A heartfelt appeal made by Rosa Borg is being published in full so her message can reach our readers. Those who know Rosa, know her kind soul and her dedicated effort to seek justice and truth despite the challenges she faces in her daily life. She is an inspiration to us all.
“October is a month I loathe. On 15 October 1998, when I was 16-years old and I had just started college (ironically, I wanted to become a nurse), I was run over by a bus while coming home from school. My lungs were crushed, my ribs, scapula and clavicle were broken and although I was lucky enough to survive, the accident closed a lot of doors.
It added to the disabilities I was born with, put paid to any hopes I may have had of having children, left me unable to work full time… and ensured that pain was, to some degree, my constant companion.
October is also the month that my precious Sicilian friend, Pina, died. She was a person with a huge heart and wonderful zest for life. This was in 2014, and there are still too many moments when I feel her absence fiercely.
All this was eclipsed last year. Last year, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was brutally murdered outside her home in Bidnija. Her only ‘crime’ was writing the truth, refusing to bow down to a corrupt system.
I never met Daphne. However, when I saw that the same people who a few months earlier were applauding her started calling her “bicca blogger” I was tempted to write to her. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they couldn’t see that she was still the same person they had praised.
I wanted to tell this woman who I had started to get to know through her work, whose intelligence I had come to admire, whose wit had the ability to make me smile even while reading about the degeneration of our country, whose proudly beaming face while she stood beside her sons and whose humanity when she had to walk out of the court room to catch her breath, I could empathise with, who loved nature, bright colours and beautiful things, the same way I do and whose oasis of calm in Taste and Flair I am grateful for… that I could still see her.
The guilt of not having done so is a weight that I have carried with me every day since she was killed.
I wanted to tell her that I could see that she was still the same Daphne. The guilt of not having done so is a weight that I have carried with me every day since she was killed. It increased since I met her family.
October is a month I hate. My instinct today is to let the battery on my phone fall and close Facebook, at least until the 15th and the 16th are over. I could spend more time reading, gardening and playing with my cats or sort out the postcards that somehow I never have time to organise properly.
Which is why I won’t. During this month, when the crooks currently destroying our country would most like us to forget what happened a year ago, I intend to post more articles and quotes from her blog and from the papers, recipes and photos from Taste and Flair, some of the poems that I had written to commemorate her and pictures of Daphne.
I will do my outmost to ensure that she is remembered and that the bas**** who commissioned her murder are reminded of what they have taken away from us, every single day.
My appeal today is to the friends who already care about Daphne and about Malta. It is one I have made before but which I find myself making again due to the limited effect my initial appeal had and above all in the light of the daily clearing of the monument.
I am asking those of you who share posts but limit the audience to their trusted circle of friends. I work part time and live from pay cheque to pay cheque. My deteriorating health means that at some point I will be at the ‘mercy’ of our State hospitals… believe me, I understand your fears but I am still asking to go the extra mile and make your posts public.
The very fact that you are censoring yourselves means that authorities have already gotten to you.
The authorities do not need to take their revenge on you because the very fact that you are censoring yourselves means that authorities have already gotten to you. They are already controlling you.
To quote Daphne, “One thing is certain: you are not going to change what we are going through by pandering to it, or by making its practitioners believe they are right. That simply perpetuates the situation.”
The only way to deal with this is to fight it and to do so openly. Show your support. Share articles and posts, dialogue with the people in your everyday life, walk the talk by refusing to indulge in petty corruption, support the few decent politicians and unbiased journalists that we have left, report trolls and boycott those who are clearly corrupt.
When we say that there will never be another Daphne it should not just mean that [there] will never be anyone quite like her. It should also mean that we let no one who is on the side of decency and truth be left alone the way Daphne was left alone.
If you leave those on the frontline alone you will have let those who killed her get away with murder, giving them the chance to do it again. I hope to see many more Daphne related, anti corruption, pro justice, truth telling posts being shared from now on because I would like to believe that none of my friends are okay with murder.
Daphne gave her life for our country. She kept on writing despite knowing what she was up against. She did the right thing even though she knew that the situation had little chance of changing in her lifetime. She chose to face things unbowed and even when they blew her to bits they did not manage to break her spirit. Daphne never gave in.
What are you going to do?”