Jake Robbins ’18 learned about Islamic Spain


Jake Robbins ’18 holds a Spanish paper. Printed with permission of Jake Robbins ’18.

Sofia Heller

Motivated by a debate with a friend over the origins of Islamic extremism, Jake Robbins ’18 studied Islamic Spain as part of the Iberian Latin American Fellowship for his HWGo! project this summer.

Robbins spent two and a half weeks in Andalusia, Spain researching his project by comparing the economic, social and political conditions during the middle ages in Spain to the Middle East today.

“What I got out of it the most would be a combination of learning about the topic in general and getting to fulfill that curiosity I had for the time period,” Robbins said.

In the mornings, Robbins studied medieval history at the School of Arabic Studies in Granada. In the afternoons, he studied the Middle East at the University of Granada.

When Robbins came back to the U.S., he compiled his research into writings about religious tolerance, which he presented to the HWGo! Fellowship Committee Aug. 23.

Robbins said his favorite part of the experience was the language immersion.

“I thought it was really cool to actually get to speak another language (Spanish) and to get to meet new people,” Robbins said. “It also helped with my cultural awareness, in terms of going to another country, being a foreigner and really getting to immerse myself in a culture that wasn’t my own.”