The New York Times travels to Córdoba in search of the echoes of Arab Spain

The newspaper New York Times has returned to travel to Córdoba and expose its historical, architectural and cultural virtues in a new report. Its titled The enduring echoes of Arab Spain, and it is signed by the writer and journalist Nina Burleigh, as the chronicle of a romantic journey through Seville, Córdoba, Granada, Málaga, Tarifa and, finally, by ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar.

A good part of the piece takes place in the Caliphate city. The journalist, the daughter of an Iraqi woman, recounts in her report her personal feelings during her time in Córdoba. “Our first night in Córdoba, we woke up just before dawn to a shaky moan coming through an open hotel window. For a moment, I went back to the Baghdad summer of my childhood, sleeping on the roof of my grandmother’s house in small beds with mosquito nets, when the same sound woke me up in the starry night”, recalls the writer, who draws a parallel between the Muslim prayer songs, absent in the Cordovan capital, and the quejío of flamenco, for whose origin he resorts to the ideas of Blas Infante.

Burleigh spends a long time in the Mosque-Cathedral, on whose walls he captures “the physical and spiritual contrasts between Islam and Christianity.” Thus, he describes the strangeness of the implantation of the cathedral in the heart of the temple: “Seen from the top of the nearby bell tower (the old minaret, which can be climbed for a few euros), it seems that an alien spaceship of appearance Gothic has landed in the middle of the roof”, writes the journalist, who recalls that Islamic prayer is prohibited in the Mosque.

The author of the report focuses on cultural coexistence in the city during the Islamic period. To do this, she meets with the lawyer and historian of the University of Córdoba Antonio Manuel Rodríguez Ramos, who tells her about this stage. “Here in Córdoba, in less than 500 meters are the mosque, the chapel of San Bartolomé and the synagogue. They prayed together. The coexistence existed, and it ended when the Jews and Moors were expelled, ”the professor tells Burleigh.

In addition, the writer also goes to the Noor restaurant to get to know the cuisine of chef Paco Morales, made -she writes- “with delicacies that use only the ingredients available during the centuries of the Moors”, before continuing with her trip towards Granada .

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