Posted by Amtul Q Farhat
Source: The Wandering Musulman
We are all just distant relatives. Why not share this with some Europeans or Muslim friends of yours and watch the bridging of that fictionalized ‘gap’ between us?
1. LATIN ARABIC Malta, the most southern country of Europe, where we find the Islamic legacy not in a book, ruin or even a tale, but on the lips of the natives. Just ask a Maltese to count to ten and you will hear everything you need to, for the Maltese numbers are virtually the same as the Arabic. Something my astonished daughter discovered when I made her ask for ‘tnej’n’ (two) apples at a market and she was promptly handed two apples by a smiling old man. Despite it’s proximity to north Africa, where Arabic is widely spoken, it is the little Italian Island at the foot of Italy that Malta has to thank for this. Maltese in its modern form is the only remaining example of Siculo-Arabic, the Sicilian form of Arabic that developed during the Fatimid and later Norman Arab period (Maltese also contains Italian, French and to a lesser extent, English).
Siculo-Arabic actually died out in Sicily and was replaced by Italian Sicilian making Malta and Maltese people the possessors of the only living legacy of that ‘golden’ Islamic period of Sicily we mentioned before. In fact such is the dominance of Siculo-Arabic on the Malteselingua franca – between 32% and 40% – that it has the proud claim of being the only Semitic language written in Latin Script!
So there you have it. First hand evidence of how in truth, we are all just distant relatives. Why not share this with some Europeans or Muslim friends of yours and watch the bridging of that fictionalised ‘gap’ between us?