‘In-nies ta’ maċ-ċint’ by Immanuel Mifsud

This story is an accurate reminder that some people get away with all forms of evil by couching their hatred in a language only spoken by 522,000 individuals in the world. Through the eyes of a schoolgirl, Mifsud lets the reader in on the attitudes of her parents, her friends, her sister, her teacher towards ‘the people over by the wall’ (‘in-nies ta’ maċ-ċint’). These are the migrant communities that inhabit the areas in and around the Marsa Open Centre. The story does a harrowing job of paraphrasing the kind of racist abuse that largely goes unchallenged in Malta. But the dominant voice of the majority – savage, uncouth, aggressive – does not inhibit the protagonist’s dawning realisation that she, too, has a voice, and that this voice might be used to say something different. A redemptive, powerful story that holds up a mirror to our collective shame and challenges us to take transformative action. 

From L’Aqwa Żmien, Klabb Kotba Maltin, 2019