National Geographic : 1988 Jul
the Arabic al-hamra,the red one) looks down on two Granadas. One is the sloping Albaicin quarter-austere, labyrinthine, Moorish. The second is the newer city-noisy, businesslike, baroque-that sweeps along broad boulevards out onto the Vega plain. From the rooftop of his restored Moorish house in the heart of the Albaicin, Professor Miguel Jose Hagerty and I enjoyed a sweeping view of the Alhambra. Born in Chicago to Irish parents with Gypsy roots, Professor Hagerty graduated from Notre Dame, where he majored in Islamic Studies. He now teaches Arabic and lectures on Arabic poetry at the University of Granada. "Arab Spain nurtured scores of poets. Many of its rulers-al Mutamid and Abd-al-Rahman I, for instance-were poets in their own right," Professor Hagerty said. "Strict Islamic tradition discour ages the making of 'graven images,' so painting and sculpture never flourished among the Moors. Instead they channeled creative energy into language. With its wealth of vocabulary, its sonorous sounds, its flowing calligraphy, Arabic is well suited to the task. "Little has been translated," he said, but he recalled lines that sur vived the journey into Spanish and English. From Ibn al-Sabuni: I presentyou a precious mirror, Behold there the beauty that consumes me O furtive love, your reflection is more yielding And better keeps its promises ... Then he countered those lines with a stanza by another Sevillian romantic, Ibn Ammar: Slaves in the realm of love Are the only trulyfree men. Professor Hagerty and I climbed to the Alhambra. The lofty SERENADING A STATUE during Holy Week in Osuna, Spain, onlookers break into a passion ate saeta-a spontaneous,fla menco lament reminiscent of the muezzin's call to prayer. The lifelike, ornately decorated figures are borne on platforms through the streets in a reli gious pageantechoed in cities all over Spain.