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The Round City of Peace 

Wednesday, Apr 16 2014

Most San Franciscans would recognize the phrase "Baghdad by the Bay" as one of the city's many nicknames. What they might not know, especially in today's war-torn political climate, is why Herb Caen made the phrase popular in the first place. It was meant as a compliment. The real Baghdad was once known as a cosmopolitan metropolis, famous for coexistence between different faiths, and its House of Wisdom, where scholars translated the literary and scientific writings of ancient Greece, India, and Persia into Arabic. This is the Baghdad being highlighted by Humanities West in its two-day series of lectures and performances, Baghdad In Its Golden Age. The program focuses on the period from 762 to 1300 when "The Round City of Peace" was the political, religious, commercial, and cultural capital of the Muslim empire. Tonight's event features Paul M. Cobb of the University of Pennsylvania as a lecturer, and the medieval ensemble Cançonièr in a musical tribute to the achievements of ancient Baghdad.

Fri., April 25, 7:30-9:30 p.m.; Sat., April 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2014

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Devin Holt

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