What does the word Mafia mean? How did it come about? Where did it come from? Why did it even come into existence? There are several legends to the origin of the word Mafia and to the reasoning for its creation. Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore what the word Mafia means and how it came into existence. We will walk through the Islamic sections of Sicily where the term was first used as a slang word and then to the streets of Italy in the 13th century for the Sicilian Revolution! We’ll walk through the beginning days where the Omerta Code was born and race through the streets of Chicago & NYC in the early 1920s. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

In the year 831, there was a Muslim Conquest of the island of Sicily.Following this conquest, the Islamic forces that defeated the Sicilians were given control of the island of Sicily and renamed the Emirates of Sicily. They ruled until the early 1130s. Take a moment to walk with me to the Emirates of Sicily circa 1101AD.

Setting: 9pm – dark street corner, Charles and Michael are standing outside of a candlelit café. Kasr’, Ajun and Vechi are discussing business in the café, which is empty except for them.
Kasr’: The world is changing. Islam has ruled here for nearly 2 centuries, but I sense the tide will turn against Islam and our revolutionary movement. It may be time to move on.
Ajun: Why would you think that? We are a well-organized group of men – protecting our families and ensuring our success and the success of Bal’harm! We can stand against them!
Kasr’: How can we stand against a whole army?
Vechi: Stop being mahyas (aggressive ‘bragging’ in the singular form) Ajun. There is no way we can defeat them.
Ajun: We must give mu’afa (protection, safety) to our families! We must stand tall!
Kasr’: You’re starting to sound like…
Ajun: No! We will stand! We will call ourselves mafia. We give in to no one. We protect our families at all cost. We keep our friends close and our enemies closer – we buy our way into power, make sure the people are on our side, and make sure the Sicily remains Sicilian!
Kasr’ & Vechi: Agreed!

The next day:
Kasr’: Michael, Charles – come in here!
Michael: Yes sir?
Kasr’: You must get the people on our side. We will stand firm as the strong hold for the Sicilian way – for our families we must be united. Under this new banner you will spread our power… our influence… our way of life: Mafia.
Charles & Michael start spreading the word, the people of Bal’harm begin to know the word Mafia – and the culture of the mafia starts to form. And so, the days of the mafia were born.
*This story is an opinion of the origin of the word mafia. Please leave comments if you have a different idea.*

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