I am Italian born and bred, as many of you may know. I have started this blog 4 years ago, in 2014, and since then, everything I have written, both here and on Twitter, have been written in English (with a lot of mistakes, no doubt).
I started this blog in English for a couple of reasons. First of all, because I wanted to reach as many people as possible, and English was by far a better choice than Italian: we all agree on that. Secondly, the subject of the blog is in no way language-specific, and for this reason, English was not a bad choice, once again. The third reason is that the majority of sources and books on Islamic art are published in English: new publications and resources are in English, and it’s easier reviewing an English book in English than in Italian. Fourth, I am far more used to discussing Islamic art in English than in Italian. And last but not the least, it has been a great way to practice my English. 🙂
Still, in the last few months, and particularly in this month that I have passed without posting anything new on SquareKufic, I have frequently thought about having an Italian section of the blog. Again, for multiple reasons. I cannot see any Italian blog entirely devoted to Islamic art, to start with. But it’s also a personal reason: lately, I have covered many ‘Italian’ topics, the Blue Room in Palermo, for instance. I am also planning to start another project, as the one that I did on the Road to Oxiana, on Orientalism and Orientalist architecture in Italy, and I felt it was a pity to have it written in English only, and not also in Italian. This year, Palermo is the Italian capital of culture, and many things have been published online over the Arab-Islamic heritage of the city. And again, I feel that discussing it in English would be odd, and would not target the audience that I would like to reach when dealing with such topic: Italian people.
For these many reasons, I have decided to open up a new blog, to have a platform where I can share news and articles that focus specifically on Italy, for an Italian public. It will be a sort of Italian spin-off of SquareKufic. Here (on SquareKufic) and there (on Italia Araba), you’ll not find the same articles: if some of them are relevant, I do not exclude that I’ll be translating the contents in both languages, but for the time being, I think I’m going to keep them separate. Also because translating is not my forte.
The (temporary?) name of the blog is Italia Araba (Arabian Italy): not very creative, I admit, but I do not exclude the name will change at some point. I am also opening a twitter account (@ItaliaAraba) so that I will not tweet in different languages from the same account.
So, this is the big news for today! Not much will change: I will still work and constantly write on Square Kufic. This is simply a new project, that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I will. I am really excited to start this new, big project, and I’m looking forward to starting writing posts on that.
See you soon with new posts (in both English and Italian)!