Raniero Speelman

I would like to begin with a very short quote. I liked it so much that I did not want to leave it out, though I could not find the right place for it. Gini Alhadeff, a writer born in Alexandria, Egypt and living in Tuscany, writes in her autobiographical The Sun at Midday (1997): “The Sephardi Mediterranean from which I come is a world of many languages and no borders” (1997, 3). In much the same way, the Icojil conferences have no borders even though they have a common language acting as a spotlight: the Italian. But it is the Italian of many writers born in, among others, Italy, Hungary, Israel, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Lybia, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Germany, and scholars working in still more countries.