Syrian influence in Cordoba, Spain
Quoted from T. Glick: Islamic and Christian Spain in the Early Middle Ages, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1979. pp 55-6.
Most striking of all was the extensive Syrianization of the landscape that took place throughout the eighth century, first, through the settlement of Syrian contingents (junds) in such places as Seville and Valencia; second, through the wholesale importation of Syrian styles by the cadres of Umayyad clients who flocked to the peninsula after 756; third, by the deliberate policy of Umayyad emirs, 'Abd al-Rahman I in particular.
The introduction of Syrian agricultural systems, of hydraulic machinery used in Syria, of Syrian building techniques and decorative motifs, the deliberate importation of vegetation native to Syria -- these were among the many discrete elements that contributed to the Syrianization of Andalusi towns and countryside. Here, we are concerned only with perceptions: that these constellations of elements were perceived of as being distinctively Syrian.
Seville (Ishbîliya), settled by Syrian junds, was customarily and affectionately referred to by Arab writers and poets of east and west alike as Hims al-Andalus, after the Syrian town of that name. In a similar vein, ibn Sa'id, a thirteenth-century writer from Alcalá la Real (Granada), remarked that no eastern cities reminded him of home except for Damascus and Hama, a central Syrian town, and al-Shaqundi called Granada the Damascus of al-Andalus. Not surprisingly, the Damascus scenes in the film "Lawrence of Arabia" were filmed in Seville, a city generally acknowledged to resemble traditional Damascus more than Damascus itself.
by: T. Glick, Sat 20 July, 2002