Jaafar Abdul Karim travels through one of the smallest countries in Europe: Malta. The Romans, the Arabs, the British and the French have all left their mark here. A sunny country with a multicultural heritage. Jaafar Abdul Karim starts his journey in the capital, Valetta.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city has been extensively restored and renovated. Architect Konrad Buhagiar played a major role in this. He shows Jaafar Valetta’s most beautiful places, where old and new architecture come together. In Siggiewi, the presenter meets Marilu Vella and the two cook a very special local dish: pastizzi. The dumplings are a favorite snack of the Maltese.
The island nation has been a member of the EU since 2008. And here – in a tax haven – people like to show off what they’ve got. But Malta also has its dark sides: At the end of 2017, a murder shook Maltese politics and plunged the country into a crisis. Journalist Daphne Galizia uncovered one of Malta’s biggest corruption scandals. Shortly after, she was the victim of a car bomb.
Deeply shaken by this story, Jaafar takes the ferry to Gozo. The second largest island in the Maltese archipelago is only 14 kilometers long, but it has two large opera houses. Jaafar Abdul Karim finds out why from the artistic director John Galea. This Mediterranean island is one of the sad hotspots in the refugee crisis.
Tens of thousands of people have drowned in recent years trying to reach Europe. Time and again, ships that have rescued survivors from the Mediterranean dock there. Jaafar Abdul Karim talks to survivors and Maltese photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi, who has captured moments of the refugee drama in pictures.
As legend would have it, Aphrodite was born here – on Cyprus. The sea on its southern coastline is said to be the font of all love. The island is one of the oldest cradles of civilization in the Mediterranean: The Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Ottomans and British all lived here at some point in history.
No sooner has our presenter Sineb El Masrar arrived on the island than she sets off for the Troodos mountains, where she tastes some prize-winning Cypriot wine. Next stop on the journey is Ayia Napa, for a meeting with Louis Hadjioannou. The marine biologist is looking for an intruder that really shouldn’t be here at all: the lionfish.
Climate change has lured the creature to the Mediterranean Sea. Just as in many places throughout the world, the Cypriots set great store by good food and drink. For Roddy Damalis, who owns the restaurant “TaPiatakia”, the focus is on breathing new life into traditional dishes by combining them with unusual ingredients. After that, the presenter heads for the beach. More than four million tourists visited Cyprus in 2019, often bringing mountains of plastic waste along with them.
The environmental protection organization Akti campaigns against the increase and the consequences of plastic waste on beaches – by giving talks in schools, for example. During the summer months, student curriculums also include beach clean-ups. Sineb El Masrar talks to Charis Theodorou about the campaign and the microplastics problem blighting the Mediterranean.
On November 30, 2021, #Barbados became the world’s youngest #republic, cutting historic ties with the British monarchy. In the 17th century, the #Caribbean island state became a British colony dedicated to sugar production. Some 90 percent of its population are descended from slaves. Since independence in 1966, Barbados had long been ambivalent about its colonial heritage. But today, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is taking the country into a new era. Our team reports.