Details of past events – notable battles and people – may be recorded in books or passed down through oratory.
A sense that deserves to be protected, at least according to the UAE Architectural Heritage Society that has been pushing for a federal law to protect remaining Emirate buildings before they are swiped off the face of history.
The National reports that of the 2,800 historical buildings still standing, up to 4% are destroyed every year. The majority of these are in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, where some protection exists.
For buildings in more far-flung places, no federal legislation has been put in place to keep developers from razing them to the ground and putting in their place a fancy new modern structure.
Rasha Bukhash, the Chairman of the society and director of the Dubai Municipality architectural heritage department first raised the idea of creating a federal regulatory framework that would keep the UAE’s heritage safe in 2001. Nearly ten years later, he hopes that his vision will be realized within the next three months.
He envisions a situation whereby people are encouraged to learn from the buildings that – he told The National – are often 100% green given their use of natural lighting and wind towers. Examples sited in the paper include the Al Bidya Mosque from Fujairah – dating back to the 15th century, and Al Fahidi in Dubai which was built in 1799.
One of the founders of the UAE Architectural heritage society that now boasts 2,500 members from 45 nationalities, Farah al Bastaki explained that a nation’s architecture is intricately wrapped up with their national identity.
“It’s about preserving memories of the area and the history,” she said. “There is a very urgent need for a federal law because of all of the development happening, which has affected architectural heritage.”
:: The National
More on architectural heritage throughout the Middle East:
image via Pedronet