The Moors

Middle ages in Europe and Africa


Assumptions rob us of our sight. If I assume who you are before I have learnt who you are, I fail to see you. People of African descent have been assumed to be many things, many things which they are not. This project is to show you who we are; ours and your legacy. 

“If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going….” Maya Angelou 

Throughout this project you will learn how the building blocks of the world we enjoy today are international. People from all corners of the earth have come together to produce greatness. This project will focus on the contribution of those individuals of recent African descent. 

We should all be proud of our heritage and bare in mind that although we don’t inherit the sins of our fathers, we do inherit the world which has been left to us. And it is our duty to improve that world for ourselves and for others. 

Listen carefully and contribute. You’ll be asked to explore, put forth arguments and debate. Let your views be heard and share this work. 

Without further adieu…

The Moors – The Middle Ages

From 700-1492, if you would have had the pleasure of visiting southern Spain, you would have heard a prayer call in Arabic, calling muslims of African, Arabic and Spanish descent to pray in the great Mosques of the time. You would have smelt the sweetest perfumes and seen elaborate garments (img). You may have had the pleasure of being one of the first people in Europe to snack on a pomegranate and drink coffee before being served a three course meal; starter, main and desert. 

The sound of the Oud, the predecessor of the guitar, would be heard in the city centres (img). You may have stayed in a riad, with a central garden, a stone building built with absolute mathematical precision rather than wooden barns which were common in the rest of Europe. (img

All of these pleasures and more were brought to Europe thanks to the Moors. 

Imagine Muslim international traders, the world’s best scientists, mathematicians, elaborate riches and sophisticated dining practices and you have the Moors. Testimonies to their presence features in many African, Arabic and European towns as well as our language (img). Words with the prefix “Al” such as algebra, alcohol, chemistry, nadir, alkaline, and cipher entered the language. Even words such as checkmate, influenza, typhoon, orange, and cable can be traced back to Arabic origins as they made their way into European Language whilst the Moors occupied Southern Spain until the Spanish Reconquista (711 – 1492). They also were responsible for introducing Coffee and Lemons into Europe as well as refined Architecture. 

This section on the Moors is heavily influenced by the work of African historian, Robin Walker and his book titled “When We Ruled” and the documentary “When the Moors ruled Europe by Bettany Hughes”.

By 500AD the Holy Roman Empire was in decline giving rise to the dark ages (img). The Roman Empire had imploded and minor fractions are now fighting for power. This was an era in Europe of which little was written, chaos was rife and tribal warfare was common. 

Robert Briffault, a keen student of development of culture, wrote the following commentary on this part of world history; 

“..Europe lay sunk in a night of barbarism… more awful and horrible than that of the primitive savage. For it was the decomposing body of what had been a great civilisation… Cities had practically disappeared…. The remains of the population dwell in huts…. Built among the ruins of the ampitheatre…. Famines and plagues were chronic… cases of cannibalism were not uncommon; there were manhunts not with a view to plunder, but for food. It is on record that at Tournus on the Saone, human flesh was publicly put up for sale…:

From the breakdown of order under the Roman Empire, we had an implosion of society giving rise to chaos. However the dark ages were an isolated event from the rest of the world. As Europe was tearing itself to pieces, a new Empire had formed. The Moorish Empire was enjoying a Golden age of Islamic civilisation. 

Islam (img)

In 610AD the Prophet Muhammad claimed to have been greeted by the angel Gabriel. The life of the prophet Muhamad and his message was written into what we now know as the Quran. At the time of Muhammad, many pagan religions had formed but none gained the popularity of Islam which is today’s 2nd largest religion, 2nd to Christianity. However Islam arguably boasts the largest actively practiing followers. 

Islam’s popularity is partly due to the genius of its early followers who created a Muslim settlement called Medina (img), rather than stay as a nomadic religion. This provided an urban base for Islam to sprout from which allowed control and uniformed its practice. 

At the time, raids between territories were commonplace. (img) Tribes may raid neighbouring tribes for supplies, cattle, hierarchy etc. however these raids progressively took on a religious flavour; demonstrating the might of Islam or the will that Allah bestowed upon His loyal followers. 

“You are Arab chiefs… denounce this world and God will give you this world and the hereafter…”

Within decades, Islamic rule spanned from Persia to North Africa, covering two continents…. Soon to be three. 

