UAE launches project to explore Arab world's ties to Andalusian culture

Exhibition of Andalusian art will take place at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, with conferences in Spain and the UAE

The Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, gets its name from the region's ties to Arabic culture. Getty
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The UAE has launched an initiative that will delve into the connections between Andalusian and Arabic cultures.

The project will include a series of cultural events that will focus on the shared history of Arabs and Spanish people.

“Andalusia: History and Civilisation” will kick off in September and will focus on the region’s cultural, artistic and intellectual impact on the world.

Musical performances and art exhibitions will form an integral part of the celebrations, which will continue into 2024.

“This initiative emanates from the UAE’s dedication to the global human heritage, actively engaging in its preservation, restoration, promotion and worldwide dissemination,” said Mohammed Al Murr, chairman of the “Andalusia: History and Civilisation” committee.

“It also seeks to introduce the newer generations to the rich legacy of Andalusian civilisation, encompassing its human, cultural, scientific and societal heritage.

“It also aims to foster and advance the culture of coexistence and tolerance, which forms the bedrock of Andalusian civilisation and remains relevant in the present day.”

Among the highlights of the project is an exhibition of Andalusian art at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, starting in November.

Two cultural conferences will also be part of the initiative, celebrating the best of Andalusian culture and literature as well as the region's scientific contributions.

The first of these will take place in Spain in September, with the UAE hosting the second event in February 2024.

The project was organised by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre and the National Library and Archives.

One of the key aims of the programme is to emphasise the deep-rooted historical ties that exist between Spain and the Arab world, according to organisers.

“We knew the project would be capable of capturing the value of the shared past and protecting it with shared values,” said Inigo de Palacio, Spain's ambassador to the UAE.

“Arabic words are still present in Spanish and iconic architectural structures like the Alhambra palace or the Great Mosque of Cordoba are reminders of the shared heritage.”

Updated: June 22, 2023, 4:30 PM