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Old December 7th, 2007, 08:56 PM   #141
xXFallenXx
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i would hope it would be the opinion of anyone with half a brain.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 09:38 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walli View Post
Yes - I think that is the opinion of a vast majority on this particular thread.

The only currently contributing member with a contrary view (though he refuses to comment on the specific points in the original article) is *UofT*.
Most people are just too busy to respond to ur nonsense comments-- like me.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #143
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Another article about the Saudi Shame

http://www.thespec.com/News/Discover/article/239211

Religious extremists and developers have destroyed places related to life of prophet Muhammad
August 25, 2007
Salah Nasrawi
The Associated Press
MECCA, Saudi Arabia (Aug 25, 2007)

These days it's easier to find a Cinnabon bakery in Mecca than the house where the Prophet Muhammad was born.

The ancient sites in Islam's holiest city are under attack from both money and extreme religion. Developers are building giant glass and marble towers that loom over the revered Kaaba that millions of Muslims face in their daily prayers. At the same time, religious zealots continue to work, as they have for decades, to destroy landmarks that they say encourage the worship of idols instead of God.


As a result, some complain that the kingdom's Islamic austerity and oil-stoked capitalism are robbing this city of its history.

"To me, Mecca is not a city. It is a sanctuary. It is a place of diversity and tolerance ... Unfortunately it isn't anymore," said Sami Angawi, a Saudi architect who has devoted his life to preserving what remains of the area's history. "Every day you come and see the buildings becoming bigger and bigger and higher and higher."

Abraj al-Bait is a complex of seven towers, some of them still under construction, rising only metres from the Kaaba, the cubelike black shrine at the centre of Muslim worship in Mecca. "Be a neighbour to the Prophet," promises an Arabic-language newspaper ad for apartments there.

The towers are the biggest of the giant construction projects that have gone up in recent years, as the number of Muslims attending the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, has swelled to nearly four million last year.

Saudi Arabia is trying to better serve the growing upscale end of the pilgrimage crowd, while investors -- many of them members of the Saudi royal family -- realize the huge profits to be made.

Saudi Arabia boasts that Abraj al-Bait -- Arabic for "Towers of the House," referring to the Kaaba's nickname, "the house of God" -- will be the largest building in the world in terms of floor space. Developers have said the completed building will total about 1.5 million square metres -- more than twice the floor space of the Pentagon, the largest in the United States.

Three of the towers, each nearly 30 storeys, are already completed, and the others are rapidly going up. A mall at their base has already opened, where customers -- many of them in the simple white robes of pilgrims -- shop at international chains such as The Body Shop and eat at fast-food restaurants. Other nearby complexes include upscale hotels.

The building boom is, in some cases, destroying Mecca's historical heritage, not just overshadowing it. In 2002, Saudi authorities tore down a 200-year-old fort built by the city's then-rulers, the Ottomans, on a hill overlooking the Kaaba to build a multimillion-dollar housing complex for pilgrims.

The holy sites have also been targeted for decades by the clerics who give Saudi Arabia's leadership religious legitimacy.

In their puritanical Wahhabi view, worship at historical sites connected to mere mortals -- such as Muhammad or his contemporaries -- can easily become a form of idolatry. (Worship at the Kabaa, which is ordered in the Koran, is an exception.)

"Obviously, this is an exaggerated interpretation. But unfortunately, it is favoured among officials," said Anwar Eshky, a Saudi analyst and head of a Jidda-based research centre.

The house where Muhammad is believed to have been born in 570 now lies under a rundown building overshadowed by a giant royal palace and hotel towers. Seventy years ago, then-king Abdul-Aziz, ordered a library built on top of the site, as a compromise after Wahhabi clerics called for it to be torn down.

Other sites disappeared long ago, as Saudi authorities expanded the Grand Mosque around the Kaaba in the 1980s. The house of Khadija, Muhammad's first wife, where Muslims believe he received some of the first revelations of the Koran, was lost under the construction, as was the Dar al-Arqam, the first Islamic school, where Muhammad taught.

At Hira'a Cave, where Muhammad is believed to have received the first verses of the Koran in the mountains on the edge of Mecca, a warning posted by Wahhabi religious police warns pilgrims not to pray or "touch stones" to receive blessings.

In Medina, some 400 kilometres north of Mecca, Muhammad's tomb is the only shrine to have survived the Wahhabis, and a monumental mosque has been built around it. But religious police bar visitors from praying in the tomb chamber or touching the silver cage around it.

Outside the Prophet's Mosque, Wahhabis have destroyed the Baqi, a large cemetery where tombs of several of the Prophet's wives, daughters, sons and as many as six grandsons and Shiite saints were once located.

Grave markers at the site have been bulldozed away, and religious police open the site only once a day to let in male pilgrims. The visitors are prevented from praying.

"It is pretty sad that our imams do not even have tombstones to tell where they are buried," said Indian pilgrim Zuhairi Mashouk Khan, who was weeping because he was barred from praying at the site. "They deserve a shrine as monumental as Taj Mahal."

