The original mosque of Abd al-Rahman I and the expansion of Al-Hakam II with the famous mihrab of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba in Spain. Photo: Stine Hoxbroe.

The Golden Era of Andalusia

The southern Spanish region of Andalusia once formed part of Al-Andalus, the various parts of Portugal, Spain and France governed by Muslims between 711 and 1492.

During the period that lasted almost 800 years, Al-Andalus became an important center for scientific, social, cultural and religious exchange between Muslims, Christians and Jews. This ability to live and work peacefully together is seen by many as a major reason why arts and sciences flourished and resulted in works that influenced artists, thinkers and scientists for centuries.

 

The original mosque of Abd al-Rahman I and the expansion of Al-Hakam II with the famous mihrab of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba in Spain. Photo: Stine Hoxbroe.
The original mosque of Abd al-Rahman I and the expansion of Al-Hakam II with the famous mihrab of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba in Spain. Photo: Stine Hoxbroe.

 

In the documentary, “Lessons from the Golden Era of Andalusia,” filmmaker Abdelkrim Sekkar follows Saadane Benbabaali, an Algerian teacher at Paris University, on his annual trip to Andalusia where his ancestors descend from.

For the past 15 years, Benbabaali has traveled to the region with his students to share his passion for its rich history. He sees Al-Andalus as a unique period in time when Muslims, Christians and Jews learned from each other and produced remarkable results, and he is convinced that it contains important lessons, we can learn from today, about spirituality and conviviality in an otherwise fractured world. With Benbabaali as a guide, the participants venture out on a spiritual, cultural and historical journey.

 

Click to watch the film on Aljazeera’s English website

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Still from the documentary “Lessons from the Golden Era of Andalusia” by Abdelkrim Sekkar

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