Sunday, June 11, 2006

Presentation: Al-Andalusia "Ornament of the World"

Al-Andalusia "Ornamento del Mundo"
by Abd al-Rahman Benavidez June 18

It was one of the greatest civilizations in history. At its height and splendor it was called the “Ornament of the World,” and to this day poetry is composed in memory of its brilliant culture and meritorious gifts to the world. The civilization was known as Andalusia (Muslim Spain and Portugal), and not only is Andalusia an expression of Western European Islam, but it is also the greatest expression of Western civilization.

The Latino Muslims of the Bay Area will be hosting a four-part lecture series about the history of Andalusia. The series will cover the major periods from the conquest of the Peninsula and the rise of the Caliphate in Cordoba to its fragmentation into kingdoms and the rise and fall of the last kingdom at Granada and conclude with the Morisco period ending in 1609—a Muslim presence of over 900 years!

Themes will include conversion to Islam, Jewish and Christian conditions under Muslim authority, Muslims living in Christian societies, and convivencia. In addition, each series will show how Andalusian Muslims inspired and influenced Western civilization through language, literature, music, law, art and architecture, and even dance. More importantly, we will attempt to look at its history in a different light from the one that has been portrayed as well as try to draw lessons from the past.

Each talk will include a visual presentation. In sha Allah, handouts will be provided, but everyone is still welcome to take notes.

Abd al-Rahman Benavidez earned a B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He spent one year abroad at the University of Granada, Spain, giving special attention to the literature, history, and art and architecture of Andalusia. He and his wife reside in Fremont, CA.

Starting Sunday, June 18
Time: 3:00pm—5:00pm
Place: Masjid al-Muhajirin (Lugar de los Emigrantes)
185 Folsom Ave, Hayward, CA
Contact: Walter Gomez — Phone: 510-557-7595

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