Several Islamic groups, such as the U.K.-based Islamic Heritage and Research Foundation and the U.S.- based Institute for Gulf Affairs, are campaigning to restore ancient sites.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #144
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I thinks Arabs dont understand anything from history. Why would someone destory holly places such as Mohammed's wife house and grave? They even destroyed the ancient Ottoman castle which was built to protect the city. I am not racist but I really dont like Arabs, especially the Saudis and King Faysad.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 04:16 PM   #145
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from a heritage preservation point of view, not all Arabs should be placed in the same basket. Recently, there has been some great preservation and rehabilitation work conducted in both Egypt and Syria - both countries with Arab populations. The situation in Saudi is definitely different.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #146
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From
http://pruned.blogspot.com/2007/03/new-mecca.html
Quote:
New Mecca
Friday, March 09, 2007
Abraj Al-Bait
image hosted on flickr

(Image: The Kaaba in the shadow of the Abraj al Bait development complex. Photo by Tamara Abdul/The New York Times.)

There was a very interesting article a couple of days ago in The New York Times concerning the current construction boom altering the landscape of the holy city of Mecca.

In addition to the ongoing projects to improve the pilgrimage infrastructure, the article tells us that “an entire mountain is being flattened to make way for a huge hotel and high-rise complex. And elsewhere, cranes dot the skyline with up to 130 new high-rise towers planned for the area.”

Jabal Omar
image hosted on flickr

(Image: The Jabal Omar development complex.)

Quite a few more cranes are to be found in another multi-billion dollar complex, the Abraj al Bait, under construction just across from the Kaaba. The tallest of its towers, a hotel, is projected to be the seventh highest in the world and will loom high over Islam's holiest site. Perhaps in keeping with the city's historical status as a major commercial center, a mall recently opened as part of the development. This mall, apparently, is “outfitted with flat-panel monitors with advertisements and announcements, neon lights, an amusement park ride, fast-food restaurants and a lingerie shop.” And Starbucks, Cartier, Tiffany, H&M, and Topshop.

Not surprisingly, some feel that “Mecca is becoming like Las Vegas.”
This is supposed to be the focus of Mecca.



Not this...


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Old January 10th, 2008, 02:43 AM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidearl View Post
that quote really makes me NOT want to visit dubai.... why spend $$ somewhere where people are so damn ignorant???? horrible

why is it that in the West we allow others to practice their religions and be who they are but certain parts of the middle east cannot extend the same courtesy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halawala View Post
I dont give a shit. Dont visit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidearl View Post
well there you have it in a nutshell.... WELCOME to Dubai!

I find the amount of ego-tripping hot air PR bullshit coming out of Dubai to be amazing... and with a bad attitude like the above... why would millions of tourists want to visit dubai???
Sorry for the off-top, but I have to write this. Although I share your point of view in this particular case, I would like to note, that you are putting all living in Dubai into the same basket, which was, as a practice, criticized in this thread many times. And rightly so. And, although you met an ignorant fool on this forum, you should not draw conclusions, that "they are all like this". Hell, I can probably find someone with a brain damage/attitude problem like this outside my window in less then ten minutes, so really, this is not Dubai's problem, that's just his little head thingy.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:46 PM   #148
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Since there is not a central institution for Islamic world to regulate the management of such important symbols and the urban context that surrounds them, there should be at least an international council to ensure the protection of historic monuments. It is at least paradoxical that the non-centralized structure of Islam, that promotes the diversity, allows the imposition of a particular point of view, a very intolerant one in the case of non-mainstream monuments destruction, and a purely speculative one, as to build shopping centers and luxury apartments next to the mosque. Its incredible that Las Vegas comes to be the model to follow in a holy city, for what it represents politically and ideologically. People that travel there, most of times making a lot of sacrifices, deserves much more than a hyper merchandised destination. Maybe keeping the old neighborhoods intact is not the answer, if they didn't have much architectonic interest, but you wouldn't expect to find a speculative jungle law next to any world religious symbol. It is a missed opportunity to show how to build a city with a different conception, we are so far from the historic Al-Andalus and the time when arab cities where the most refined ones...
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Old January 11th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #149
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is this for real?!

that's incredibly sad. here in the uk we're used to seeing amazing heritage and architecture, plus important historical sites, all being bulldozed for the sake of profit. seing this in mecca is harder to take. it's criminal, incredibly disrespectful, and i'm sure in 20 years time they will realise this.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #150
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you know, it's sad to see how money can buy almost everything. i thought muslim world was different, but i'm afraid it isn't. those pictures really remind me of vegas, maybe the ugliest town in world, so fake!
by the way, despite the horrendous rendering, the tower doesn't seem so ugly. however, will it provide rest also for the average pilgrim? it'll be quite a noble thing, if it'd be so.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (fabrizio) View Post
you know, it's sad to see how money can buy almost everything. i thought muslim world was different, but i'm afraid it isn't. .
Don't know why on earth you would think that it would be different.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petul View Post
Since there is not a central institution for Islamic world to regulate the management of such important symbols and the urban context that surrounds them, there should be at least an international council to ensure the protection of historic monuments.
Absolutely, and it has been mentioned many times, however, the Saudis always resist instead wanting to keep major decisions with them though they represent such a small percentage of Muslims.

