Sunday, April 3, 2011

Alpujarras: The Thing Inside that Dies a little every day

It was supposed to be a trip , just like the trips everyone in the wide world make. I had a lot of fun , I took a lot of pictures , I mad new friends but I was also reminded of two of the most annoying things in my life: How few do I know about my own history, and how complicated is our Arab-Muslim history in Spain.

As a start , Alpujarra is a municipality of Granada , only 40 Kms away from where I live. It was the last place where Muslims refuged after being forced to leave Granada. There was a sign on the highway that said ''Puente del Suspiro del Rey Moro'' , which means '' Bridge of The Moorish0s king sigh''. It is the last place from which Granada can be seen before turning and entering between the mountains. Its said that Boabdil - The last muslim king- stopped there , looked for the last time to his city Granada and shed a couple of tears.

On the way to Alpujarra you can see a very rich vegetation, its sooo green and nice. Mari Carmen -our guide- told us about a lot of celebrities who came here as visitors and ended up buying houses. Japanese businessmen loved Alpujarra and many of then stayed to manufacture one of the most important Alpujareño product: The silk carpets. she also said that the Japanese are the second best Flamenco dancers in the world right after the Spanish.

The Almond trees have already lost their flowers and the little fruits started to appear. The Cherry trees on the other hand had there amazing flowers on them and the view was so colorful. She said that cherries and almonds were grown between olive trees , so the olives would protect them.

On the way we could see the highest mount peak of all Europe, its called Mawlay Hasan , named after Hasan , Boabdils father , who was betrayed by his followers and so his well was to be buried on a mountains peak to be only accompanied by falcons and eagles. So when Boabdil left Granada he took the rests of his father with him and buried him on the top of Europe's highest mountain. (How surreal is this!!! He is losing his kingdom once and for ever and he is worrying about the rests of a dead man!!)

I cant describe how virgin is that nature ,,, It was immense and as much as you looked there would be more horizon ,,, it smelled great ,,, it smelled green , and Mary Carmen explained that, she said: Aqui no huele a cerdo >>> here it does not smell like pigs. Pigs dont live in those mountains , they just dry ham , so the only pig that gets there , gets there dead.

She talked about the times when the mountains of Alpujarra where populated with Moriscos -people who originally were Muslims but they had to convert to Christianity in order to stay in Spain , and to keep their lives of course- . They used to pay a tax to the Spanish king , and then they stopped and there was a rebellion in the mountains that went on for many years ... Bla Bla Bla ... the result is -according to our guide- Muslims gave up their religion because they loved Spain ... and she said in a very dramatic tune: No religion nor ideology worth dieing for it. That was the great conclusion!!!

I was listening to that side by side with my Jordanian Christian friend Sadoof , and I found that so insulting for both of us. When The Catholic Kings of Spain killed muslims , they did not do it because the bible told them so , and when Muslims -supposedly- killed the jews of the jew Neighborhood of Granada , they did not do it because the Koran told them so!! Its never religions fault when people use it for their own intentions!

Anyways ,,,, I was there ,in front of some earthy heaven , with the clouds literally touching my shoes, I was in front of the great heritage of my ancestors and I was supposed to feel bad about it.

I had to search all the files inside my head , to come up with a good academic and historically supported answer , and I could not come up with one ,,, I was secretly humiliated inside my own head , and now I know for sure that I must read or I will simply have to accept that people would tell My history Their way!

I think our guide was honest, academic in many aspects , but I still believe that this part of the world does not want , and does not try to understand us ... They cant imagine that we are nice people , with a very convincing dogma ..we dont hate others , we did not mean to occupy their land ,,, we came with peace , science , tolerance and culture and we were slaughtered our way out. Why not leave us in peace now?

I love Alpujarra ,,,, But I dont wanna talk about it.

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