The Mediterranean, the sea of two shores
The memory of the Mediterranean begins with a wonderful song by Juan Manuel Serrat, which has been heard for many years all over the world, it goes through the sadness of the immigrants who do not achieve their dream, because we cannot forget the data of the IOM, which states the death or disappearance of 1,522 migrants in 2022, and it is the sea of the two different shores and both exciting where the historical cultures that the passing of the centuries do not forget meet. Nothing in this geography that has been our lot to inhabit unites and separates so much and conjugates at the same time such an important diversity as the one that integrates and bathes its waters.
They delimit, if not separate, three continents, the most important religions, intertwine the cultures that amaze us and at the same time separate very different economic and social differences. Nowhere else on the planet is there so much luxury and wealth accumulated in the face of so much lack as can almost be seen with indifference from any of its shores. The shores of the Mediterranean enclose very different contrasts, a diversity that, without ignoring its shadows, allows us to work to extol its lights and make the intercultural reality, heritage and Mediterranean identity the necessary ingredients to intensify the ties between the different countries.
Nothing integrates this privileged part of the world more than the climate that makes life so comfortable for its inhabitants. And nothing can be more reproachful to these privileged ones, which we Europeans are, than the lack of union of their peoples who, on occasions, show a certain lack of solidarity due to different interests, hence the need for a greater awareness of what we can offer together.
The heritage bequeathed to us by the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, to cite a few examples, has not yet fully convinced us of the advantages of unity in the artistic and cultural, historical and intellectual varieties. The attractiveness of the land that joins the Mediterranean Sea demands it from us, it clamors to get it, and it will always happen to those of us who have it in our hands and do not manage to execute it. There are many interesting places on earth, none should be disdained, but the Mediterranean is a privilege.
That is why it is essential that the recently incorporated attempts on the international agenda to fight hard to advance the goal of understanding and union continue to move forward and with greater determination every day. Perhaps the first argument to arouse the interest that has been awakened to achieve this is to remember, not so much what can be achieved, but to lament what we are missing out on due to ancestral rivalries, obsolete patriotic conflicts and rivalries typical of sporting interests, but never of equality among civilizations.
The attraction of unforgettable beaches, of the most varied and suggestive gastronomy, of the yachts sailing its waves with an air of relaxation and fun, clashes with the drama of the boats of African migrants who also claim to participate in the advantages offered by the European countries of the Mediterranean, the example of unity to imitate that the European Union has created and the tranquility that NATO offers before the risks of disturbing the peace.
Although there is still a long way to go, we should not be pessimistic. It is true that we are making progress and that the need to make the longed-for union of the Mediterranean a reality is growing. Step-by-step, we are getting on the right track.
The first thing that is missed is the coexistence between peoples and their cultures and dozens of different but fully compatible languages. And secondly, the advantages that collaboration always provides, starting with the economy of households, and then the enjoyment by all of what each country, each region and each island offers to the visitor. And since we are talking about islands, the Mediterranean offers the attractions of some of the most beautiful and interesting in the world, such as Mallorca, Ibiza, Corsica, Sardinia or Sicily, starting from west to east.
Not to mention the hundreds of Greek, Balkan and Turkish islands with their mythical and historical memories, such as Malta, the smallest country in the European Union, but no less important, with the islands of Gozo and Camino and its capital that houses the main memories of the Crusades. The entire Mediterranean, whether viewed from the North or the South, East or West, is a whole teeming with the memories and testimonies of all the centuries of history accumulated by mankind.
On November 28th the International Mediterranean Day took place, a celebration sponsored by the Union for the Mediterranean, an institution to which 42 member states belong. The aim of this commemoration is to promote the identity of the Mediterranean and to strengthen the bonds of cooperation by promoting the diversity of which we have spoken that makes us privileged. The time has come for contemporary civilization to look back, to value the heritage of this sea of two shores that fate has placed in our hands and, in addition to enjoying it and watching over its beauty, to make an effort to evaluate what separates us and ensure that it adds to the value of unity for the future: opportunities pass quickly and it is difficult for them to come again.