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It may be the primary language on the artifacts, but Arabic is a language rarely spoken by the visitors to Berlin's Museum of Islamic Art.The museum is one of four in the German capital training refugees from Syria and Iraq to act as guides for others who have come to the country seeking shelter from war and hardship.Tours of its collection, which is part of the world-renowned Pergamon museum, emphasize the centuries of cross-cultural exchange that occurred among Islam, Christianity and Judaism that saw ideas of philosophy and science flow back and forth between the Middle East and Europe.Wednesday found a dozen refugees listened attentively as their guide, a young Syrian architect, explained how the facade's intricate designs illustrate the wide range of artistic and cultural influences present during the early Islamic period.Masoud, who came to Germany four years ago, now works for the Syrian Heritage Archive Project, which seeks to document the country's historical treasures even as they are being destroyed by war and looting.
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