As the years passed the empire weakened and was split in two. For a while this island fell under the Eastern Roman Emperor at Byzantium. But trouble was brewing in the east. The Arabs were thirsty for land and conquest. Fuelled by their new faith, they spread across the Mediterranean like a swarm of locusts in a field of wheat. There were not many places that put up a fight. By 870AD Malta had a new overlord and, as for me, I became who I am today. The Arabs decreased my size, dug a moat around me and built high walls for protection.
And they renamed me Medina. The narrow, winding streets that you see today have not changed much from that day to this but life changed drastically during those years. The Arabs brought with them a new culture, a new religion. Slowly, but surely, the native people took up these new traditions. Some did it of their own free will, others under duress. From my perch on these lofty bastions I surveyed the land below me and all the surrounding sea but, as yet, there was no power strong enough in the Mediterranean to overthrow the Hakem, the ruler of the island.
But something in my bones told me that the status quo would not last forever. If I had learnt one thing from my almost 2000 year existence it was that this sea is always in turmoil. As one power waned, another would rise up in its shadow. I knew that the winds of change would soon start to blow again and my story would unfold whichever way the fates dictated. All I could do was wait.