That is a mansion called Al Makkiah, the family home of architecht Sami Angawi. It's his own design, of course, and marries traditional Islamic elements and crafts with modern construction techniques. The large open central courtyard with pools and fountains is a classic way of cooling a building, of course, and is heightened by the many plants and the drip irrigation system for them, allowing minimal using of air conditioning even in the hot Saudi summers.
Dr. Angawi himself is deeply impressive. He’s an historian as well as an architect, and has founded organizations to preserve and teach Islamic culture and history and to preserve traditional architecture. He’s an activist against the extremism he says is trying to hijack Islam.
His home is a cultural center. He holds lectures, concerts and salons there, with guests and speakers from around the world. As his legacy, it will be part of an international institute offering degrees in Islamic history and science, and houses a collection of over one hundred thousand of his photos, drawings and writings about Islam and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
I hope that someday I can put a little of the flavor and color of that house into a piece. For now, I’ll just stash those here.
My friend SJ Tucker has released her new album Stolen Season. Buy it or listen to it for free at the link.
Dream of Mississippi had tears leaking from my eyes with a smile. Southern girl a long way away.