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When We Were Arabs

February 21, 20187:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Ambassadors’ Hall (at Calle Alcalá, 62). First floor. 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish.

Arabist Emilio González Ferrín is presenting his most recent work, published by Editorial Almuzara, at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid.

This presentation will include interventions by the author himself, a professor of Islamology at the University of Seville, along with Antonio López, an Ambassador of Spain, and Manuel Pimentel, the director of Editorial Almuzara. The event will be introduced by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe.

Arabic was the language of culture in the Spain which handed down names like Averroes to the Renaissance, without which the Enlightenment could hardly have come about. Recognizing the Arab past of Al-Andalus is an arduous task, because, according to this essay which was just published by Almuzara, a work by Emilio González Ferrín, “public opinion has taken out its anger on that era of our history, mainly because it intentionally relates it with the psychological imbalances of contemporary Islamism.” Therefore, When We Were Arabs is a declaration of principles. It is a book whose intention is to provide a piece of advice: we must inhabit our own history.

Emilio González Ferrín (Ciudad Real, 1965) is a professor of Islamology at the University of Seville. He earned his PhD in 1995, with a thesis on European-Arab dialogue. He has had many articles published, as well as over ten monographs, the most notable of which include Diálogo euro-árabe (Euro-Arab Dialogue, 1997), Salvaciones orientales (Eastern Salvations, 1999), El modernismo islámico (Islamic Modernism, 2000) and La palabra descendida (The Word Descended), winner of the Jovellanos International Essay Award of 2002. Almuzara has published his work La angustia de Abraham (Abraham’s Anguish, 2013). In June of 2008, he was given the “Scientific Work for General Audiences Award” by the University of Seville for his articles in the Spanish written press. He is a founding member of the Observatory of Comparative Religions and director of the Al-Andalus chair (Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation).

Antonio López has a PhD in Law and became a career diplomat in 1977. He has been stationed at Spain’s diplomatic delegations in Romania, Morocco and the European Community. He has been a State Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, the Assistant Director General of Technical and Scientific Cooperation, Ambassador in the Republic of Zaire, and the Director General of the Institute of Cooperation with the Arab World, Mediterranean and Developing Countries. From 2001 to 2006, he was Spain’s ambassador to Jordan, from 2006 to 2010 to Egypt and thereafter in Norway.

Manuel Pimentel is an agricultural engineer and lawyer with a diploma in Executive Business Management and a Master’s degree in Risk Prevention from Lolad (UAB), as well as having a PhD in Law. He was a member of the Andalusian Parliament, as well as becoming the Secretary General of Employment and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. After his intense political activity, he entered the world of books as both a writer and publisher. In addition to others, he has published the novels Peña Laja, Puerta de Indias (Gate of the Indies), El Librero de la Atlántida (The Bookseller from Atlantis) and El Arquitecto de Tombuctú (The Architect from Timbuktu). He has also authored several essays. Leyendas de Medina Azahara (Legends of Medina Azahara) is his second book of stories after the publication of  La Yurta (The Yurt).
When We Were Arabs