HomeJobsWalid Nabhan to remain in Malta after culture ministry offers job

Walid Nabhan to remain in Malta after culture ministry offers job

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Award-winning author Walid Nabhan has reversed his decision to leave Malta after the authorities stepped in to offer him work, he told Times of Malta yesterday.

Nabhan had previously announced that he planned to move to Jordan, after being left “penniless” in the face of rising living costs and dwindling work.

But Nabhan said he will be staying in Malta, after all, after he reached an agreement with Arts Council Malta to work on the council’s international outreach.

Nabhan told Times of Malta that he had been approached by several cultural entities in the days after the news of his imminent departure broke, each of them interested in securing his services.

This eventually took shape on Tuesday, when he reached an agreement with the authorities including Arts Council Malta chair Albert Marshall and Centre for the Maltese Language CEO Norma Saliba.

Nabhan will be working on a part-time basis, working with the council’s internationalisation team to connect Malta’s artistic community with the Arab world. He expects to start his new job within a fortnight, once bureaucratic procedures related to his contract are completed.

Culture Minister Owen Bonnici confirmed the news, telling Times of Malta that Nabhan had “accepted an offer of professional collaboration put forward to him and assist in our internationalisation efforts in the cultural field, particularly with regard to the Arab region. These internationalisation efforts are in line with our electoral manifesto commitments.

“Consequently, Mr Nabhan will remain based in Malta.”

Bonnici thanked Marshall and Saliba for their help in engaging Nabhan, as well as Palestinian Ambassador Fadi Hanania.

Nabhan, born to Palestinian parents, established himself as a leading figure in Malta’s literary field after moving to the country almost 35 years ago, eventually also becoming a Maltese citizen.

Speaking to Times of Malta, Nabhan said he was “very happy” to be staying in the country and to “keep contributing to Malta’s artistic and literary scene”.

He said that he had taken the decision to leave with a heavy heart but was relieved that he would now be able to stay in the country he loves.

Nabhan said that he will be earning a salary of some €20,000 for his work, with the authorities also stepping in to support his rent payments for the Marsa flat where he lives.

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