Committee of Rais
Ottoman and Berbers adventurers, coming respectively from actual Turkey and Maghreb, were excellent sailors between XV and XVII centuries. The Westerns called them pirates and they really were pirates! Not more than Andrea Doria and the Knights of Malta, this is clear. We can say that during some centuries whole generations of adventurers, soldiers, ship owners met and competed in the middle of the sea, showing extraordinary courage and temperament, becoming the protagonists of the main nautical history ever seen.
The Islamic captains of that period were called “Rais” and operated both under the ottoman Emperor control and as pirates on their own. Among them solidarity was the main rule: they helped each other, they shifted change, they gave support to all the others. Both while “hunting” as “entrepreneurs” or acting under the Ottoman sultan command, they were always informed and coordinated, they kept in close contact through continuous connection missions, they were always ready to stand by each other.
Inspired by them, we decided to set up a Committee of Rais, a team made of all the captains, the seconds-in-command and aspirant seconds/captains, who are responsible for conducting the boat Mediterranea along the several miles of its route. They are the actual Mediterranea sailing crew, men and women who dedicate their time to the boat care and management, to crew and equipment, swapping on board in the different stages of the journey, acting as routiers when they are not on board, studying the weather forecasts and informing their firends on board about warnings and urgent news, managing customs formalities and bureaucratic items, facilitating the contact with land and sea national and international authorities and institutions, dealing with the research of protected areas, managing maintenance activities, bunkering, provisioning and so on.
But not only. The Committee of Rais of Mediterranea is also engaged in training activities concerning sailing, aiming to share the right values of the Seafaring, the respect of the rules and environmental protection, which are the basis of the project. They attend periodically to nautical training and they teach sailing to those who come on board. They write about sailing topics on media and social networks, they study, promote and talk about sailing, navigation and sea, searching for that “seamanship “, which seems now lost in those who sail and navigate, and has to be recovered and preserved absolutely.
Undoubtedly, they are one of the main souls of Mediterranea Project.
Here they are (not in a specific order):
Rais Simone Perotti. Writer and sailor.One of the founders of Mediterranea Project. “Mediterranean Sea has always been the centre of the world. We have to stop just talking about it, in an adoring way, or ignoring it, as most people does. We have to live into it, we have to live it, know it inside out. I sail in the Mediterranean Sea to search for the questions I don’t have so far”. www.simoneperotti.com
Rais Filippo Mennuni – If you don’t do what you’re called to do, what kind of man are you? Attending to the disintegration of the Mediterranean and of absolute values or acting and being there? That’s all…
Rais Paolo Beltrami. “‘Let what you say be simply Yes or no, more than this comes from evil ‘(Matthew 5:37). The sea as a training ground for life, or at least how I wish life should be: a few rules, all clear and shared with wonderful traveling companions, and each could set his own small piece to set up the mosaic.”
Rais Massimo Guidetti. “Sailing by sea always looking for the right route, perhaps, is how to live life always looking for an inner balance. The Mediterranean Sea, perhaps, is the nearest place where you can find a harmony between living and navigate.”
Rais Francesca R. Piro. One of the founders of Mediterranea Project. “A journey always begins with a start. It’s most beautiful moment. The boat leaves the port, the lines on the ground, the gaze towards the horizon. You await. You are waiting to be outside, to feel the wind and to raise the sails. And come back the words of Joshua to Bernard Moitessier: ‘Give me the wind, I’ll give you miles’”.
Rais Francesco Nacinovich. Freediver, fisherman. “I was born and I grew up between Istria and Quarnero’s islands, in the eastern Adriatic. To me, the Mediteranean Sea reppresents the only nation I want to belong to. Hence I am setting the sails and and starting this journey to meet fellow Mediterraneans, to listen to their stories. And, above all, to learn. By the sea and from the Sea, the ultimate master.”
Rais Luisa Tomasi – Always be like the sea which, breaking on the rocks, always finds the strength to try again (cit. J.M) – From the sea I learned to look inside myself and believe more in myself.
Rais Luca Gatti. “Because to encourage our own passions is a good way of living.”
Rais Marco Baghin – “I join with humility in this group of fans of the sea and of its charm, experienced sailors and respectful of the marine culture, proud and excited to grow together as friends and seamen.”
Rais Nunzia Siragusa – “Steal the money, steal the memories toobut always leave her sweet curiosity” (Francesco De Gregori, Atlantide)
cooming soon: Dominique Neubert, Giuliana Crimella, Laura Giusti