There are many historical and cultural links between Spain and the Arab world and while these may be outdated, Case Arabe is aiming to revive the Islamic and Arab influence in their own homeland. Casa Arabe is an institute based in Madrid and Cordoba and are dedicated to spreading and teaching Arab and Islamic studies to the Arabic speaking individuals in Spain. It was formed in July 2006 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Spanish Agency for International Development. The goals of the institute is teaching political, economical, cultural and educational aspects of the Arab and Muslim world.
Adnan Al-Timimi had the chance to interview Eduardo Lopez Busquets, the Director General of Casa Arabe, and asked him how Casa Arabe was formed, the different aspects of the institution, the feedback it gets from its students as well the future plans of Casa Arabe.
Can you explain what Casa Arabe is all about?
We are an institution focused on teaching Islamic and Arabic studies through three aspects, which include politics, economics, and cultural/social studies. Casa Arabe wants to spread Arabic and Islamic teachings around the Arabic-speaking countries in the world, mostly in Latin America. We have headquarters in Madrid and Cordoba and our goal is to help promote and encourage Arab literature and the development of institutions to help with learning about Islam and Arab world. Casa Arabe has many services including a media library, an auditorium and a cinema that features films dedicated to Arabic culture, an exhibition room, cafeteria and patios.
That's a very impressive initiative. What would you say are the ages you target?
We mainly target people ages 18-45 because those people are the ones who have the enthusiasm to learn and are in their prime to experience. Although we have seniors in our institution, we look forward to teenagers and young adults joining our school of learning. We also target Arab publications like Khaleejesque and stock them to Casa Arabe to spread both the content of the magazine and to enrich the visitors with Arab-esque qualities.
Do you get the same positive outreach and response from our audience?
Fortunately, we have visitors and scholars visiting us regularly especially from America and Latin America. In America, almost 13% of the population speak Spanish so we tend to work closely to that region because of all the Spanish speakers. We support our foundation financially to a certain level to ensure satisfaction among our visitors.
How is Casa Arabe different in Europe than it is in America and Latin America?
Casa Arabe is different depending on the targeted region although we spread the same literature around with the same amount of effort. Teaching about heritage is what Casa Arabe is about so between countries that we work with, all the content is pretty much the same and we give them an experience about Islamic and Arab culture for them to increase their general knowledge.
What are Casa Arabe's future plans?
We want to go to London and launch Casa Arabe and introduce the institution there, sharing Casa Arabe to the people of London.
For more information about Casa Arabe, visit en.casaarabe.es
Images courtesy of Casa Arabe