My 5th Article published in El Legado Andalusí: Tortosa, from the Arab Castle to the Jewish Quarter

Today an article of mine about the Islamic and Jewish legacy of the Catalan city of Tortosa was published.

It is an incredible city that witnessed the flow of Knight Templars, Vikings, Berbers, Barbarians, Corsairs, pilgrims, to the end of the long list…

Tortosa has the first Islamic cemetery to be discovered in Catalonia (1973), it has one of the largest Jewish quarters in Spain, and one of the most impressive Islamic castles in Catalonia (built by Abd al-Rahman III in the X century).
It was one of the most important seats of taifa kingdoms in the 11th century (Banu Hud), and once had one of the most important arsenals in al-Andalus (to defend against the Viking attacks)…

You can encounter the legacy of this city and its Islamic and Jewish intellectuals in the most unexpected of places, like in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, where I first came across the manuscript of “Lamp of the Princes” by Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Turtusi, who, as his name implies, came from Tortosa all the way to Alexandria and then to Cairo where he died.

You can read the entire magazine (including my article) in Spanish at: http://www.legadoandalusi.es/images/stories/revista/rev41/REV41.pdf

Cultural Tour in Barcelona: Palau de la Música Catalana (Jun 19th)

Today I took part in organizing a cultural tour in Barcelona conceived by ‘Mondigromax Cultius de Cultura’ and aimed at introducing foreign visitors to the Catalan culture. The idea was very interesting: there were several guides involved, each stationed at a monument and ready to receive several groups of foreigners as they did a preplanned cultural itinerary that would give them the chance to learn about the city’s history, art and culture, gastronomy and traditions, etc.

For my part, I introduced them to Catalan music. I received 5 groups, one after another; at Palau de la Música Catalana, an awesome modernist building. There, I introduced them to the great Catalan composers, musicians and singers, namely Isaac Albéniz (pianist and composer); Enrique Granados (pianist and composer); Pau Casals (cellist and conductor) and Joan Manuel Serrat (singer and songwriter). There was actually some sort of game where they listened to music and had to guess who is who after having listened to an explanation about the different musicians and their styles.