Laila By David Liebovitz, Sabrina Papas, MishailAdeel, Ivy Liu, and Hanna Khaleeli Andalusia, Laila’s homeland.
Laila is a young girl from the city of Cordoba, in Andalusia, Spain. The year is 954. Her family is Muslim and today, her sister is getting married at the Great Mosque of Cordoba in the heart of the city. The mosque was built by Christians, Muslims, and Jews, and therefore anyone could come there and practice their religion, regardless of what it was. It was the most beautiful mosque in the world, with orange gardens, a dome shaped roof, and red and white bricks on the arches of the ceiling. Signatures of all the architects of the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
Like other women of the time, Laila’s sister, Noor, was promised to her soon-to-be husband by Laila’s father, who was considered by law to be her guardian. Noor was 17 and very pretty and smart– when she went to school, she was a very successful student. Laila wasn’t sure if Noor wanted to get married, but most women would have to at some point, especially if they wanted to have children. Laila’s family had received a very grand dowry from the groom’s family when the wedding was announced. Painting of a woman.
Laila left her house early in the morning; however, her sister had already departed for the mosque. She quickly dressed herself and ran down the stairs, glancing out into the courtyard to wave hello to one of her family’s slaves. Marisol was a Spanish woman– Muslims weren’t supposed to enslave other Muslims– and Laila’s entire family thought she was an extremely efficient worker and treated her with respect, especially because one was supposed to be humane and polite towards their slaves. Typical courtyard in Cordoba.
Hurrying down the street, Laila passed the government building where her father worked. The family lived very near to his workplace. The Ummayad Caliph Abd-Al Rahman III lived in the nearby capital of Madinat-Al Zahra, where the buildings were tall and splendid. Abd Al-Rahman was a really good ruler, people called him the man that made Spain a centre of Islamic culture. Her house was small compared to the ones in Madinat-Al Zahra. Laila hastily walked past the courthouse that carried out Sharia (Islamic law), there was a case that happened recently, a government official had mistreated a slave, and according to her father, justice was given strictly to the government official, as the law was made to protect the weak. Gate entrance to the Caliph’s city.
Lailahad to stop at the bazaar on the way to the wedding; luckily, it was right near the mosque, in the centre of the city. She wanted to bring her sister a silk scarf as a gift– there was a man who would bring silk, earthenware and porcelain all the way from China and sell it at the bazaar. As she ran into the market, she passed many stalls, selling goods from anywhere from Persia to the Far East to right there in Spain, owned by Muslim, Christian, and Jewish men alike. Women and men were both looking at the goods for sale, most of the women clad in veils that covered their bodies. The Chinese vases sold at the bazaar in Cordoba.
Leaving the bazaar, Laila passes bath houses and buildings, and a smaller mosque as well. While there were many Jewish and Christian places of worship within the city and they were almost never discriminated against, Islam was definitely the most common religion. She heard people reciting prayers inside the building– prayers were said five times a day, and as a result, verses from the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book) were regularly heard throughout the city. The Qur’an, which is used in prayer.
Finally, Laila reached the beautiful mosque of Cordoba, which was completely splendid with its high ceilings and arches, just in time to help her sister get ready and join the wedding party. Her sister loved the Chinese silk scarf and the wedding went perfectly– and Laila’s entire trip through the city of Cordoba was completely worth it. Arches in Cordoba’s Great Mosque.