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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Granada, Spain

Plaza Nueva in Granada, on the way to see a Flamenco performance.

Granada, the fruit of Spain, the pomegranate of pithy flesh and thousands of tiny seeds, cultivates a trifold history of Arabic, Christian and Jewish influence. The gypsies, Arabians and Castillians contribute unique flavors to the savory picture that flows over all senses. Flamenco, the dance of Andalucia, with the backdrop of La Alhambra brings passion and meaning to lives filled with tradition and modern urbanity. The ancient songs of undulating voices decry times of war and of first loves. The wild stamp of feet and the rustle of many-layered skirts beat the rhythm of a simulateneously raging and trickling river.

Granada is a medium-sized sprawl of urbanity. Never before have I experienced the urban life in such vivid color. The people live in high rise apartment buildings. Few homes are within the city. Shops on lower levels with apartments above belie the intermingling of residential and commercial zones.

Beautiful parks with running trails and benches beneath beckoning branches of shady trees provide respite from the congested air. The city has wonderful treasures in remote locations with intricate networks of streets that begin and terminate at seemingly random intervals. Such is the paradise of an avid Spanish student. Small enough to allow glimpses of friendly faces on the street with an urbanity that reflects the character of New York.

The Sierra Nevadas provide a breathtaking backdrop to the skyline of the city. The ancient Moorish palace, La Alhambra, winds along a slope over looking the city, reminding the populace of several hundred years of Moorish rule. Andalucia prays upon the heart and awakens the deepest desires to dance with abandon.

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