|Local architecture is music for the eyes|
Page 8 of 10
Importance of the family
The family is very important to the Arab people. Usually the whole family - parents, children, their spouses, their children, etc - lived in the same house sharing all the rooms, with the bedrooms as their only private, personal spaces. And if not in the same house, the children would still live in the house next door.
A typical Arabic household was really a small, self-sufficient community, well suited to manage in the harsh environment.
A typical feature of the old towns was the narrow winding alleys, in comparison to the modern, six-lane highways running through the cities in the Gulf.
Those towns were made for pedestrians with no parking problems and traffic jams - just drive through the old souk in Muharraq and try to find a parking place and you'll get the idea.
However, the main reason for the buildings to be built so close to each other was that then they provided much more shadow to the streets in between, thus easing the oppressive heat.
So you can see, the cities of yesterday were built in total harmony with the surrounding environment and the requirements of Islamic culture.