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April 20, 2014 | Jumada Al-Thani 19, 1435
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IslamiCity > Travel > 2008 Summer Program to Spain
 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS

  1. What is IslamiCity’s travel study program?
  2. Who is the program designed for?
  3. Where and when is this year’s program?
  4. Why should I participate?
  5. How much does the program cost and what does it include?
  6. What travel arrangements need to be made?
  7. Do I need a visa?
  8. Who is conducting the program?
  9. How many cities will we visit?
  10. Will we interact with local Muslims?
  11. What will the accommodations be like?
  12. What is the meal situation?

ANSWERS

  1. What is IslamiCity’s travel study program?
    The program provides Muslim families, couples, young adults/students and older, life-long learners alike an opportunity to travel and learn about their Islamic heritage, as well as interact with their Muslim brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. The program is supervised and naturally expects proper Islamic adab (behavior) of all participants.
         Please note that this is not a deen-intensive or intensive Arabic/religious studies program. The focus is on history, culture and society, relying on contemporary academic scholarship and the lived experience of Muslims and others in Spain.

  2. Who is the program designed for?
    The program is specifically designed for Muslim adults over the age of 18, and seeks to engender bonds of brotherhood/sisterhood between them and their peers in the countries visited. Younger travelers must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian. Space is limited to a maximum of 25 participants.

  3. Where and when is this year’s program?
    The Summer 2008 program will take us to southern Spain, and will include a day trip to Gibraltar (Jabal Tariq). The entire program is scheduled from June 18-30, 2008 (Madrid hotel check-in by June 19). Participants will visit the famous cities of Qurtubah (Cordoba), Ishbiliya (Sevilla), Gharnata (Granada) in Spain, along with other cities/towns and important sites.

  4. Why should I participate?
    Many people have heard of the fascinating civilization known as “Al-Andalus” that flourished under Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula for many centuries, and featured complex interactions between Muslims, Christians and Jews. Few have had the chance to experience the legacy of al-Andalus directly. Our visits to various monuments, lectures, walking tours and other activities will help us revisit this Muslim society at its height. Learn about the history, literature, poetry, architecture and culture of Andalusi Muslims, Jews, and Christians, and come away with a greater insights regarding the contemporary world.

  5. How much does the program cost and what does it include?
    The program costs US $2750.00 (does not include airfare). Early registration discount price is $2,500.00, if the $250 deposit is paid by March 15, 2008. If you register between March 16 and April 15, 2008, the price is $2750.00, and if you register after April 15, the price is $3000.00 per person. Discounts for parties of 2 or more apply in all cases. Balance of fees is due by May 1, 2008. Participants will stay at 3 star hotels (double occupancy) for 12 days/11 nights, and the group will be provided ground transportation by luxury bus between cities in Spain. Daily meals include continental breakfast (danishes/rolls, cheeses, fruits, cereal, juice, tea/coffee) and either lunch or dinner, depending on the program for the day. Entrance fees to all monuments and museums are included as well. All participants will receive a certificate of program completion. Refund of payment minus non-refundable deposit is available (refund given after conclusion of program).

  6. What travel arrangements need to be made?
    Participants must hold a valid passport, and are responsible for making their own travel arrangements from their points of origin to and from Madrid. If you prefer, IslamiCity can assist in selecting flights and obtaining tickets on your behalf, to be charged in addition to program costs. Participants must be at the designated hotel in Madrid no later than Thursday, June 19, 2008.

  7. Do I need a visa?
    If you are a citizen and valid passport holder of the U.S. or any European Union country, you do not need a visa for Spain or Gibraltar (U.K.). Citizens of other countries may need visas for both Spain and Gibraltar--please contact the closest Embassy or Consulate of Spain and England in your country for details. Please take care of this matter immediately, as processing documents can take several weeks.

  8. Who is conducting the program?
    IslamiCity staff members from Southern California will oversee the program. The instructor and tour guide is Br. Munir Shaikh, a PhD student in Islamic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles whose specialization is the history of Islamic Spain.

  9. How many cities will we visit?
    You will visit five major cities in Spain, in addition to visiting Gibraltar, a U.K. territory. Starting with the Spanish capital, Madrid, you will take a luxury air-conditioned tour bus to Toledo, Cordoba, Sevilla, and Granada. See the itinerary for details and schedule.

  10. Will we interact with local Muslims?
    Spain has a growing Muslim community in the post-Franco era, primarily due to immigration from North Africa, and to a lesser extent due to conversion to Islam. Madrid has a large Islamic Center, and each of the major southern cities (Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla) has several active masjids. We will offer daily prayers wherever we may be, and offer Jum`ah prayers in Madrid and Granada. Participants may visit local masjids during their free time in the evening if they so chose. We will also try to visit local community leaders and members for several informal gatherings so that participants may ask questions about life as a Muslim in Spain and other topics of interest.

  11. What will the accommodations be like?
    We will be staying in good quality hotels. Accommodations will be clean, pleasant and comfortable. All rooms will have two beds, one for each person in the room, and attached bathroom with shower/tub. Most hotels provide minor amenities such as shampoo, soap, etc.

  12. What is the meal situation?
    Breakfast will be provided at the hotel. We will take our lunch or dinner meal at a moderately-priced restaurant or eatery. Participants will be free to order the meals and beverages they would like. We will try to frequent Muslim-owned establishments that offer zabiha meat whenever possible. At restaurants that are non-zabiha, we will make sure that ample vegetarian options (pizza, pasta, salad, etc.) are available. Seafood is widely available as well. There are also fast-food restaurants for the less adventurous, though you are encouraged to sample the local cuisine.
 
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