About

SiroccoBlue provides high-quality, culturally-relevant translations between English, Spanish, and Portuguese. I also teach these languages at all levels in New Providence, The Bahamas.

Dedicated to strengthening cultural ties across the Spanish, Portuguese, and English-speaking world, I launched Blue Sage Global Education in 2017 as a platform to sustain my work in international education program development. Since then, the building of partnerships between North American, Caribbean, Latin American, European, Asian, and African universities and the University of The Bahamas has been at the core of my work as Interim Director of Global Studies.

Why SiroccoBlue? The Sirocco wind system is a metaphor for diaspora, cultural  continuities, and translation. I find, in these winds and interrelated weather patterns, a profound model for the meeting of cultures — my goal, in short, through the study of languages and practice of translation.

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About the Sirocco Winds

The Sirocco wind system develops in the Sahara Desert, moves north and northeast from North Africa to Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece, and continues on as fast east as Iran. Architectural forms develop around the Sirocco, as do patterns in collective memory and arts traditions.

Depending on the geographical area, the wind system can carry hot, dry air and even sand, dust and sediment from the Sahara. Sand and debris from the African continent, then, are reminders of the geographic proximity and cultural impact of Africa on Europe, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, and certainly the Americas as well. Indeed, from another perspective, the Sirocco carries languages, ideas, and cultural forms from the Sahara across the Mediterranean Sea and, as I explore in the blog writing, from the Sahara across the Atlantic Ocean.

800px-Sirocco_from_LibyaWhat is also striking is that the Sirocco moves across an area of the world already deeply connected (though those connections are often purposefully omitted) by shared cultural histories, languages, music and dance traditions, architecture, aesthetic values, and much more.

In that way, the Sirocco serves as a fluid, metaphorical embodiment of a broad, interconnected cultural territory despite colonial and neo-colonial agendas to, for instance, submerge the Islamic history of southern Italy, Spain, and Portugal; divorce Mediterranean language and arts forms from the Romani people; and, even more radically, declare such forms as flamenco as the national music when its producers continue to be persecuted and marginalized (a story repeated across the planet).

By using the Sirocco wind system as a natural model, Sirocco Blue writing explores a fluid system of crossing to document and promote cultural, linguistic, and historical exchange. The Sirocco is also an incredibly rich metaphor for cultural and language exchange across all boundaries, the process and impact of translation, and the sharing of ideas through translation. The interior design and spatial enhancement services are derived from an appreciation for the Sirocco and the natural world.

About Jacob Dyer Spiegel

cropped-img_2088.jpg I teach literature and writing at the University of The Bahamas, develop multilateral exchange programs, and write about African and Roma diasporas (the subject of most of the SiroccoBlue blog posts).

I have a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and was a Fulbright Scholar in Salvador, Brazil (2011). All of my research is centered on West African aesthetic philosophies and the ways in which creative artists employ specific concepts from religious contexts.

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