The prophet Muhamad instructed his followers to seek knowledge. This had a huge affect on the followers of Islam. (img) Whereas historically, literacy rates were kept low to ensure a controlled economic structure throughout Europe and Asia, Islam encouraged learning of Arabic. Firstly to enable Muslims to read the Quran and secondly to enable them to pursue education. Religion and study of the arts and sciences was thereafter combined. Madrasas (schools) were built beside Mosques to allow prayer and study to occur in the same vicinity. These Madrases were built throughout North Africa as the Islamic influence expanded. 

Arab expansion across North Africa (img)

Due to the heat of the desert, the Arabs travelled at night when the temperature dropped to sometimes below freezing. To navigate at night, they learnt to read the stars. This developed into astronomy; the study of the stars, moons and planets. 

Advanced mathematical systems had to be developed to use the stars for navigation but also for religious reasons. Muslims pray towards Mecca. As Islam moved throughout Northern Africa, Muslims needed to accurately calculate the position of Mecca, for which they used the stars. They also used further mathematics to time religious festivals which were co-ordinated with the lunar calendar. 

As instructed by their prophet, Muhammad who told his followers to “seek knowledge”, the Muslims were aggressive readers and absorbed knowledge from every civilisation they came across. As the Muslims progressed throughout North Africa, they started to convert and mix with the native populations to quickly resemble the people who we refer to today as, the Moors. (img)

When the advancing Muslim armies conquered Alexandria, Egypt, they stumbled across a gold mine. The Great Alexandria Library which was built during the reign of the Ptolemaic pharaohs of ancient Egypt, 3rd century BC, contained the Greek classics. The Moors absorbed the classics into their empire, progressing the works with their own input. They translated key works such as the Greek classics and the Bible into Arabic. (img)

The Berbers of north Africa, present day Morocco were the next to convert to Islam on the 8th century. Morocco, a mere 9 miles from Spain provided an access point into Europe. (img)

Meanwhile in Spain, King Roderick (img) , a Visigoth Germanic leader had conquered the native Spaniards and held control over them with an iron fist. However Count Julian of Ceuta, an ally of King Roderick, had sent his daughter to stay with King Roderick for education in Toledo. To Count Julian’s fury, King Roderick took advantage of Count Julian’s daughter and impregnated her. In vengeance, Count Julian recalled his daughter. He revealed the vulnerable areas of King Roderick’s defense to Musa Ibn Nasir, the Governer of the Moorish army, who was stationed 9miles away in Africa.  

In 710AD, Governor Musa Ibn Nasir instructed General Tarif (img) to invade the coast of Spain with 500 troops. They attacked the coast line which had been flagged as vulnerable by Count Julian. The troops landed at a small port and were quickly victorious in their campaign. In Tarif’s honour, the port was named after him; Tarifa. The Moors added a tax to all who wanted to use the port. This came to be known as a “Tariff”, a term which we still use today. 

A year later in 711AD, another invasion would follow. Tarik Ibn Ziyad (img), governor of Mauritania landed with 6700 African soldiers and quickly built a fort in Mons Calpe. Once again, the area was named in Tarik’s honour; Gebel Tarik meaning “Rock of Tarik” which is now today called “Gibraltar”. 

Much like the Romans, 700 years before them, the Moors didn’t have to rely on violence to conquer. Impressed by the structure, culture and wealth of the Moors, many Spaniards flocked to Tarik’s allegiance to fight the Visigoth rulers. On their arrival, the Moors found many cities in despair under Visigoth rule. Many Spaniards may have struck truces with the Moors in exchange of protection. Tarik’s power grew and in the summer of 711AD he marched his forces to face the Visigoth King Roderick himself. His army was 14,000 strong (img) against King Roderick’s 60,000 strong army. Tarik was victorious within an hour

“the Moors horses were fire, their faces black as pitch… The goths were broken in an hour” says a European writer at the time.

Later in 712AD, Musa ibn Nasir mobilised 18000 Arabs and Africans and seized Carmona, Cremona, Medina and Sidona (img). After being chased down by Tarik’s army, King Roderick was killed in battle in 713AD. 

As Spain settled, Africans flocked to Spain by the thousands. On the governor’s arrival, Musa whipped Tarik and reprimanded him for his hasty take over of territory and threw him in prison. However when the Khalif heard, he demanded Taik’s freedom and reinstated him as governor after recalling Musa to Demascus, ordering him to step down. 

Task: Islam has been protrayed many different ways via our news outlets. We will learn that Islam, African and Middle astern culture shaped the way of life we enjoy today. Explore how this may have given you a different impression of foreign or non-Christian influence? Explore as to whether this is something that should be taught more widely? Do you think it would be good or a bad thing to know of the multi-ethnic forces which have contributed to Britain?

What did the Moors look like?

The Moors seemed to be a mixed-race civilisation. Now this may be surprising but a racialised view of society is something that has developed in Western Europe over the last half a millenia. Previous to this, even Europeans would often depict the symbolic wisdom and wealth of Africans in their Nativity displays up until the 16th century. We can see this in the “Adoration of the Kings” (img) when the 3 wise kings came to visit Jesus . This positive depiction of Africans was quickly done away with as Europe started to become invested in the capture and enslavement of Africans. The narrative quickly turned from viewing Africans in a positive light to viewing them as savages. Ironically, was to justify the savage intention of the Europeans, to enslave and brutalise the Africans. 

The Romans themselves were also, not a racialised society. They were imperialistic i.e. they viewed non-Romans as inferior but this wasn’t based on a racial ideology. In fact, one of the earliest Roman Legions to settle in England were described as “Ethiopian” which translates to “burnt face”. The bodies of the Romanan soldiers who settled in York at the time were tested and shown to have an average of 10% Afrian DNA (black british history, David Olusoga) (img)

Task: why do you think societies categorise people in different ways? How does this serve the nation? Or does it serve the nation?


Medicine was also very developed and advanced in the Moorish Empire. The Moors introduced advanced medical procedures into their healthcare systems hundreds of years before other European realms. Tracheotomies, a procedure to allow air into the lungs, and relief of eye injuries caused by hypertension were used very early in Moorish Spain and the rest of the empire. Palaces such as the Madinat Al Zahra (img) were constructed, taking up to 10,000 builders to complete. It housed over 600,000 books and helped the production of over 70,000 books every year. 

Monk, John of Gorze (img), when visiting the palace, wrote of mechanical lions and birds and enhanced lighting lining the walkways. He described how the Kaliph would sit on a throne which was levered up and down to mimic levitation. Fountains and artificial rivers flowed between rooms. In Morocco today, we can still see such features in the Riads (img). The buildings are inwardly facing into a courtyard which boast water features and beautiful gardens to represent the garden of Eden and the life which springs from water. 

TASK: The Moors also brought love poetry and the Oud to Europe which later evolved into the Guitar. See if you can see the similarities between the Oud and the Spanish guitar

The Arts

It is likely  that End Rhyme was also introduced into Europe by the Moors. This is where the last words of the lines rhyme. Dwight F Reynolds from the University of California states that at this time only 3 cultures in the world(the Chinese, India and the Arabs) were the only cultures who practiced end rhyme. French troubadours were inspired by the Arabic poets (singing court girls) who then travelled to England to spread their art. Poetry led to songs. Today, would we have had rhyming songs in the charts if it was not for the Moorish influence on poetry?

By the 10th century BC, the Moors had already expanded across northern Africa and into Southern Spain. For 800 years, Spain would remain a Muslim country under the Moors. Cordoba (img) would, in many way, resemble a modern city. By 950AD, Cordoba had a population of at least 1 million residents, paved streets, 200,000 properties, 60,000 mansions and palaces, running water, 900 public baths and many private baths.

Education was universal (img) and was offered to both boys and girls. Over 1000 mosques flourished. The Great Mosque had over 1000 columns made of jasper, marble and porphyr that lifted a golden and scarlet roof. 

The Cordobans (img) also had access to commerce via 4000 markets and 80,000 shops. Due to the extensive trade routes throughout the Moorish Empire, they had access to Chinese Tea, Indian Spices, Russian furs, African Ebony and Ivory. 

Previously the Arabs had invaded Egypt and the rest of North Africa. Many Africans fled from North Africa to the lands south of the Sahara. Those who remained converted to Islam. 

The Moorish Empire boasted many strong leaders over the centuries who accomplished many amazing feats. But the good isn’t without the bad. Many leaders worsened political and civil relations, making the empire more vulnerable. 

Hisham the 1st, “the Just” 788AD (img)

Hisham the 1st was known as “The Just” due to his compassionate personality and philanthropic nature. In 788AD, Hisham had enhanced intellectual and cultural pursuits, recruiting poets, scholars and scientists. He also welcomed political refugees who were fleeing tyranny. He personally visited the sick and the disabled and hired guards to patrol the streets and to keep neighbourhoods safe. He also rebuilt the bridge of Cordoba which was originally 1st Century, Roman. 

Al-Hakam 796AD (img)

Al-Haka ruled with an iron fist. In 803AD he squashed a Muslim rebellion, killed 5000 oppontents, crucified nobles and recruited 5000 slavic mercenaries. After the people revolted over harsh taxes, he squashed the rebellion and exiled 25000 people to Africa; Alexandria and Fez

Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn NAfi’ Ziryab (the black bird) (img), non ruler, middle eastern singer and gentleman

Known by the nickname Ziryab which means “black bird” and born in 822AD, Ziryab was an out and out trend setter who influenced much of the luxury we seek even today. Ziyab normalised seasonal wear i.e. to dress differently in each season; popularised the use of deodorant and perfume. He also replaced goblets with crystal glasses and introduced the etiquette of the three course meal. For the first time, a starter, main and desert were served rather than a typical “feast” where all food was served at once. 

However complacency was soon to lead the Moors into trouble (iimg). Abd-al Rahman has reduced spending on the standing army and had instead preferred to invest in cultural and scientific development. Over an extended period of time, the Moors had grown increasingly reliant on mercenaries from other lands. By 796AD, Al Hakam had recruited 5000 slavic mercenaries. The use of mercenaries grew over the following centuries, fragmenting Moorish control. 

Christian powers were also simultaneously growing as Moorish sophistication was at its height. In 1095AD, Pope Urban II ordered a crusade to remove Islam from the holy lands. This was to prevent Islamic influence from taking over Christendom. 

Task: In 2001 George Bush announced a “crusade” on Terrorism shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the world trade centres by the Taliban. The Visigoths and other Spanish tribes wanted economic control over Spain. Many people argued that the war in Afghanistan and Iraq was also for economic power. Why would a leader want to brand a war for economic power as a religious war? What is the advantage and disadvantage of doing so?

Rise of the Almoravides

At this time in Europe, the Christians had a more sacrificial perspective on religion. They wanted to be martyrs for their faith; i.e. they wanted to suffer as Christ did. This was is great contrat to their Muslim, Moorish brothers and their “enjoyment of life and all its pleasure… Their music and singing, their learning and science were abhorrent to these ascetic”.  (img)

To ruffle the feathers of the Moors, the Christian Spanish and Visigoths would openly blaspheme against the Prophet Muhammad. 

Abd-Al Rahman II (img) and his successor Muhammad I experienced increasingly troubled reigns. Toledo won independence from Moorish rule in 852AD. Merida won independence in 852AD. King Alfonso of Leon claimed Muslim territories in the north and a peace treaty was agreed in 883AD

The Moors then decided to expand to Italy. For a short time in 846AD, the Moors held Rome. “Africans permeated all levels of Italian society…. Including the Medicis” The Moors then went on to found the town of Madrid in the mid 9th century. 

(img) Northern Christian Spaniards continued to rally against the Muslim Moors. The Christians continued to rapidly gain Moorish territory from the 11th century, and by the 13th Century and gained control of Al-Andalus which had been fragmented by civil unrest between the Moors. The Christians used scorched earth tactics which were used with great effect by Julius Cesar, hundreds of years earlier. This is the tactic of burning shelter, farmland and destroying supply lines as an army advances to destroy anything which may be useful to the enemy. The Christians broke irrigation systems and took bribes for protection; this heavily contrasted the order of Muslim rule. But help was coming from Sub-Saharan Africa

The Almoravides (img)

Islamic leader Ibn Yasin settled in Tekkur, by the Senegal River. He had been previously outcasted by the Berbers in North Africa after they denounced Islam. Ibn Yasin allied with Abu Bakar and took Senegal and Morocco in 1052. 

by  1062 the Almovarides had founded Marrakech, the African Capital of the Moorish Empire. The Almovarides marched onto Ghana, which they conquered by 1076. The Almoravides were particularly dark in complexion. They rode light footed horses and were strict, fundementalist Muslims. 

In 1083AD Al Mutammad (img) fled from Seville to the Almoravides, begging for help in the Moorish fight against the Visigoths in Spain. Yusuf Ibn Tashifin (img) raised an army of African Moors armed with Indian swords on camel back. His army was composed of every ethnic group in the western desert. Yusuf Ibn Tashifin faced the Christians in 1086AD and pushed them out of Southern Spain. However, as the area settled, the Almoravides started to impose strict Islamic rule in Southern Spain. 

Task: We often see more extreme views dominate politics in times of desperation or disorder. Why do you think this is?

Nearing the End of Moorish Spain

The Almoravides felt the need to purify (img) the diverse multicultural existence of Southern Spain (Al- Andalus). They built great mosques and introduced gold coinage into Europe to improve trade. However conflict between the Muslim Moors and Christian Visigoths was continuing to rise. 

King Alfonso of aragon (img) and Ali Ibn Yusuf of the Almoravids went to battle. Moorish Spain, Al-Andauz, descended into corruption and chaos under the fighting between the Moors and the Visigoths. Simultaneously, Moorish Spain was growing intolerant of the fundementalist views of the Almoravides. The Almoravides (img) applied the teachings of the Quran literally, with little flexibility, when Moorish Spain had enjoyed a rich and expressive culture with little oppression previous to their arrival. 

The Almohad movement grew to oppose the Almoravides. The Almohads triumphed in battle and later executed the Almoravid leader. To increase revenue, the Almohads increased taxes for non-Muslims. With this revenue, they built Seville (img) into a great city under education and work incentives such as schooling and apprenticeships; one of the world’s great cities in medieval times  However the previously loyal Christians under Moorish rule soon lost faith in Moorish leadership and travelled north to Christian territory. 

Christian leadership was consistently growing in military and economic strength. Chrisitan leaders were hiring rebels as mercenaries and funding their attacks on Moorish Spain to the south. Guzman El Bueno (img), who is today celebrated as a Christiain Knight, successfully defended the town of Tarifa from the Moors. Guzman El Bueno became richer throughout his occupation and his family, the Medina Sidonia family, became the richest land owners in the country. 

However Guzman’s archives reveal a discrepancy in his legacy. Purchase records of his house in Al Andaluz reveal Guzman to be otherwise called “Guzman the Vassal”. In other words, Guzman was a foreigner. He was born in Morocco and was actually an African Muslim. 

Task: Why do you think that Guzman decided to record himself as a Christian? Why do you think the Spanish continue to recall him as a Christian defeating the Moors when he was a Moor himself?

El Cid and Moorish Spain

Guzman wasn’t the only Muslim African who was recorded as being a Spanish Christian. It seems that as the Moorish grip on Spain started to weaken, more and more Moors were declaring themselves Christian and joining “the winning team”. 

El Cid (img) who is celebrated today by Christian Spain was also of Arabic descent and was a mercenary. The truth is that rather than this being a religious war; a Crusade or a Jihad, Christians vs Muslims etc, the fight for Spain was much closer to a Civil War (img). The people were quickly aligning to the side who they perceived to represent their prosperity. We may see the same thing occur in households during a general election. Debates over which party to vote for in the UK can get pretty intense. If we add some violence and organisation to that violence, we have the foundations for a civil war. 

This period of history is call the “Reconquista” as Spanish Christians fought to expel the Moors from Spanish rule. It lasted 300 years and eventually resulted in the destruction of the more sophisticated Moorish Empire.

Task: Would you overthrow a foreign ruler if that ruler benefited the residents of your country? If so, why? Why would a less able but ethnically similar ruler appear more favourable?

Civil or Religious War?

There are many benefits to classing what may be classed as a civil war, into a religious war. Many religions are very clear in their doctrines; do no harm, love your neighbour as yourself; thou shalt not kill etc. But religion can also be a flag or an identity to rally around. This plus an assumption that God is on your side and we have a recipe for a religious war. 

Christian King Peter took over Seville in 1248 (img). Despite conquering the Moors, he decided to keep their architecture. He even had Quaranic texts written in Arabic inscribed around his palace. Kin Peter also called himself the “Caliph” as opposed to King. It seems he had utmost respect for his conquered enemy. 

The Renaissance (img)

The renaissance is a period of European history, originally believed to have started in Italy. It marks the abandonment of faith and the adoption of curiosity in its place. We see great scientists, mathematicians and fashions arise during this time. Classical philosophy, art, literature and astronomy were repopularised… but as we know, culture tends to evolve, not spring out of nowhere. (img) And as we have explored, there was another Empire at the time which had already absorbed astronomy, art, fashion and classical Greek philosophy into their customs; the Moors. Did they provide the ignition for the European renaissance? Many historians would say that they did. 

