Following our first round of some heavy-hearted stories that shaped Malta in 2016, this is the second round of 5 stories, this time more light-hearted, in a series of 10 stories that have left a mark on the people of Malta.
Months of High Hopes Crushed in an Instant
It seemed quite an eventful year for our representatives in the international fora, mostly for our athletes at the Rio Olympics and Ira Losco in the 61st edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, whose success in the contest 14 years ago hinted at a successful result once again. However, with no medals in Rio and just a 12th position in the Eurovision’s Final, some really high hopes came crashing down right away. The same cannot be said for Miss World. Although Malta did not make it to the top 20, Anthea Zammit managed to make it to Top 10 in the talent competition and third in the sports competition, 2 successful accomplishments that were unheard of when it came to our Miss World representative abroad.
A TEDx Conference in Malta
The first ever TEDx University of Malta conference was held last May and revolved around The Joys of Being. The TEDx programme helps communities, organisations and individuals to spark a connection through local TED-like experiences. TEDx was launched in 2009 and talks usually serve as an inspiration to many around the world, mostly due to the fresh ideas that develop within local communities.
The Dawn of a Better Traffic System
The first half of 2016 saw the introduction of the tidal system, a system that makes use of bollards to divert the direction of traffic within a lane with the aim of maximising road capacity. The first tidal lane, which has now been tested and is up and running, is in Paola, and although a second tidal lane, this time in Żebbuġ, was announced, it seems to have got stuck somewhere in the pipeline. The controversial masterplan for the regeneration of Paceville has also got some interesting traffic arrangement proposals in plan, including a tunnel and a parking lot for residents.
The President’s Momentous Republic speech
Without mincing her words, Malta’s second female President called for a more understanding and welcoming society to foreigners who have been contributing to Malta’s economy and status, mainly by making a reference to the fact that “During the past twelve months, the tension amongst us, as well as between those who consider themselves Maltese and those who are regarded as alien, continued to flourish.”
Safeguarding our National Heritage
It’s been a particular year indeed for Manoel Island. Gżira’s Local Council and Kamp Emerġenza Ambjent held a number of protests insisting that access to the foreshore should be granted immediately; fences were pulled down and visits to the 30-hectared island’s natural landscape acted like a trip down memory lane after an absence of 16 years. On the other hand, Gozo’s iconic Azure Window has been officially declared a no-go zone, with a €1,500 fine tag attached to it for any trespassers who wish to still give it a try. All this came after a man was seen jumping off the natural window unearthing chunks of rocks in the process.
© 2016 – VIDA Magazine – Clifford Jo Żahra