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Places

The Sons of Cordoba

The city of Cordoba in central Andalusia, Spain, was one of the most enlightened cities in the medieval world under the Muslim Umayyad rulers. Its streets had lighting, there [...]

The ‘fool’ Vizier’s retreat

Nestled at the foot of Shara Mountain in a typically serene location on the outskirts of the town of Tetovo is the idyllic complex of the Arabati Baba Tekke – the [...]

A Parisian Paradise

The Grand Mosquee Paris is in Paris’ Latin Quarter, south of the River Seine, close to the city’s Botanical Gardens. It is the French capital’s little slice of Moorish [...]

Romania’s forgotten royal mosque

The bright August sun winked at me every time it caught Lutfi’s large, tinted sunglasses. He gave me a toothless grin, before lifting his walking stick to tap the brown [...]

Europe’s only Arabic language

“Kayf int?” enquired the middle-aged Maltese woman as she greeted her friend. “There, did you hear it that time?” I ask in a hushed tone. My 7-year-old daughter looks [...]

Albania’s medieval mirage

Wandering around Berat’s old town is like stumbling across a medieval mirage. Tiered, snow white, Ottoman houses cling to gentle slopes either side of the River Ossum. The [...]

The Vikings and the Muslims

Last month saw the fascinating claim by Annika Larsson of Uppsala University in Sweden that patterns thought to be Viking on funeral clothing could be Kufic inscriptions [...]
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