Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I've always been fascinated with Islamic Spain of yesteryear, when people of different faiths and cultures prospered together.

I'd read quite a while back that Jews had lived in Spain and that their descendants intermarried into Spanish and even Portuguese families. The same could be true of the Muslims, or Moors, who lived in Al-Andalus for centuries. Jews and Muslims were in Spain for 1,500 years until explusion by Catholic rulers.

These aren't the kind of things you learn in high school, but wouldn't most students find this compelling? In Hawaii, we've been heavily influenced by Portuguese culture and people. But nobody teaches these things.

The series on PBS is worth a watch, no question.

Islam: Empire of Faith: Part 1
Islam: Empire of Faith: Part 2
Islam: Empire of Faith: Part 3

The images are so vivid and the history is so rich. I feel like traveling to Spain to see Al-Andalus and the other places where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together, then escaped to as civil war broke out. It amazes me, particularly how some Muslims migrated from Baghdad to North Africa and to Spain.

The Alcazar of Seville, Granada. Artistry and craftsmanship of Muslim hands.

No comments: