Islam in Al-Andalus: A Special Issue
When author Tor Eigeland had finished researching Spain's Moorish history as recounted in this issue, he set out by car to photograph the country and take a first-hand look at the traces of its rich Muslim past. After driving nearly 1,000 miles through al-Andalus, as the Arabs called their beloved land, Eigeland concluded—perhaps not surprisingly—that the traces are to be found almost everywhere.
"Often," he wrote, "my search was a simple matter of driving along back roads or into remote villages and just asking around the local café what the moros had left thereabouts.
"I received some interesting answers. One innkeeper in the very Arab-looking town of Fornalutx on the island of Majorca told me, 'Well, the moros left here quite a long time ago; I don't rightly know how many years. But many of the houses in this town are from those days.' The same innkeeper also offered a perceptive comment on the recent resurgence of the Arab world. 'I'll tell you something else—the way things are going I wouldn't be surprised if they're back within 100 years!’" —THE EDITORS
Writen and photographed by Tor Eigeland
Tor Eigeland, a Norwegian-born American who has lived in Spain since 1970, first saw that country as a 16-year-old sailor, when his ship called at Barcelona. He later learned Spanish in Mexico and Latin America. Eigeland covered the Middle East for five years from Beirut and in recent years has photographed or written about most of the Arab and Muslim countries for such publications as National Geographic, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, International Wildlife and Smithsonian magazine. His photographs appear regularly in Aramco World and he both wrote and photographed a special issue of the magazine, "Scenic Arabia, A Personal View," in January-February 1975.