Sunday, July 20, 2008
How Osama Bin Laden Influenced Architecture
Six months ago, I entered a music shop asking for an oud, the nice old owner with a not-so-nice mouth hygiene asked:
"What kind of oud?"
He pointed at some wretched instrument hung above his head in an array of other ouds, it wasn't that bad actually, but the ones next to it rendered it in an abysmal light.
"So how much is this?"
"oh, about 100 dollars"
"and this is made where?"
I was surprised. "What about the Iraqi ones?"
"Oh, those are really expensive."
That was one of the best things I heard this year and probably the few ones to come. as an Iraqi born in 1985, it's common sense that engaging the word 'Iraqi' in any sort of product = usually rear-end results. That Iraqis are actually world-class at something gave me a sense of power and fulfillment I seldom felt, for a brief second I wondered what Americans must feel like having their brands plastered all over the world.
Aside from Oud crafstmanship, world-famous Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid is also one of the very few things in any number of parallel universes that could make me honestly beam in pride. and she ain't the regular by-the-numbers architect either, she is possessed with one nasty Djinni. Her ideas are zany and impossible, and make you feel futuristic albeit soulful.
Looking at this upcoming project of hers in Dubai, I was fascinated for a few moments by the sheer boldness of this concept before bursting out laughing. She's calling them "Dancing Towers" - as if they were influenced by some Pixar kiddie musical number! yeah, right. For Ali's sake, it even has room for your occasional hijacked plane to pass through - Try and blow this up, Ossy! This idea wouldn't have existed had it not been for the inspiration of that crazy man in Taliban, they should write his name on a plaque nearby. Maybe he'd attend the ceremony and use it to test drive any future engagements that might involve airplanes.
NOTE: This is a real project. Walla.