Course on Medieval History in Cairo: The Mediterranean Islands

Today I start the course that I teach about the Islamic Civilization in the Mediterranean Islands.

The Course consists of 4 sessions addressing the following topics:
1- al-Andalus
From the conquest to the fall, between Spain, Portugal & southern France
2- The Balearic Islands
Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza
3- Sicily
The Fatimids and the Kalbids in southern Italy
4- Other Mediterranean Islands
Cyprus, Crete, Malta and other islands of the northern Mediterranean

Excursión Cultural en Tortosa: Amics dels Castells (Jul 25th)

Today I was invited by ‘Amics dels Castells i Nucli Antic de Tortosa’ to take part in the organization of the Day of the Medieval Castles of Tortosa (Tarragona). This is the first time that I guide a walk with 500 attendees! They had a loudspeaker prepared, good news for my vocal chords! Check it out at and watch videos of the event at:

The program started at 8:00 pm with the tour that I gave at the Jewish Quarter (one of Spain’s most important ones), explaining its history and introducing the participants to the genius of a Jewish Andalusi intellectual from the city, named Menahem Ben Saruk.
Around 9:00 pm we climbed in groups up the city walls and the castle walls, each with a fire torch in his hand. We took our places along over 6 kilometres of Tortosa’s skyscape and, upon hearing a cannon shot, we lit all the torches (1000 torches), forming a human chain of fire torches that illuminated the medieval cityscape, simply unforgettable! (photos attached).
The fire caravan then descended into the city for a concert of traditional music, but I had already had my quota of excitement and exhaustion for one day!