Martyrdom of the Andalusian Nation

My interest in Al Andalus was sparked in the late 1970s by Stanley Lane-Poole’s The Story of the Moors in Spain which was first published in 1886, or 10 years before the death of his uncle Edward William Lane.  Like his uncle, Stanley (18 December 1854 – 29 December 1931) was bitten by the Orient’s bug hard. From 1874 to 1892 he worked in the British Museum, and after that in Egypt researching Archaeology.From 1897 to 1904 he had a chair as Professor of Arabic studies at Dublin University.

Following a ‘survey’ of Spain with my girl friend, Susan, who later became my wife, I began writing my first book on Al Andalus in Abu Dhabi, and was published in Cairo in January 1983 with three more editions to follow. At the time very little was available in Arabic on the plight of the Andalusians who remained in their Iberian home following three centuries of conquest by the Iberian north.

The current Arab and Islamic interest in Andalusian history can only be described as ‘phenomenal’. The loss of Arab Spain appears to have remained painful but not for the reasons heard often from some Spaniards. The most important legacy of Al Andalus is not Cordoba, Sevilla or Granada but the fact that only in Arab and Muslim Spain the dream of the joint effort by Muslims, Christians and Jews was combined to create one of the greatest cultures the world has ever known. It was a golden age indeed, and the experience was never repeated anywhere else with the same Andalusian flavour.

Martyrdom of the Andalusian Nation is a serious attempt to explain what went wrong in Spain and why almost three million Spanish Arabs were expelled from their homes with many of those deported having to face death, destitution, poverty and immense suffering.

There are thousands of sources on Al Andalus and the Moriscos, and the interest in the Moriscos appear to be growing. The following link is from Wikipedia. Read it with caution and as a platform to reach out to other or sources you may like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriscos
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