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Spain, from Moorish to European

By Reck

Spain is only separated from Africa by the narrow straights of Gibraltar. This narrow divide has widened in recent years, and this land that was once divided between the Moors and Castelians is now united with the rest of Europe in the European Union, and pulling away from the neighbors across the straights.

The Moors came to Spain from the South, from Africa. The Alhambra, in Grenada, was their last stronghold, before they were driven from Spain. Since that time, the immigration route from Africa to Europe has gradually closed. With Spain joining the EU, immigration from Africa has taken a whole new twist, as Liliana Suárez-Navaz talks about in her book Rebordering the Mediterranean. African immigrants are no longer assimilated into the culture as they once were. Before everyone saw themselves as struggling side-by-side as outsiders in Europe, but now the Spanish see themselves as full European, and distance themselves from the poor immigrants.

In my travels through Spain, I saw a European country. It seemed to fit with everything I had heard about Europe and had seen in our other European stops. It did not, however, have much of an African, or Muslim, feel to it, except for approved, confined, areas, such as the Arabian market sector near the Alahambra. It seems to me, what was once a border state between Muslim North Africa and the whole of Europe, has pulled away from its African neighbor in an effort to become closer to the rest of the European Union.

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