- 23 October 1980
- Quote source
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We may well ask whether the premiated projects truly represent the great traditions of Islamic architecture. There are no mosques among them, no madrasah, no palace, no garden, no mausoleum, none of the monuments which are visited by millions of tourists, cherished by those who live near them, and utilised by historians to define the Muslim past. The paradox, however, is more apparent than real.
For, great though the celebrated monuments of the past are as works of art, they were only part of the built environment of the past. They were the creations of great and wealthy patrons, often made no doubt for the use and the pleasure of the masses but rarely lacking in personal or dynastic vanity. All too frequently the settings developed by the masses themselves have been lost or changed out of recognition.
In the contemporary world, the Awards have recognised that other part, perhaps now much more important than in the past, the part of the common man creating for himself and his neighbours a setting for life and health, preserving and utilising what nature has created, developing ways to maintain his identity rather than accepting the elephantine massiveness of so much of today’s world.