Architectures From Around The Arab World
By: Anthony Bayyouk / Arab America Contributing Writer
The Middle East has certainly been a front-runner, when it comes to breathtaking and sometimes unexplanatory architecture. The type of architecture found in the Middle East has never been seen around the world. Scientists often question if humans even built everything that exists in the Middle East today. Bible references are often used to explain some of the Architectural mysteries.
The Middle East is a land of long history filled with wealth, religion, war, and occupation. These factors-amongst many others-play a huge role when understanding the unique architecture of the Middle East. For hundreds of years, the Roman Empire ruled the Middle East. Their political and social influence came with architectural influence. During their rule, thousands of structures were built in the Middle East and across North Africa. Today we consider them Roman ruins, and a band may perform in one of the old ruins from time to time. These Roman ruins once set the scene for centuries of architectural inspiration.
Petra, one of the seven wonders of the world, is a breathtaking archeological city based in Jordan. This city has been carved into the mountain ranges of Jabal Al-Madbah. The Architecture of Petra is believed to date back as far as the 4th Century. Petra was a popular stop for nomads traveling on trade routes. Nabataeans who lived in Jordan at the time were renowned for their structures being carved into solid rock. The rock carvings themselves were brilliant at preserving the mountain range’s natural landscape. The once-thriving city of Petra is now a popular stop for tourists. The amazing architecture shows how advanced and brilliant Arabs are, compared to the rest of the world centuries ago.
Many treasures remain in the Arab World, especially religious ones. Throughout history, Arabs have never held back or limited themselves when building religious sites such as Churches, Mosques, and Temples. Holy sites are a very popular attraction for tourists because of their historical architecture. Builders have put in thousands of hours to create unique moldings and mosaics that have lasted hundreds of years. The Christian Orthodox Church still uses the same type of architecture when building new churches. Mosques as well tend to preserve the same sense of architecture around the world.
When you travel to the Middle East, you will notice many if not all of the homes and buildings are made of stone and large white bricks. The homes are built out of strong materials to insulate the home in the winter and protect the home from strong wind and sand in the summer. This type of building has made architectural buildings in the Middle East last for centuries. Many churches have been around for thousands of years because of the strong material used. Something common in the Middle East that we do not see in the western world as much is Arabs tend to build their own home or at least look over the construction of their home. Arabs also tend to live in the same house all their life after marriage. Because they build or overlook the building of their home, detail can be seen throughout the house. Door frames, tile floors, brick driveways, and many other unique things are common in Middle Eastern architecture.
More recently, glass has been used frequently when building homes and skyscrapers. The futuristic look of glass walls has given the Middle East a modern feel. Modern technology has also been becoming more and more popular. Hospitals and homes are equipped with the latest technology. Small narrow alleyways are something of the past. Large wide roads have been the new style of building to make room for residential and commercial districts. Overall, the historic architecture in the Middle East is some of the most breathtaking. Regular homes are built like mansions. Money isn’t an object when building new shopping malls. The Middle East’s effort with globalization started with modern architecture.
Check out Arab America’s blog here!