An exceptional statement of self-expression, a superb declaration of identity stands strong in the heart of my home for the next year: Granada. Living proof of the Arabic influence is evident as one walks into the most visited site in Spain: the Alhambra. Each lacy design, each horseshoe arch, each carved prayer from the Koran, each meticulously placed tile—all are saturated with astounding beauty and genius. There is a perfect balance between something and nothing. The white walls covered with intricate prayers float on top of tenacious wood like gossamer in the warm breeze. Shimmering pools of water reflect the sturdy buildings whispering reminders of heaven and earth, of a world uncertain above a concrete reality. Each salón is an unearthly beauty, a foreign and exotic mirage forcing my previously Westernized conception of aesthetics to twist, bend, and flex into something new and wonderful. New and unknown the Alhambra’s uniqueness began tempting me to explore all that is the Arabic world: what meaning and philosophies lay behind the rich colors, textures, and designs? My minds eye is now filled to the brim with distant desert dreams, piercing heat, and strong teas brewed in silver kettles. Suddenly the world of Aladdin is no longer a fairytale. Somehow in the south of Spain I can physically feel the presence of the Arabic world. I can feel it as the skin on my shoulders begins to burn in the direct sun while my fingertips touch the cool geometric tiles of the abandoned Arabic fortress. The global wonder that is the Alhambra and the Arabic culture is literally at my fingertips and in my backyard. Tengo demasiado suerte y es necesario explorar más.