Kismet, but not in Mecca

Je suis Charlie. I repost this column, which has attracted constant attention since its publication in September, in a spirit of solidarity with France and Charlie Hebdo. Islam today, in its radical wing and in the relative silence of its dominant populations, is a rebuke to its own history and the supposedly peaceful sentiments of the Koran.

Architecture Here and There

Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 1951. ( Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 1951. (

Poster for 1955 musical "Kismet." ( Poster for 1955 musical “Kismet.” (

Makkah Clock Tower Hotel. ( Makkah Clock Tower Hotel. (

Clock Tower Hotel on chart of tallest buildings. ( Clock Tower Hotel on chart of tallest buildings. (

The Kaaba at Mecca. ( The Kaaba at Mecca. (

Mecca in the early '60s. ( Mecca in early 20th century. (

Mecca in ancient times. ( Mecca in ancient times. (

Mohammed Atta. ( Mohammed Atta. (

CCTV, by Rem Koolhaas. ( CCTV, by Rem Koolhaas. (

Stadium in Qatar by Zaha Hadid. ( Stadium in Qatar by Zaha Hadid. (

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. ( Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. (

Le Corbusier. ( Le Corbusier. (

Philip Johnson. ( Philip Johnson. (

Kismet. A useful word. Taking a break yesterday from the authorship of a blog post on the destruction of Mecca by modern architecture, I went downstairs, made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and turned on the television.

I had no plan to address this Thursday column to the calamity in Mecca. But …

Just beginning on TV was Kismet, a musical filmed in 1955 and set in Baghdad. A poor poet is kidnapped after being mistaken for a…

View original post 803 more words

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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