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Discussion about Gourna sec. 2
Subject: Re: el Gourna, we 2akl el 3eesh
From: oud kabreeet
Dear tarek & 3abbas
all the architects I know (talabet 3omara es7aby ya3ny) looks at me be7teqar when I say something about 7assan
Fat7y the greatest architect, although every one in the country looks at him as the symbol of architects in Egypt,
this Great man Mesh Mali 3een betoo3 3emarah!
Is that because they understand things about him higher than the level of our riveted steel heads?
(demaghna el mebarshemah) or is it just 3'eerah men elragel 3alashan 3amal
7aggah 3aleeha el 2eemah, mesh shewayet sanadee2 we 3elab Kabreet (zay beetna) elly el me3maryeen el 2afadel 3amleenoh!
I thought that architects talk from the tip of their noses (men tartoofet mana7'eerhom) about civil
engineers only (el gahala elly ma beyefhamoosh felfann), but I discovered that they do the same with
each other, I think that the grandpa of Tarek was right when he said about them:
Mabeye3gebhomsh el 3agab walla el kalam men dahab!
taleb Gahel men betoo3 madany.
Subject: Re: el Gourna, we 2akl el 3eesh
From: Tarek Rashed
Abou hamied el shahier be 3oud.....
El 3amlia mosh a7takar wela takaber 3la sho'3el el ragel, more that it is trying to seek a practical solution to
our problems.... therefore, for myself, I see 7assan fata7y is a great Egyptian Architect, but this doesn't imply
that the theory his introduced is applicable now or can be the vehicle to solve our problems. When I was doing
my Masters, I remember that one of the English professors said in his first lecture that there is a big difference
between good science and useful science. The former sometimes can be fascinated and people who do it really are
genius, but unfortunately they don't help much in solving the real world problems. Let me give you an example,
during the 70s there was a well known problem that some mathematicians were trying to solve it out, which basically
find a mathematical proof the minimum number of colors that can be used to color a random array of polygons (the
map of the world for example) such that the same color can not be located in two adjacent polygon. And that was
a big debate between them, until it was solved by a Dutch guy who used the computer which was new in that time
to find the number and the answer was just 4 colors, and after he did that, he wrote in the conclusion of his paper,
that his motivation in doing that was to let those scientists move on to do more "useful" stuff. Here
is the states, all the academic world surviving on the grants and the funds made by federal agencies like NASA
and National Science Foundation, and till last year the evaluation criteria used to examine the proposals in terms
of its scientific value. But since the mid 0f the last year, the Congress agreed on a new item which doesn't allow
any project to be funded if it doesn't have a DIRECT impact of the improving the quality of life and well-being
of the American Community...
Back to Hassan Fata7y... if we borrowed my ex-professor statement, so we can say Good Architecture is great, but
we need useful architecture. The design of Hassan fatahy is great, but if its applications are not appropriate.
Not just the environmental consequence of his design that I pointed to in the last email. But I will give you another
example that I touched closely. I remember a name of a lady called Zieneb EL kady that was fascinated with Hassan
Fatahy (and she was one among his group before he dies and even used to cite his words) and she got funded from
UNESCO to establish a school of el ma3marieen to follow him and I worked in her project for training for some time
between 3 and 4 3amara, and she was trying to build a model (FI MAKER WEZARET EL ZRA3A) so people can visit it
and gives a life and "near" example of his architecture. The funny thing that the model she built has
a concrete foundation (the constructing Engineer belmonsaba was mo3ied fi Madeny el kahira) which basically violates
what Hassan fat'hy was calling for, and then to do the final touches to this one story model she brought some guys
from Nubia to do the work. The end cost of the building was 3 times higher than if it was built in the convention
way. So basically this Hassan fat'hy model, didn't meet any of what Hassan Fat'hy was calling to, la hia 3omraet
fokara weala hia men el local materials (and by the way, it is still there and you can visit it at any time) and
take of course Kariet el sa7fieen elly fi el sahel el shamaley. And even in the states, he did that village in
New Mexico, but his theory didn't spread at all, although especially in the states they are practical and then
they see any thing useful to them it spread like cancer.
To finish up, again, I see Hassan fatah7 ma3amary kadeer and fanan mohob, but my critique is not for him, but his
idea is not applicable now. And as I said before, if he introduced them now, it might not find this big propaganda
it met before.............................
Subject: Re: el Gourna, we 2akl
Ahlan ya Ostaz 3ood,
First I am neither an architect nor a madany guy... I am an economist who is into some other things from time to
About Hassan Fathy.. I do not know what are you commenting about.. who said what.. However, It doesn't mean that
you are speaking from tarateef manakheerak, if you criticize Hassan Fathy's theories... you are a madany guy, so
may you please tell me how practical it is to apply Fatjhy's theories in urban surroundings... the beauty of Fathy's
theories goes with the back to nature theories that denounce European achievements... they were embraced mainly
by anthropologists and by orient lists who think that Elshark shark wa lGharb gharb wa lan yaltaqeya... Fathy named
his book architecture of the poor.... do you know how many times more (in terms of expenditures) does it take to
build a Fathy's style building compared to a normal modern one... it is something nice no doubt but it is non practical
even for the original dwellers of the places Fathy concentrated on... Gurna's Fathy buildings are now deserted...
the theories about natural cooling, economic lighting, and so on proved to be just NICE but not sufficient...
Any ways I want to draw your attention to a new book of Omar Hakeem, one of Fathy's most loyal Students and assistants
on Nubian Architecture... I got it from Catacomb gallery in Maadi... I am not sure where else you can buy it but
it is a very important book, also Hakeem intends to publish a prolonged interview with Fathy (he is now working
into translating it into Arabic....
For several millenniums, Egyptians have lead the Architecture of the whole world, this bright
history actually puts a load on our shoulders as contemporary Egyptian Architects and planners, if we really want
to be proud of our ancestors, we have to do a positive step to regain the lead, or at least stop being lagging
behind the whole world!
For more than two centuries now, we have been just importing Architectural ideas and technologies
from the west (as we have been doing in all aspects of our life), and for no more than 50 years we began to explore
our Architectural heritage to find a new source to learn. The step forward, which should be taken now, is to digest
all resources of knowledge, and to introduce to the world a new Contemporary Egyptian Architecture:
This will not be done by a single person, it needs the cooperation of hundreds of minds
and hands, may be a whole generation of Architects and Intellectuals have to contribute to such a process till
we find a solid product.
That's why this site has been created.
To provide a link and an Information source to everybody who wants to contribute, and
to open a gate to publish ideas and discuss them with others. It is open for any contribution, any Architect who
wants to publish his work: projects, articles, papers or thesis, is welcome. It's also open for any news, or announcements
about conferences, seminars, competitions, expositions or new products.
We welcome anyone want to share us, or want to publish his work in the site, just
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