Metamorphosing 'dead' Abbasid forms into living modern architecture lies at the roots of Mohamed Makiya's classicism as an architect. This essay charts the stages of this metamorphose is from the Khulafa Mosque  and the Kuwait State Mosque [one of the largest in the world] through the vast and visionary schemes for Iraq of the late 1980s. Makiya's formerly complex and nuanced architecture, the author argues, is continuous, harmonious, and celebratory of an Islamic past. It is therefore too innocent, too romantic to be post-modern in its sensibility, nor does it assume the revolution in values that modernism brought in its wake. None the less, many of modernism's discoveries about materials and space making are deployed in an original way. The uneven combination between what is acquired from the modern, and idealized about the past, is what makes Makiya's architectural vision unique, so unlike that of any of his contemporaries. In the final analysis, the architecture's dogged consistency in this regard is the source of its beauty.
'I regard this book (though never solemn), scholarly, thoughtful and mercifully free from pretentious jargon. It deserves to attract a wider interest than one restriced to the Islamic world.' Sir Hugh Casson, Past President of the Royal Academy of Arts 'Mohamed Makiya has breathed new life into 'Islamic' architecture by integrating its rich heritage with the best of modern culture and technology.' Mohamed Arkoun, Professor of the History of Islamic Thought, Sorbonne, Paris; member of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Steering Committee, and author of numerous books on Islamic civilization 'Mohamed Makiya is an architect of great importance in the Islamic world. His work raises issues of vital interest to professionals.' Charles Correa, Architect, planner, activist and thinker.