Sambuca di Sicilia chiama Hebron, Palestina


Da Hebron il vetro per dar luce a Sambuca
Dagli artigiani palestinesi le bocce per illuminare il paese siciliano

C’è un filo sottile che in questi giorni unisce Sambuca di Sicilia, l’antica Zabut fondata dagli arabi, a Hebron, uno dei luoghi più martoriati della Cisgiordania.

Un legame nuovo e antico allo stesso tempo che affonda le sue radici nelle tradizioni religiose e in quelle artigianali, nella pace e nella fratellanza tra i popoli del Mediterraneo.

Un legame testimoniato da mille bocce di vetro che il 20 maggio prossimo illumineranno a festa le strade del paesino siciliano in un abbraccio ideale con la Palestina. E allora, cominciamo dall’inizio.[…]

[…]alcuni dicono che siano stati proprio i veneziani, allora padroni del Mediterraneo, a importare la lavorazione del vetro soffiato in Palestina. Una visita autunnale da Fares Natsche, il più importante vetraio di Hebron, apre una possibilità. Centinaia di bocce di vetro entro la primavera? Perché no? L’accordo si fa, in poche settimane. E il numero delle palle di vetro soffiato aumenta, sino a giungere a un totale di mille. Mille bocce ordinate da una piccola comunità siciliana, per adornare una festa religiosa, cattolica, sentitissima.

Mille bocce realizzate una a una da una squadra di vetrai palestinesi, musulmani, in una delle città più tradizionali, conservatrici e devote della Palestina. Mille bocce spedite da uno spedizioniere israeliano, ebreo, che ha curato personalmente la raccolta della merce, il trasporto, l’invio. Se fosse stato per loro, per tutti i protagonisti di questa storia, la pace sarebbe già arrivata.

1,000 blown-glass ornaments unite Hebron and Sambuca
Sicilian Saint’s day revived, thanks to Palestinian crafts 15 MAY, 18:10

(ANSAmed) – SAMBUCA DI SICILIA (AGRIGENTO), MAY 15 – A fine thread currently joins the ancient town of Sambuca in Sicily (its ancient Arab name, Zabut), with Hebron, one of the most tormented areas on the West Bank. The link between the two places is at once a new and a very ancient one, with roots reaching down to ancient religious as well as artisan traditions: the peaceful, shared heritage of the peoples of the Mediterranean. Bearing witness to this link will be the thousands of blown glass ornaments that will light up the streets of the Sicilian town for a festival that now enfolds a Palestinian connection. This is how the story begins: the feast of the patron saint of the town of Sambuca in Sicily is the biggest event of the year. The festival is that of the Madonna dell’Udienza and it commemorates a miracle that saved the town from a plague that was ravaging the whole of Sicily in the year 1575. On the third Sunday of May each year, the marble statue of the Madonna with Infant is taken from its usual place in the Chiesa del Carmine to be borne in procession throughout the town: a procession that lasts the entire night, concluding with the statue’s return to the Church on the following morning. This festival involves the whole of the township and many people who have emigrated from Sambuca return there for the occasion. Indeed, it was these émigrés who, 120 years ago, financed the ‘Venice-style illumination’ of the town using glass globes that were blown in Murano, to decorate the arcades erected along the procession route. The cost of these glass globes was covered by the Sambuca communities living in Chicago, Rockford, Kansas City, Brooklyn, Newark and New Orleans, in a collection of funds that maintained the bond between the US immigrants and the town of their birth.

But over the years, this tradition died: many of the original glass globes were broken, with just a few rare examples surviving the ravages of time. Added to which, the antique wooden arcades of the procession route fell into disrepair. So, why not try and renovate the whole thing? This is exactly what was started last autumn. The first funds were collected by means of a lottery, then through a door-to-door campaign that lasted months. In the meantime, carpenters and electricians, blacksmiths, students and office workers have been spending their winter evenings in a sports hall, refurbishing the wooden posts, electric cables and renovating the ”tambours” and ”trees”, the Triumphal Arch and the smaller arcades. But what about the globes of glass? Well, Murano had to be ruled out: an initial probe soon showed that the cost would be prohibitive, and the glass blowers of the Venetian lagoon were no longer much interested in a job done 120 years ago in very different times. But on the other side of the Mediterranean, in Hebron, there is a living tradition of glass manufacture.

[….]. (ANSAmed).

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