On 27 June 2021, the Consulate of Malta in Algiers participated for the first time in the 21st edition of the European Festival at the National Theatre of Algiers. The festival, organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Algeria, traditionally brings together musical talents from Europe to perform in Algeria. In this year’s edition given the present travel restrictions, European Union member states assigned amongst themselves Algerian artists who will play part of their repertoire and a song from the country which they are to represent.
On this occasion the Consulate of Malta was assigned the IWAL an energetic and talented band which sings music inspired by the native Amazigh populations from the east of Algeria. Together with music from their repertoire, IWAL also performed the song “Lament” by Frans Baldacchino known as ‘il-Budaj’ with the kind and professional assistance of Mr Andrew Alamango.
The Maltese participation was also enhanced by the participation of singer Mr Fayçal Belattar. He gave a short monologue on Malta’s history and culture and recited Pietro Caxaro’s ‘Cantilena’ – the oldest written poem in Maltese – whilst playing the Kora, a traditional west African string instrument.At the beginning of the event, the Consul Mr. Ivan Vassallo gave a short speech where he showed appreciation to the Delegation of the European Union for this cultural initiative. He also thanked the artists and stressed how Malta strives to enhance cooperation and fraternity between the peoples of the Mediterranean by also being a cultural bridge between Europe and North Africa.