Never will the shadow of Forgetfulness be possible
Over this jewel embroided between cypress trees,
Not until the Angel of Death reaches me with his invasion,
like the night bringing snow reached the Alhambra.
-Fernando Barrejón (AbdelNur), “El Suspiro del Moro”
We study history to discover clues about our modern world, how best to live in it and avoid falling into the same mistakes and patterns. In the 9th century, Al-Andalus served as the stepping stone for Europe’s first monarchic democracy. The mystery surrounding Islam’s introduction to Spain is one echoed in the investigative theories of reputable historians such as Ignacio Olagüe, Emilio Gonzalez Ferrín, and others. Their research of the Iberian Peninsula, before and after Al-Andalus, maintains that much of the area’s “history” had been either hidden or re-written in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition.
Since the legendary entry of Tariq Ibn Sayeed, in 711 E.C., traces of Arab origin had integrated into the peninsular population. In 750 E.C., these Arabian traces would be reinforced by the arrival of Abdul Rahamna IbQuraish, the last member of the Syrian Ummayad Dynasty to Spain and the first ruler to unite the peninsula under Muslim rule. By 900-950 E.C., Islam spread throughout the Iberian Peninsula. In about 250 years, over 75% of the population converted to the faith. Under the Ummayad Dynasty of Al-Andalus (750-1029 E.C.), the growing Muslim population would peacefully co-exist with the area’s Jewish and Christian faiths, becoming a leading exemplar of a true civilization and monarchic democracy.
These discoveries and facts of Andalusian history are far from wide spread. The lack of consensus and transparency concerning the historic roots of Al-Andalus continues to inspire the local, Muslim youth to investigate and share the area’s rich and mysterious history. Thus, in 2008, the Al-Andalus Experience was founded in the hopes of celebrating, sharing, and reviving the history and traditions of Al-Andalus.
We, at Al-Andalus Experience, believe in sharing a history of Al-Andalus that celebrated a tradition of tolerance and commonality. With our educational tours and activities, we help promote, support, and diversify the local Andalusian community. Community partnership and networking is at the heart of the Al-Andalus Experience project. Current partners include Circulo Nazarí de Granada, Mezquita Mayor de Granada, and the Alquería de Rosales Campus. Ahead of us are great projects, tours, and workshops. Keep an eye out for the ‘Andalusi Culture Festival’ coming in Granada; an opportunity to enjoy traditional music concerts, chants, conferences, workshops, expositions, craft markets and more tour excursions. And, of course, please spread the work to friends and family!