To give another example, major sites with happen to be in the Saudi expanse of sand, are also not listed as World Heritage Sites, so are not protected. Contacting UNESCO, we learn that they cannot do anything unless the country steps up to the plate and says they want to protect important sites.

It is sad.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 05:36 PM   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (fabrizio) View Post
you know, it's sad to see how money can buy almost everything. i thought muslim world was different, but i'm afraid it isn't. those pictures really remind me of vegas, maybe the ugliest town in world, so fake!
by the way, despite the horrendous rendering, the tower doesn't seem so ugly. however, will it provide rest also for the average pilgrim? it'll be quite a noble thing, if it'd be so.
I agree with you on your articulation of the project, but it is important to point out that the Arabs (all Arab countries / populations combined) only represent 15% of Muslims. I'll refer you to several posts I made on the other thread talking about diversity of architecture and style, and the concept of fitting with environment and being humble with respect to the build environment as being corner-stones of true Islamic architecture:

Two posts on the history of the minar and diversity in mosque architecture:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=653
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=656

In that second post, I really like the Chinese mosque, which looks completely like a pagoda, IE not created to clash with the built or natural environment, but meant to work with and compliment.

Last but certainly not least, here is a link to the first of a four part documentary from the BBC on the worlds largest architectural award, which happens to be an award for Islamic architecture. There is a vast diversity in the prizes, including rehabilitation and new construction. It is really a worth-while 20 minutes:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2z...rchit_creation

Last edited by walli; January 11th, 2008 at 05:46 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranny fash View Post
is this for real?!

that's incredibly sad. here in the uk we're used to seeing amazing heritage and architecture, plus important historical sites, all being bulldozed for the sake of profit. seing this in mecca is harder to take. it's criminal, incredibly disrespectful, and i'm sure in 20 years time they will realise this.
Actually, Britain is pretty good at preserving its heritage and important buildings and sites are given 'listed' status. A major religious building, such as a cathedral would be given Grade 1 listed status and heritage organisations would act to preserve not only the fabric of the building but views to and from the building. There is no way that in a city such as Canterbury, which is to the Church of England what Mecca is to Islam, any tall building would be allowed in such close proximity to the Cathedral or the historic centre.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 07:30 PM   #155
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Thought it might be appropriate to post some of my holiday snaps from last year on this thread. These pictures were taken in the south of Spain, the old Moorish Al-Andalus:

Seville

The Torre d'Or:



The Giralda. Originally the minaret of the mosque, it was converted into a bell tower for the Cathedral in the late 15th Century when the south of Spain was converted to Christianity. Many minarets were re-used in this way:



Some views of the Seville Alcazar:







The beautiful gardens of the Alcazar:



Cordoba

The mosque in Cordoba. This is an odd building having been constructed originally as a fairly small mosque, then progressively enlarged to house a larger congregation and then converted into a cathedral.



Vaulting above the Mithrab, the wall opening that points the direction of Mecca. Although this has no place in Christian liturgy, it has survived the centuries remarkably well.



Granada

Some views of the Alhambra:







The Islamic province of Al Andalus was one of the most advanced regions of Europe and had standards of health care and hygiene that were well in advance of Christian Europe at the time. In the early Sixteenth Century, Catherine of Aragon, a Christian noblewoman who had grown up in this culture was shocked at the poor standards of the court of King Henry VII when she moved to England to marry his son Arthur.

To my non-Islamic way of thinking, the buildings and gardens of Al Andalus represent far more my idea of what Mecca should look like rather than a Saudi version of Las Vegas.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #156
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agreed... to bad, Al-Andalus ended with the reconquista
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Old January 13th, 2008, 05:08 AM   #157
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just to say that no one has the exclusivity of intolerance. Sad to see that we are far from seeing the end of that kind behaviour.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #158
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i love that building. did they realy destroy important holy sites, or just some real old crap/mud, buildings. just because a structure is real old dose not make it holy, nor dose it necessarily need to be preserved.
ps: we should have a law like that in Canada eh. no enter if you don't like beer and hockey. lol
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Old January 14th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #159
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Entering to Mecca should be forbiden for Saudis instead of non-muslims... yes, i'm for real.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 12:07 AM   #160
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I'm sorry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzy View Post
Sorry for the off-top, but I have to write this. Although I share your point of view in this particular case, I would like to note, that you are putting all living in Dubai into the same basket, which was, as a practice, criticized in this thread many times. And rightly so. And, although you met an ignorant fool on this forum, you should not draw conclusions, that "they are all like this". Hell, I can probably find someone with a brain damage/attitude problem like this outside my window in less then ten minutes, so really, this is not Dubai's problem, that's just his little head thingy.
you are absolutely right...and I'm sorry... and America has MILLIONS of rude crass A-holes with no manners whatsoever....

mine was a knee-jerk reaction
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