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Brief history of Ibiza (6th part)
The Arabs and their affairs

(by Pablo Burgués)

 

In the year 0 before (and after) Christ a very nice guy called Christ came into existence. The boy had the gift of the gab, and that, together with a tragic death and a tremendous dramatic effect in the shape of resurrection, turned him overnight into the most fantastic influencer of his time. For all this and some other unimportant reasons, people supported very strongly the self-proclaimed Son of God, and thus Christianity was born.  

Century followed century and neither nothing nor nobody seemed to be able to oust Jesus Christ Super Star from Top 1 of the religious lists. Until 622, when a man called Muhammad appeared with a tremendous hit entitled Islam, which catchy chorus “Allah is Great” quickly became a superhit at all the discos. Indeed it spread like wildfire and in very little time it was the most danced song in all Northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

A bit later, in 902, Muhammad fan club, commonly known as “the Arabs”, conquered Ibiza and rechristened it with the name of Yebisah. Those guys were very calm and with one thing and another they stayed here more than 300 years, and due to this the Arab influence is very present in the island nowadays.

They were the creators of the typical payesa (peasant farmer) architecture and they also brought to the island some top farming advances such as the use of irrigation channels, tanks and the construction of canals such as Es Broll de Buscastell, which is still active nowadays.

Besides, they built the first great city wall, a gunpowderproof, stoneproof, stickproof and fireproof triple walled enclosure. But, you’ll never believe it!... they forgot to build it cuckoldproof…

Indeed, in August 1235, James I of Aragon, completely fed up with so much Islam and everything, entrusted to some colleagues the difficult task of conquering Ibiza. But after five months of tireless siege and facing the impossibility of crossing those walls, the Christian soldiers decided it was time to take a ferry and go back to the peninsula. Right at that moment, God, or Allah, who knows, decided that the city governor felt naughty and slept with his brother’s girlfriend. The brother, in a fit of jealousy, changed sides and showed the Christians a secret passage under the city’s subsoil, through which they could easily get into the fortress’ heart. And in this very folkloric and hardly epic way, Ibiza became part of the Crown of Aragon.

To be continued…

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Pablo Burgués on Instagram and Twitter

Translation: Dora Sales

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