The foundations of the Renaissance may have been laid in Toledo (img), Muslim Spain. Toledo was captured in the 11th century, 1085 by Christians in a peaceful takeover. The Christian invaders left the Mosques and libraries untouched, allowing them to learn from the Moors. Muslims and Christians sat side by side, allowing the refinement of science and art. They integrated what they learnt into their societies and kingdoms. English adventurer, 

Dale of Morley (img) wrote of the contrasts between the Parisian (Paris) and Arabic Scholars. He regarded the Arabic Scholars and wise and accomplished in comparison to their European counterparts. He was heavily influenced by their approach to education and scholarly work. Dale returned some years later with his acquired knowledge to establish a town in England that would have a clear focus on the pursuit of Education; Oxford. 

This provided a new pursuit of reason and logic; an alternate path to faith alone. As previously discussed, at this point in time, faith in God was all that was prized. Curiosity was in many ways taboo as it was deemed to be questioning God’s work. This curiosity of the world continued throughout the Renaissance. 

Jewish, Christian and Muslim explorers gathered in Toledo (img) to explore the libraries and translate the works for their own people. Very quickly, Arabic words started to migrate across languages. 

  • Hassassin – Assassin
  • Al chemia – alchemy – chemistry
  • Arsenal – collection of weapons
  • Alcohol
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Algorithm – a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations
  • Algebra – mathematics in which letters and other general symbols are used to represent numbers 
  • Cifra – cipher – zero
  • The numerical sequence from 1-9 which allowed for more complex calculations

Due to their ease of use, Arabic numerals were quickly adopted around Europe. Salisbury cathedral, built in England 1200AD features Arabic numerals on its wooden beams. The builders would have used the numerals to coordinate the build. 

Task: The Moors developed new numerical systems which we use today. Split the class into side A and B. A you use roman numerals and B you use Arabic numerals to solve the following equations

Reconquista: the Finale

However despite much of Europe benefiting from Moorish influence, the Reconquista was about to finalise. Cordoba, Valencia and Seville all fell to Christian rule until only Grenada was left. Spanish Christians continued to remove evidence of the Moors from Spain, burning their towns and books as well as expelling thousands of Muslims and Jews from Spain (ref)

Grenada, the final frontier of the Spanish, Moorish rivalry was about to fall after defending itself from attacks for 200 years. Its towers and mountainous vantage points were about to be out-matched. 

Queen Isabella of Castile married Ferdinand of Aragon (img) to unite all of Christian Spain against Moorish Grenada. They blockaded the Grenadian city of Alhambra, preventing it from receiving aid and the city fell within a year. Isabella and Ferdinand then founded the Spanish Inquisition to hunt and punish anyone who was not of Orthodox Catholic faith. Those who were found guilty were subject to an auto-de-fe where the guilty were forced to repent for their sins. Some were burnt at the steak, some robbed of their assets i.e. their land, businesses, homes, jewelry and other valuable belongings. 

Muslims were labeled heretics and were forced to convert, leave or be punished. Some hid their faiths in the privacy of their Riads (img), practicing Islam and Judaism where the outside world couldn’t see in. Descendants of Abu Abdullah “learned to beg for their daily bread”; Muslims were forced into segregated ghettos where the Inquisitors would go door to door to raid homes and hold Muslims captive. 

Within 20 years, all Muslims had been converted (img). The huge majority of people who fell victim to expulsion were Muslim Spaniards who were genetically European; hence the greater similarity to a civil war than a religious war. In 10 years, over 250,000 Muslims were removed from Spain and took refuge in North Africa. 

Ironically in their final resting place, Isabella and Fernando were buried in a tomb where Arabic reads “there is no God but Allah” (img). 

Christians converted the Great Mosque (img) into a Cathedral and by 1492 the Spanish Reconquista was complete. Spain was Chrisitan again, the same year Christopher Columbus sailed for America. In the following centuries, the native people of Africa and America (img) would fall to deadly fate from foreign invaders. Lands of America and Africa would be changed for the foreseeable future from lands of promise, opportunity and innovation to despair. 

Task: Explore the chain of events which led to the fall of the Moorish Empire. What would you have done differently as leader to prevent it from falling?

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