Charla en la Universidad de Granada: El Cairo Fatimí y Granada Zirí (May 21)

Today I gave a lecture at the University of Granada (Faculty of Translation) on the historical and cultural relationships between Cairo and Granada, two cities that –at first glance- would seem like worlds apart. Historically however, they were founded only 44 years apart by the Fatimids (Cairo, 969 AD) and their agents in Ifriqiyya, the Zirids (Granada, 1031 AD).

An offshoot of the Zirid rulers in central Maghreb crossed to al-Andalus to take part in the Umayyad civil war that resulted in the disintegration of the Umayyad Caliphate around 1030 AD. During the civil war, several taifa kingdoms started to appear, including the Zirids (Banu Ziri) who founded Granada in 1013 on the ruins of an ancient Roman city.

Their rule (1013-1090) corresponds to part of the Fatimid rule in Egypt, and their art is influenced by the Fatimid style that they once marveled at in Mahdiya and other Fatimid cities in present-day Tunisia. Upon visiting the Archaeological Museum of Granada, the Museum of al-Monastir, the Bardo Musuem and the Raqqada Museum of Islamic Art, one can easily establish the cultural and artistic links.

My Lecture on Historic Cairo in Granada: The Legacy of Islamic Cairo (Dec 11th)

Today I gave my first lecture in Spain, taking place at the Centre of Modern Languages of the University of Granada.
Apart from being a student there, this university means a lot to me, because it was first founded by the Nasrid King Yusuf I of Granada in 1349 before being officially re-inaugurated by Carlos V of Spain in 1531.

The lecture focused on the historic centre of Cairo and the diversity of Islamic Art styles that could be admired in it, from Fatimid and Ayyubid to Mamluk and Ottoman.

I would like to thank all those who attended, and I was thrilled to see some of my professors among the audience.