|Statement and Elaboration on Architecture & Urbanism
The author’s vision is focused on the epochs when the Arabs and Muslims had shared one calendar, a unified currency and a single legislation. They had been acclaimed for their ingenuity in the various fields of science, arts, and crafts. Back then they possessed an Arab-Islamic architecture and urbanization. They held an insightful respect for their environments and situation in space and time.
The author notes a prevailing view on architecture and urbanism today, that they mimic and simulate models of western architecture. Thus, they are estranged from the reality of Arab and Islamic societies and may not be considered a true reflection of their entity. The author here pauses for a basic stance, to state that despite the fact that our cities and architecture present a distorted and suspicious replica of those of the western civilization, however, this product is inseparable from our societies. Rather, it is a true and accurate reflection of these communities. As well it is an expected. Outcome of the indulgence of these societies in a vicious cycle of cultural dependency this has resulted in a crucial alienation or absence ويتساءل المؤلف عن :of indigenous identity. The author wonders:
What is the authenticity of the institutions of the Arab and Islamic societies, and their relation to civilization and culture?
What is the originality of thought in these communities?
What is the authenticity of human behaviour and values of these communities, and what about their ethic, customs and traditions?
It is claimed It is claimed or believed, that architecture and urbanism, in the process of alienation broke loose from the society. Any attempt to inculcate the architecture or urbanism of our cities today, in order to communicate with the phenomena of our past civilization, is to separate the real from the unfortunate reality of the Arab and Muslim community at present times. What is called for is an orientation towards the future, with the awareness, pride and thorough knowledge of our communities and the heritage of our civilization and this is the Statement.
Hence the book came as a Statement and Elaboration in Architecture and Urbanism. It revolves around this vision of identity and collective self-seeking through an understanding of the role of architecture and urbanism in the formulation of setting and the morphology of human psychology. This approach combines eight elected Investigations which vary thematically while being consistent in their goals. Collectively, they aim towards achieving a formula for architecture and urbanism associated with the reform of the individual and the society.
These articles have already been submitted in a variety of scientific and professional forums. They include topics of interest to the Arab reader such as: Optional Islamic Architecture and Urbanism, Search for Self Identity in Architecture, Islamic Values and Community Urbanism, Belonging to Architecture and Urbanism, Urbanization and Social Organizations, The Balance between the Absolute and the Relative in Architecture, and Residential Architecture between Architectural Composition and Social Essence.
August 10, 1993