His whole family has been extinguished. As sole survivor, the 25-year-old man flees to North Africa, to the Berber family of his mother, where he is placed into hiding. His relatives then smuggle the unaccompanied youth to Southern Spain.
What appears to be such a modern tale happened in 756. The refugee is the sole survivor of the Umayyads, whose caliphate had ruled over the Islamic world since 661. Now, after nearly 100 years, their murderers, the Abbasids, seized power in Damascus.
Abd al-Rahman quickly succeeded in unifying the Berbers and supporters of the Umayyads, and defeating the previous rulers. As Emir of Al-Andalus, he defended its independence against the hostile caliphate.
Two years before his death in 786, he began building the Great Mosque of Córdoba.