Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain Debuts

Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain debuts on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 9 p.m.

The documentary explores the causes that destroyed the one civilization of pluralism and interfaith cooperation that for a few centuries lit the Dark Ages of Medieval Europe.

Now, over a thousand years later, issues of religious intolerance continue to divide nations. This film serves as an example of both the glories of a multicultural society and the tensions that arise when one religious or political faction tries to force their ideas onto the society as a whole.

With the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11 around the corner, the topic of interfaith seems appropriate and Cities of Light will be able to raise the issue of interfaith relationships. In essence America is what Islamic Spain was – a country built on diversity. Since Sept. 11, 2001, has this country changed its attitude – is anti-Muslim sentiment getting worse? What is the relationship between East and West today? Are we more alike than we think?



A Dramatic Portrayal of a Period in World History

Network: PBS

Premiere Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Time: Check local listings


Over a thousand years ago, the sun-washed lands of Southern Spain were home to Muslims, Christians and Jews living together and flourishing. Their culture and beliefs intertwined, and the knowledge of the ancients was gathered and reborn. Here were the very seeds of the Renaissance. But this world too quickly vanished. Greed, fear and intolerance swept it away. Puritanical judgments and absolutism snuffed out the light of learning. Within a few centuries the fragile union of these people dissipated like smoke and the time of tolerance was lost forever. Brought to life by powerful feature-film style re-creations Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain explores the causes that destroyed the one civilization of pluralism and interfaith cooperation that for a few centuries lit the Dark Ages in Medieval Europe.


– Lourdes Maria Alvarez – Director of the Center for Catalan Studies and a professor of Spanish at Catholic University in Washington, DC.

– Brian Catlos -Associate Professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

– Ahmad Dallal – Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Chair of the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department at Georgetown University.

– D. Fairchild Ruggles – Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

– Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf – Founder and CEO of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA Society) and Imam of Masjid Al-Farah, a mosque in New York City, twelve blocks from Ground Zero.

– Mustapha Kamal – Currently a lecturer in Arabic, Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies, at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he focuses on instruction of Arabic language and literature.

– Chris Lowney – Former Jesuit and author of A Vanished World: Muslims, Christians and Jews in Medieval Spain.

– David Nirenbergs – Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of the Humanities in Medieval History at Johns Hopkins University.

– Raymond P. Scheindlin – Professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary and Director of JTS’s Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry.


Executive Producers

Alexander Kronemer

Michael Wolfe

Producer / Director

Robert Gardner

Producer /Production Manager

Char Gardner

Associate Producer

Carrie Gardner

Director of Photography

Nick Gardner




Jeremy morrison


sam mercurio

Music Composed by

charles denler

little river music


Louise Rosen


jeremy morrison

Art and Architecture Consultants

Jonathan Bloom

Sheila Blair

About Unity Productions Foundation (

Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) is a non-profit educational foundation working to promote peace and understanding through the media. UPF’s first project was Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, which aired nationally on PBS on December 18, 2002 and was awarded a 2004 Cine Award for Best Professional Documentary in its category.

Unity Production’s mission is to create documentaries, feature films and educational products that can contribute to ending the clash of civilizations.

Judyth Piazza is the host of the American Perspective Radio Program, a cutting edge radio program that is full of inspiration and information. It’s intended to help people succeed in life.

Celebrity Guests

Each week the American Perspective features celebrity guests from around the nation such as Zig Ziglar, Yolanda King, Billy D. Williams, Tony Little, Mark Victor Hansen, Dave Ramsey and many many more.

Award Winning Journalist

Award winning journalist, Judyth Piazza is also the founder of The SOP News Network ( and content Manager/Editor for Newsblaze (