Humans are not the only creatures that build. Many a creature that we classify low down the hierarchy of the animal kingdom, such as bees and ants, build elaborate structures. However, it has been suggested that it is awareness and imagination that single out humans as superior to other animals in architectural output. While the rest of creation act on the environment instinctively with no reasoning or training - as preordained by Allah, the Creator of the universe - man does the same willingly and at his own discretion. Since his actions are preceded with thinking and rationalizing, man clearly demonstrates through acts of building -- and through every other engagement of his, indeed -- his philosophy of and outlook on life and its manifold realities. The relationship between the two, i.e., one’s outlook on life and the disposition of his acts -- including building -- is causal, the former always being the cause of the latter. No sooner does a paradigm shift occur in one’s worldview -- no matter how (in)significant -- than a corresponding change accordingly ensues in the very essence and character of one’s performances, thus revealing and immortalizing one’s actual relationship with his self, with his peers, with other creatures and, of course, with his Creator and Lord.
THE Paradox OF Preservation In Urban & Architectural Heritage
Dr. Mustapha Ben-Hamouche
|Urban and architectural heritage in the Islamic world is gradually becoming an object of preservation policies due to the ever increasing cultural awareness. Old buildings and cities are believed to be the fortress of culture that helps societies preserve their identities and face the eradicating globalization. However, preservation policies, mostly based on the intervention of the State, protective measures and the freezing of building against any change and alterations, are often in contradiction with the urban dynamics and incremental process that generated such cities and buildings. Considering the emptiness of these cities and buildings from their original content, such policies become, in a sense, like an action of taxidermy that “reproduces a life-like three-dimensional representation of a dead animal for permanent display”.|