(Two Syrian travellers in Fascist Italy. The image of Italy and Italians in the travel diaries of the Syrians Šafīq Ǧabrī and Sāmī al-Kayyālī)
in La rivista di Arablit, a. IV, n. 7-8, dicembre 2014, pp. 26-43.
In 1934, two well-known Syrian intellectuals, Šafīq Ǧabrī e Sāmī al-Kayyālī, visited together some European countries, including Italy. The following year, al-Kayyālī published a book entitled A Month in Europe where, among other things, he described his stay in Italy. Ǧabrī, instead, published his diary, Riḥlah ilà Ūrūbā ‘alà ṣuḫūr Ṣiqīliyyah (Journey on the Rocks of Sicily), in 1963. In the travel memoirs of the two Syrian intellectuals, we can find, among other things, reflections on Italian politics of those years, and in particular on the policies adopted by the Italian fascist regime in the colonies. The two Syrian authors agree in condemning the Italian colonial policy which, according to Ǧabrī, was exclusively aimed at the appropriation of the conquered peoples’ resources, without giving them anything in return. The two Syrian intellectuals also wonder about the future possibility of building a dialogue between the different peoples living on the two shores of the Mediterranean, but they express divergent views on this point.
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