How can human society move towards appropriate relationship with place in the Arabian Peninsula bioregion?
A human is born into a culture, that which has ancestral link to a maternal / paternal lineage, and a survival link to the landscapes and environments we live in. Hence, we are sculpted by our ancestors (Nature) and surroundings (Nurture).
Now, in the era of globalization and normalization, an ability to form enforceable structures and rhythms has disconnected us from how our ancestors have lived in a long-established wrestle and collaboration with nature. This disconnection was inspired by our search for luxury, modern comfort, and free time.
Since then, we forgot how the moon cycles, the effect of the changing sun’s angle (and distance) on our local climate, knowing time through observing animal movement and listening to birdsong. We forgot how to work with the land, what the soil require, what sustenance local plants provide us, where water flows and its sources, and the materials we use from our land to erect homes.
The homogeneous nature of our thought, design and way of life has become (or something only now realized/remembered) dangerous and unsustainable to the integrity of our life.
The Arabian Peninsula has always been a dynamic and ever-changing region, yet recently, with the advent of rapid development into an oil-based economy, the change has been traumatic. We have quickly stumbled into the mechanical and chemical industrial ages, where our educational, organisational, and spatial infrastructure and systems were modeled on Euro-American perspectives. This has enabled the region’s societies to propel, within a few generations, in education, wealth, and global engagement, yet has created a stark separation between the old and new, the traditional and the cosmopolitan. Under the pressure of economic, environmental and social instability, we are now forced to reflect upon this “fleeting” past and distant origins.
Mahd is a vision in this moment of time, where a group of visionaries come together to discuss and explore our past, present and future. To implement preparatory solutions for the rise of the Arabian Peninsula from the industrial revolution into joining the global effort in combating our socioeconomic and ecological challenges within our local and cultural context.
Mahd is temporary, a cradle, there to hold us together and give us a basis to know how to move forward, there to serve its purpose in raising our communities' awareness and action. Only to dissolve when the culture has matured into its own wisdom of participation with the Earth's systems.
Mahd may start as a collective of people from a multiplicity of disciplines and organizations, that are connecting in order to create a space for reflection and learning. This collective envisions people that are interested in creating "long now" and "big here" processes in order move our Arabian Peninsula culture towards a more regenerative and coherent way of being with each other and the world.
Our shared practice will be in supporting each other on projects we are already involved in, and engaging in research on various topics that aim to provide insight and practical forms to approach our current challenges and opportunities in the region.