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I am Tariq, Hear Me Roar

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At the docks in Morocco, I ponder the upcoming voyage
I am Tariq ibn Ziyad. Hundreds of years ago, I was a chief of Tangiers in the faraway land that today you call Morocco. I am also a Muslim. In the year 711 AD, my army and I set out to take over Spain, the land to the north of Morocco. To get there we had to cross the body of water between Europe and Africa. This is the place where the Mediterranean Sea joins the cold Atlantic Ocean.

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Goodbye Africa
Saying goodbye to my homeland in Africa made me a little sad. But before long, something captured my attention. A great mountain, rising out of the sea, was in front of me. I decided to name the mountain "Jebel Tariq," Tariq's mountain. Many years later, people forgot how to pronounce my name the right way and they started calling it the Rock of Gibraltar. But I knew the real name. I knew that it still belonged to me!

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The mighty Rock of Gibraltar looms in the distance.
Gibraltar is five kilometers long and one kilometer wide. It looks over the southern tip of Spain. It is made of limestone and is 426 meters high. Some people thought the Rock was a pillar, placed there by the ancient god Hercules, to mark one end of the world.

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Hello Spain!
My army and I decided to use Gibraltar as our stepping stone into Spain. And we took over the entire area. We brought many things with us to Spain. We brought our religion, Islam, our food, clothes and music. We brought our architecture, our culture and we even brought our form of writing. Although we were far away from Morocco, we felt right at home.


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