Saving our Saudi culture



Abdullah Sayel

Published — Sunday 10 February 2013

Last update 10 February 2013 1:40 am

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Yes sir! Our culture is threatened by the massive constructions/reconstructions leading to loss of identity. I do not see our tents, mud houses and other identity elements in the new architecture. Glass covered buildings are flashing and day-blinding our sights.
The modern architectural issue in Saudi Arabia has a long story to be told. The standards are not environmental friendly in many aspects. Moreover, the current renovation in many of our cities is wiping out any chance of saving the cultural identity.
The biggest imposing factor is that most new buildings are designed outside the Kingdom and many of those architects do not know a lot about us. Coloring and glassing are making it worse. Even those architects who try to address us in their designs, they usually reintroduce Cordoba and the Islamic architecture only, but not us. Civil engineering is also a frequent participant in destroying our identity. I urge you to take a look at the main squares in cities like Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah. The landscapers, I suppose, are more interested in meaningless concrete shapes than in our cultural diversity.
Although there is a subtle difference between heritage and cultural identity, yet those involved in maintaining our details should stop and look back thoroughly. They know, and if they don’t they should be told, that the Saudi individual should be a part of this. Where did we live, what did we grow, when did we unite, which region is which etc, should be represented in architecture and reconstruction.
n The writer is Chairman,
— Saudi Cartoon & Animation Society Twitter: @abdullahsayel

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