Ziryab Cover
Abu l-Hasan 'Ali Ibn Nafi', nicknamed Ziryab, was a Persian, Kurdish or East African polymath: a poet, musician, singer, cosmetologist, fashion designer, celebrity, trendsetter, strategist, astronomer, botanist and geographer. He was active at the Umayyad court of C'ordoba in Islamic Iberia. The name "Ziryab" (Blackbird) was given to him for his dark complexion, eloquence, and melodious voice. He first achieved notoriety at the Abbasid court in Baghdad, Iraq, his birth place, as a performer and student of the great musician and composer, Ishaq al-Mawsili. Ziryab was a gifted pupil of Ishaq al-Mawsili. He had to leave Baghdad when his skills as a musician surpassed those of his teacher. He moved to C'ordoba in southern Iberian Peninsula and was accepted as court musician in the court of Abd al-Rahman II of the Umayyad Dynasty (822-52).

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