During the Muslim rule on Sicily, the island was divided into three different administrative regions: the Val di Noto in the southeast, the Val Demone in the northeast and the Val di Mazara in the west. : wilayah , meaning "province".Each zone has a noticeably different agriculture and topography and they converged near Enna (Castrogiovanni). The term val or vallo (plural valli) is probably derived from the Siculo Arabic
There are many Arab-derived names in the Val di Mazara (and more Christians converted to Islam from this region),are more mixed in the Val di Noto, while Christian (particularly Greek) identities survived strongest in the Val Demone (with the least Arab-derived names), which was the last to fall to the Muslims, where Christian refugees from other parts of Sicily had assembled, and which furthermore remained in contact with Byzantine southern Italy. Even in 21st century Sicily, differences between the east and west of the island are often explained by locals as being due to the Greek and Arab descent of the populations, respectively. Later Christian Lombard settlements would split the remaining Muslims of Sicily in half, separating the Val di Mazara and the Val di Noto.
Even after Muslim rule, the three valli system was still continued up until 1818, when Sicily was divided into seven provinces.From the 16–17th century, the population of Val di Noto expanded the most slowly of the three valli, with Val di Mazara growing the fastest.
The three valli are represented by the three-legged Trinacria symbol, which appears on the flag of Sicily.
Generally, the term can be traced back to Siculo-Arabic through the word wālī (Arabic: وال一). However, the term defines the magistrates in charge of the provinces and not the provinces themselves, which instead were called wilāyah
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Noto is a city and comune in the Province of Syracuse, Sicily, Italy. It is 32 kilometres (20 mi) southwest of the city of Syracuse at the foot of the Iblean Mountains. It lends its name to the surrounding area Val di Noto. In 2002 Noto and its church were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Val di Noto is a historical and geographical area encompassing the south-eastern third of Sicily; it is dominated by the limestone Hyblaean plateau. Historically, it was one of the three valli of Sicily.
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The Emirate of Sicily was an Islamic kingdom that ruled the island of Sicily from 831 to 1091. Its capital was Palermo, which during this period became a major cultural and political center of the Muslim world.
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The term Norman-Arab-Byzantine culture, Norman-Sicilian culture or, less inclusively, Norman-Arab culture, refers to the interaction of the Norman, Latin, Arab and Byzantine Greek cultures following the Norman conquest of Sicily and of Norman Africa from 1061 to around 1250. The civilization resulted from numerous exchanges in the cultural and scientific fields, based on the tolerance showed by the Normans towards the Greek-speaking populations and the Muslim settlers. As a result, Sicily under the Normans became a crossroad for the interaction between the Norman and Latin Catholic, Byzantine-Orthodox and Arab-Islamic cultures.
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