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Cities Of Light: The Rise And Fall Of Islamic Spain

Airs Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 9:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A battle re-enactment scene from the film. In 1492, greed, fear and intolerance destroyed the peaceful co-existence of Muslims, Christians and Jews in Islamic Spain. Puritanical judgments and religious absolutism snuffed out the lights of learning, thus beginning years of war and destruction.

A re-enactment scene from the film. More than a thousand years ago, Muslims, Christians and Jews inhabited the same corner of Western Europe and thrived.
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Above: A re-enactment scene from the film. More than a thousand years ago, Muslims, Christians and Jews inhabited the same corner of Western Europe and thrived.

Over a thousand years ago, Europe experienced one of its greatest periods of cultural enlightenment. "Cities Of Light: The Rise And Fall Of Islamic Spain" (from the producers of "Muhammad: Legacy Of A Prophet") takes viewers on an epic journey back into one of the most captivating and important periods of world history — a centuries-long period when Muslims, Christians and Jews inhabited the same far corner of Western Europe and thrived.

The lemon tree, the water wheel and Aristotle's lost philosophy all arrived in Europe through Islamic Spain, as did algebra and the beginnings of modern medicine, science and poetry. Here were the very roots of the European Renaissance. But the fragile union dissipated, destroyed by greed, fear and intolerance.

"If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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Above: "Cities Of Light: The Rise And Fall Of Islamic Spain" Full documentary (PBS) Produced in 2007