Ana M. Carreño Leyva

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Ana M. Carreño Leyva lives in Granada, Spain, where she is a translator of modern languages and a freelance writer who specializes in the diverse cultural heritages of al-Andalus and the Mediterranean region.

Articles by Ana M. Carreño Leyva

Key to a Kingdom: Ronda’s Secret Water Mine

Key to a Kingdom: Ronda’s Secret Water Mine

Sometime in the 12th century, at the center of a frequently contested region in what is now southwestern Spain, atop sheer cliffs that fall to the river below, hydraulic engineers working for the Almohad rulers of the taifa of Ronda began directing men wielding picks to carve, stroke by stroke, a secret staircase down through the rock to the river: It was a water mine, for use in case of siege, and it worked until May 13, 1485, when it was breached by the army of the Marquis of Cádiz. Cut off from water, the  town surrendered. The victory bolstered the Spanish campaign against the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, and in 1492, Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula was over. Now historians are taking a closer look—and finding more questions.

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Africa's First City of Islam

Africa's First City of Islam

Founded on a plain between sea and hills in the year 670 CE, Kairouan became a capital of dynastic power and a cultural beacon, the center for the spread of Muslim Arab influence through North Africa and southern Europe— not only in religion, but also in architecture, medicine, education, law and more.
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A Museum of the World

A Museum of the World

Ten years in the making and the first universal museum in the Arab world, the newly opened Louvre Abu Dhabi sets out a dozen themed galleries to tell cross-civilizational stories about the relationships of cultures—in every land, from the earliest settlements to today—that informed and inspired each other along their myriad respective quests of expression and beauty.
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