“The word ‘Córdoba’ comes to you, as usual, with a clamour that overwhelms the memory and the senses” Radwa Ashour
The city of Cordoba, declared a World Heritage Site in 1994, is known worldwide for its Arab-Islamic past.
Qurtuba, previously Roman, Byzantine and Visigoth, underwent such urban and cultural development with the Umayyads that it became one of the most important cities in the world.
Worldwide acknowledged monuments, such as the Mosque-Cathedral and the Madinat al–Zahra Archaeological Site bear witness to such splendour and are outstanding examples of Arab architecture in Spain.
However, Cordoba prides itself with owning a much larger collection of Arab-Andalusian remains spread across the city. With the aim of rediscovering these Arab and Islamic legacies, Casa Árabe organised the participatory exhibition “From Qurtuba to Cordoba” in April 2012, with the active involvement of its citizens, who were invited to reassess through photography the diverse and rich Arab-Islamic heritage in the city belonging to the period of al-Andalus.
The exhibition displays a variety of ornamental details –testimony of past splendour- which is often taken for granted by Cordoba’s dwellers and visitors. The collection highlights emblematic monuments, walls, doors, towers, minarets and baths, including some examples of Mudéjar art, a more recent style inspired by the influences al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula.
After touring in Spain and in various Arab countries, the exhibition is brought now to Kuwait by Dar al Athar al Islamiyya, Casa Árabe and the Embassy of Spain.
THE BOOK: REFLECTIONS ON QURTUBA ON THE 21ST CENTURY
Casa Árabe intends to use this book to underline the extraordinary fact that Cordoba is a timeless city. Just the name, from a first abstract impression, evokes a world of emotions and mental images that transcend well-known spatial and temporary borders and compose a rendition of what the city is, has been and, maybe more importantly, will be in the future.
This fact, together with the city being a pioneer of Arab culture throughout its entire history, prompted the Casa Árabe to come up with the idea of offering a monographic study that links its Andalusi past with its most contemporary present.
The aim is not to trace an historically continuous thread, not least because the Arab identity of the past has little to do with the present situation, yet this past partly inspires a retrospective view that transcends the city and its Arab-Islamic legacy.
The five articles by specialists from different disciplines that make up this work take on board this past in the present, reflecting on Qurtuba in the 21st century from an objective and scientific perspective.
The book can be viewed online by clicking here
CASA ÁRABE: WHERE SPAIN AND THE ARAB WORLD MEET
Since it was founded in 2006, Casa Árabe has worked every day to achieve the goal of building bridges, strengthening bilateral and multilateral political relations, promoting and assisting with economic, cultural and educational relations, and providing training and furthering understanding about the Arab and Muslim world.
In other words, Casa Árabe is a space for mutual knowledge and shared reflection: a meeting point between Spain and the Arab world.
Casa Árabe is operated as a strategic center for Spain’s relations with the Arab world, a meeting point where different role-players and institutions, both private and public, from the worlds of business, education, academia, politics and culture can dialogue, interact, establish lines of cooperation and undertake joint projects.
In order to complete its mission, Casa Árabe has two headquarters, one located in Madrid and the other in Cordoba, which provide it with a privileged geographic position not only in the Mediterranean region, but also as a mediator of exchanges between the Americas and the countries on the Arabian Gulf, where the presence of Spanish companies and professionals is growing larger and larger. Casa Árabe has three main areas of activity: Education and the Economy, Governance, Culture and New Media.
Casa Árabe is an institutional consortium created through a cooperation agreement signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Spanish International Development Cooperation Agency (AECID), the Autonomous Regional Government of Andalusia, the Autonomous Regional Government of Madrid, the Municipal Government of Madrid and the Municipal Government of Cordoba. It is presided over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.