stealing from the saracens by diana darke

“stealing from the saracens: how islamic architecture shaped europe” is a well-researched, well-illustrated book that treats source material with respect and recognition of current-day cultural context around islam and everything related.

massive credit to diana darke for directly pointing out in the introduction islamophobia that is so common in europe. hopefully, her book will help even a tiny bit with reducing the problem. however, the book stands out even without this added depth. you will get the succinct overview of early history via architecture, get a new point of view at familiar masterpieces like st.paul’s cathedral or notre-dame de paris, and discover more of ‘frozen music’.

read this book if you have even a passing interest in architecture. i bet you my signed copy of pratchett’s “snuff” that you will learn something new and amazing.

p.s. reading about aya sofia and suleymaniey mosque reminded me that it’s been too long since my last visit to istanbul. i miss that city.