One of the two highlights of my visit to Ushaiger a couple of years ago was probing the unstinting, old doors of a traditional Saudi architecture that are mud-built houses in the heritage village. These designy doors truly reflect the local artisans’ talents on decorating and designing doors.
It is interesting to note that the reason behind the elaborate doors is a familiar word in the Philippines: hospitality. Arabs and Filipinos are kindred spirits afterall. Let it be known that the very essence of the Arabian culture is hospitality. To come up with the kind of door you see in the picture, the artisan has to pitch in hard work and dedication. There is no better way to start hospitality than opening your door to visitors or people in need.
The doors are usually decorated with circles, disks, and geometric designs burned with branding irons.
“Modern architects and city planners in the Kingdom recognize the cultural and historical value of old doors. They adapt these unique styles into modern design projects for residences and businesses. Preservation projects also exist throughout the Kingdom to maintain these irreplaceable treasures of the past. In Riyadh and Jeddah, where there is such an outstanding selection of traditional doors, there is an on-going effort to preserve and maintain the traditional character and architecture of the city. In other areas of the Kingdom, cities and towns are making efforts to preserve their past for future generations to learn from and enjoy,” (Doors to the Past, Saudi Arabia, Summer 1998, Volume 15, No. 2).
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