DR. SAMI ANGAWI is the founder and director of the Hajj Research Center, which he established in 1975. He was also the founder and general director of the Amar Center for Architecture. He supervises in areas of architectural design, planning, conservation, restoration and development of traditional architectural heritage, research and documentation of traditional architecture. In 2011, he designed the Al-Makkiyah Al-Madaniyah Institute, taking traditional Makkan architecture and Islamic architectural traditions worldwide. He is a fellow of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a former associate member of Harvard University’s Semitic Museum for Consultation on Historic Architecture and Arts of Arabia. Dr. Angawi has a PhD in Philosophy in Islamic architecture from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and a master of architecture and urban studies from the University of Texas, Austin.

“Virtual Heritage” with a focus on the Two Holy Mosques of Makkah and Medina

Through a lifetime of conducting research and compiling material on the history of hajj, the two holy cities and the wider Hijaz region, Dr. Sami Angawi holds one of the world’s largest archive collections on the subject. Ever since the 1970s, he has been collecting material for the purpose of documenting the history of the Two Holy Mosques and their surroundings in all their facets including landscapes, town views, architecture and everyday life. More specifically, he has documented the hajj and compiled an archive which addresses almost every aspect of the annual pilgrimage. With the aim of promoting and educating the public about the history, culture and heritage of the two holy cities and the history of Saudi Arabia, plans are underway to digitize and make this material available online.

The main objective of this portal is to translate this vast amount of information: photographs, footage, literary and oral history, into a visual history using 3-D modeling, rendering and geographical information systems. Thus, Angawi intends to trace the evolution of the built heritage of the Two Holy Mosques of Makkah and Medina across time and place.

These three layers comprising information, time and place will combine to provide a highly interactive and engaging aid to understanding of the nascent and early Islamic period as it relates to the built history of Makkah and Medina. This short presentation shares some aspects of this portal and online archive.

For better web experience, please use the website in portrait mode