fl-1999 u ħadem f’diversi proġetti ma’ kumpaniji lokali fuq produzzjonijiet televiżivi. Sal-lum baqa’ għaddej bil-ħidma tiegħu f’dan is-settur. Ronald Bugeja huwa direttur tal-entità Starline Creations Media, li ttella’ attivitajiet u xogħlijiet fuq il-palk kif ukoll attivitajiet għal ġbir ta’ fondi, fosthom għall-ALS Malta kif ukoll Puttinu Cares. Hu ħa sehem f’diversi xogħlijiet kemm fuq drama televiżiva kif ukoll fuq il-palk. Kiteb diversi xogħlijiet, fosthom il-kummiedja Miftuħ dan Miftuħ il-Bieb, il-kummiedja Ara ma Tidħolx!, il- kummiedja Il-Principessa Jasmine u l-Lampa Maġika, id-dramm tal-passjoni Fidi, il-musical Heaven and Hell u l-musical It-Tieġ ta’ Dr Stroker. Ronald Bugeja kiteb ukoll żewġ kotba – Mill-Glorious sal-Vitorja, u kiteb u pproduċa fuq it-televiżjoni d-drama Id-Djarju L-Iswed, ibbażata fuq storja vera, li wara ġie ppubblikat fi ktieb ukoll. Kien involut ukoll fid-drama taż- żfin Redlands u proġetti kbar televiżivi fosthom il-film li ħareġ fiċ-ċinema Dejjem, li huwa kien parti mit-tim ta’ script writers, kif ukoll kiteb screen writing tal-istess film, li anke rebaħ xi unuri fl-Awstralja. Hu ħadem ukoll f’ħafna produzzjonijiet differenti anke minn wara l- kwinti.
Huwa ta s-sehem tiegħu wkoll kemm bħala riċerkatur kif ukoll fuq kitba fil-programm Storjografija, li fih ippreżenta r-riċerka tiegħu fuq il-bastiment HMS Glorious kif ukoll fuq l- assedju l-kbir ta’ Għawdex tal-1551. Kiteb ukoll fuq diversi rivisti lokali u għal xi għaqdiet tal- festi. Illum Ronald Bugeja jikteb fil-ġurnal Kullħadd, fejn l-artikli tiegħu jidhru wkoll kull ħmistax fuq il-ġurnal It-Torċa, fir-rokna tal-istorja Taħt il-Lenti.
Ix-xewqa tal-awtur hija li jibqa’ jikteb il-kotba bil-lingwa Maltija kif ukoll drammi televiżivi. L- għan u x-xewqa tiegħu huma li jibqa’ mfakkar minn bosta għal ġenerazzjonjiet sħaħ fejn tidħol il-kitba kif ukoll riċerka fuq l-istorja. Permezz ta’ iktar proġetti ippjanati fil-futur qarib kif ukoll opportunitajiet li jaħdem ma’ iktar nies fl-istess qasam, kemm dawk lokali kif ukoll internazzjonali, din il-bijografija se tagħlaq bi kwotazzjoni li kiteb hu stess b’dedika lill-kitba:
“Il-kitba hija taħlita ta’ fantażija u kreazzjoni li jiġu mill-qalb u l-moħħ, li joħduk go univers li ma jintemm qatt.”
Ronald Bugeja 2012.
George E. Kissaun
George E. Kissaun was born in Sliema at the advent of World War II, on 24 June 1938. His whole family had to leave their residence in Sliema, when it became clear that Germany was going to pound Malta until it surrenders in 1941-42. The family took refuge in Attard and later transferred to Fleur-de-Lys in Birkirkara, before returning to Sliema at the beginning of 1945. He was educated at the Montessori Junior School and St Anthony’s private school in Sliema. At the age of eleven years, he sat and was successful in the Lyceum entrance examination and started his adult education at the Lyceum in Ħamrun. He transferred to Valletta in 1953 for his final three years up to Sixth Form or “Sesta”, as it was popularly known.
His first job was as a Clerk at the General Retailers and Traders Union and then successfully started his short Government career, also as a Clerk. His Army career started after his mother refused his successful application to join the Royal Air Force for a commission in Her Majesty’s Services. George was commissioned in the British Army in 1962, an ambition that satisfied his mother’s traditions. In 1970, he was selected to join the Palace staff as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor General Sir Maurice Dorman and promoted to Captain in 1971. After his service at the Palace came to an abrupt end, he went on to pursue a highly successful career in aviation. His mentor was Rigas Doganis, a Professor at Cranwell University, well known for its aviation specialisation. George participated in very important conferences and spoke on General Aviation in Austria as it celebrated 25 years of flying since the first flights were permitted after the war. In 1984, he was appointed to the Administrative Board at the National Tourism Organisation Malta (NTOM), and also a member of the Air Terminal Committee. He was appointed Head of Administration and deputy Chief Executive at NTOM, and later head of the first Environment Department. George’s expertise saw him involved directly with the extension of the old Air Terminal and a member of the Committee that built the new Air Terminal. He served as Executive Secretary of the Airport Users Committee, and from 2005 to 2013 as Chairman of the Airport Council. His skills in financial and organisational matters saw him part of a team that built the dual carriageways and the University Complex Pool.
The final years in Government were mainly spent pursuing Systems Auditing, and he became Senior Internal Auditor until his retirement. Once he left the Public Service, he immediately tried his skill at Local Councils from which he retired in 2009. In 1998, he was invited to join the Single European Sky I team at Euro Control in Brussels, and carried on in the main team until Countries eventually signed the SES. George has been a non-paid Chairman of the International Air Rally of Malta for 50 years, an aviation event very close to his heart, and lived to see the General Aviation scene in all its branches flourish and move forward to the state it is today.