Sunday, February 28, 2016

Weekly Report 3

I did some research on the Arab singer Amal al-Atrash, more commonly known by her stage name Asmahan. She was born in Syria in 1917 and ended up moving to Cairo Egypt. She sang most of her songs in Egyptian Arabic. Her family was actually famous for a number of reasons. Her brother Farid al-Atrash was also a famous singer and her family itself was known for having a big role in the resistance of the french mandate in the 1920's. Asmahan was born on a boat while her family was fleeing Syria after it fell to the allies. Her entire family was musically gifted but she and her brother were the best. She began her singing career when she was only a teenager, singing at the Cairo opera house. Most of her songs were written in classical Arabic but sometimes she used the eastern dialect of Arabic. She had three husbands in her life and died at the age of 26 in a car crash, theories have it that she was killed because she was secretly a british spy.
One of her most well known songs was Ahwa:


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dr. Deveny's Lecture Reflection

In 711 Islamic troops came to Spain from Africa and took over almost all of the Iberian Peninsula. They conquered the area of AndalucĂ­a, called Al-Andalus in Arabic, a mountainous area in southern spain. Before the Muslims came the Visigoths ruled Spain. The Visigoths were a tribe that ruled through monarchy, but before they had full control over Spain they had to defeat another tribe called the Vandals. The Muslim conquest of Spain began in 711 when Adb-ar Rahman came from Africa and declared himself leader, creating the Umayyad Empire. Rahman was the son of an Umayyad prince and his family was overthrown from their place as rulers in Syria. The other important person in the expansion of Islam in Spain was his grandson Abd-ar Rahman III who became the caliphate. Being a caliphate gives complete control not only over the army and government but also over religion.
During the caliphate rule, Cordoba became the most beautiful city and an amazing center of arts and knowledge. Cordoba was one of the three most important cities in Spain during the Muslim rule. The others were Sevilla and Granada. The amazing things happening in Cordoba were the opposite of what was happening in Europe because this time was known as the “dark ages” in Europe. Cordoba essentially experienced the enlightenment before Europe did. It had extensive libraries with many more books about Islam than there were any Christian books or even Christian libraries. At that time there were no libraries in Europe, and very few elsewhere, making the hugeness of the Cordoba library so amazing. The most important architectural work in Cordoba was the great Mosque. It was beautifully decorated and embellished. In Sevilla the most important architecture was the Giralda. It was a Minerate, or tower used for the call to prayer. In Granada the most important architecture was the Alhambra palace. It was so special because it had many fountains and ponds and at that time water was an example of wealth and power.

The Muslim Armies did not have a lot of issue with conquering Spain, mostly because the last king of the Visigoths died before Adb-ar Rahman got there so there was no organized resistance to their takeover. During the time that Spain was under Muslim rule, the Christians living there were called Mozarabs. At the Battle of Tours the Muslim armies were stopped from their advance into the rest of Europe by French leader and Christian, Charles Martel.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Weekly Report 2

Abu al-Qasim Al-Zahrawi was born near Cordoba in 936 CE, and went on to be one of the first surgeons and greatest surgeons. He studied medicine for 50 years and wrote down all that he had learned in a set of encyclopedias. It was translated into Latin in the 12th century and later into other european languages like french and english. His encyclopedia had a great influence on surgery and medicine in Europe. It was used both for medical students and practicing doctors and surgeons. He included pictures of surgical tools and how they should be used. He also identified many diseases and their treatment. His encyclopedias were so versatile and helpful they became the basis for most medical practice in Europe once it was translated.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weekly Report 1

Article Title: Turkey Says it Wont Leave Syrians Refugees to Die
As more refugees leave Syria, Turkey says they will accept them. They have accepted the most refugees of any country and they do not really have enough space for more but the president said he will open the borders if necessary, if they have nowhere else to go. The refugees are still waiting for the Turkish border to open and are staying in camps with tents and food provided for them by aid agencies. The refugee camps are getting overwhelmed with Syrians. There are foreseen issues such as lack of space, clean water and food for the refugees as there are so many of them. three of the hospitals used for the refugees have been bombed so it is hard to get medical care. Aleppo city is where many refugees are waiting to get in to turkey and the main supply line to it has just been cut off which is concerning. Red Cross and other medical teams have gone in to the town of Moadamiyat al-Sham to bring medical supplies and food for about 700 families. 
Diplomats trying to resolve the conflict have made a plan to meet for peace talks on the 11th after the ones last week fell through.