Christmas fun for all audiences
Casa Árabe recommends the following activities for this holiday season
December 20, 2016
MADRID / CóRDOBA
If you would like to see one of the most notable examples of the Mudéjar architecture style in Cordoba, we invite you to visit Casa Árabe’s headquarters at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9, during the Christmas season. The Casa Mudéjar building is actually a group of five different houses linked together by galleries, passageways and stairwells. In its exhibition hall, you can enjoy this architectural heritage along with the exhibition “Fugitive” by Nicène Kossentini. Her work was inspired by the Cordoba Mosque (open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.). Both the Mosque and Madinat al-Zahra are stops you won’t want to leave out of any visit either.
If you are looking for reading or a guide to the city, we recommend a book by Manuel Ramos Gil which lists “Las casas señoriales de Córdoba” (“The Manorial Homes of Cordoba”).
If you travel to Granada, Seville, etc., you can complete a historical heritage tour essential for understanding the medieval past of Al-Andalus. While in Granada, we also recommend the recent work by José Antonio González Alcantud, La Alhambra, mito y vida 1930-1990 (The Alhambra, Myth and Life, 1930-1990).
For those in Madrid on these dates, we recommend the following activities:
The title of this exhibition comes from the Arabic word “khayal,” which refers to creative imagination. The show presents works by Spanish artists whose creative process has a direct or indirect personal link to Sufism. Whether as the result of personally approaching it or a gradual internalization in life, Sufism has become a source of inspiration in their art.
With the exception of December 25 and January 1 and 6, when the exhibition will be closed, the opening times will remain the same as always.
• Workshop for kids:
Books are like boxes in which we store away the things we know, what we think and what we feel, to share it with other people who are sometimes very far away in time and place. Sometimes, like in The Wonderful Book of Calila and Dimna, which King Alphonse X The Wise ordered to have translated from the Arabic into Spanish, these boxes carry others within, which in turn, contain others inside. They are like what we refer to as “Chinese boxes.”
Friday, December 23, 2016, at noon
Saturday, January 21, 2017, at noon
San Isidro Museum
To the most curious Arab history and culture lovers, we recommend a visit to the San Isidro Museum, dedicated to Madrid’s patron saint. You can discover the origins of Arab Madrid through its permanent exhibition.
National Archeological Museum
We recommend two exhibitions at this museum:
The first is about the legacy of Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula. We recommend the brief guide written by the museum to make your visit as interesting as possible.
“The Arabs’ arrival in 711 and their rapid expansion constitute the moment in time traditionally considered to mark the beginning of the Middle Ages on the Iberian Peninsula. For eight centuries, Muslims and Christians would share their territory, economy and culture, with periods of stability and others of confrontation, ending with the Christian conquest of the Nasrid kingdom by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in the fifteenth century. Shown from this Islamic culture (Al-Andalus) are its technical and scientific contributions, its sumptuary architectural, decorative and artisanal creations, and their influence on the Christian world. Regarding the Christian Kingdoms, there is a display about the role played by monasteries in preserving and disseminating religious thought, including codices, architectural sculpture, images and reliquaries, as well as a display on the cities’ production of crafts and their social organization expressed through heraldry and funerary monuments.”
The second exhibition shows the collections “The Nile: Egypt and Nubia,” and “The Ancient Middle East“:
“The Fertile Crescent includes Egypt and the Middle East, where the first urban civilizations, a centralized political structure and monumental architecture all came about. The objects that can be seen in this section provide information, on the one hand, about the great contributions made to civilization by Mesopotamia’s cultures and, on the other, the particular natural environment in which the ancient Egyptians and Nubians lived, along with their everyday lives and religious and funerary beliefs.”
• Balqís Bookstore:
The Balqís bookstore, located inside Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid, offers a wide variety of books (novels, poetry, comics, cookbooks, books on geopolitical current events in the region, Arabic language textbooks, etc.) and specializes in the Arab world.
What better gift to give than a book?
If what you like to do during the holidays is go to the movies with family and friends, then we recommend the following two films:
A caravan crosses the Atlas Mountains of Morocco with the mission of driving a dying patriarch to the town where he was born, where he hopes to find his final resting place. The trip is filled with unknowns, but Ahmed and Saïd, two young hustlers, assure that they know the way.
In another place, and perhaps another time, Shakib, a jokester who works as a taxi driver, is recruited to carry out the task of watching over the caravan and make sure that the patriarch’s widow complies with the tribe’s promise.
They grow disoriented but have to surmount the snow, being chased, attacks and kidnapping. In a plot twist reminiscent of Don Quixote, Shakib makes “the mules fly” to cross the treacherous mountains, using his faith to alter the expeditioners’ fate.
At cinemas as of January 5, and soon at Casa Árabe.
Leila, Nour and Salma are three Palestinian citizens of Israel who share an apartment and life experiences. Bar Bahar (Between Two Worlds) shows us the duality to which the three young women are subjected in their everyday lives, trapped between tradition and life in the big city, as well as the price they must pay for a lifestyle that most consider normal: the freedom to work, have fun and make their own choices.
Now playing at cinemas