Bahrain lawmakers unite in a battle for preservation of Hoora’s heritage
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahraini lawmakers have called for the preservation of Hoora's cultural heritage and architectural splendor, particularly in housing projects. A proposal submitted by MPs under Khalid Bu Anq for parliamentary review aims to revitalize the cultural hub, urging an immediate halt to activities that could harm the heritage. They argue that understanding and appreciating Hoora's historical significance while embracing its modernization is crucial for its preservation and reinstitution.
“This locality once served as a hub for intellectual pursuits and cultural enrichment, with its resident intellectuals contributing to a vibrant atmosphere that drew public engagement and visitation,” MPs say. Urban developments and cultural incursions, they accuse, have tarnished the true identity of the area, which is on the verge of extinction.
According to them, it’s imperative to end all developmental activities that put undue pressure on Hoora’s old and dilapidated infrastructure, which would crumble if left unattended. “The infrastructure of the Hoora area cannot withstand the congestion and overcrowding caused by such buildings and residential apartments.”
“The infrastructure of the Hoora area cannot withstand the congestion and overcrowding caused by such buildings and residential apartments.”
The lawmakers argue that current developments have led to congestion and overcrowding in the area, thanks to the already insufficient parking spaces. The proposal emphasises the importance of reviving the traditional houses in Hoora instead of replacing them with residential apartments.
They contend that the communities representing its old inhabitants, heritage, and landmarks are on the brink of extinction, highlighting Hoora’s historical role as Bahrain’s intellectual and cultural centre, which has links to the vibrant history and the rule of the Al Khalifa family. Preserving this necessitates the restoration of old infrastructure, MPs say. “Any housing project in the area should reflect its architectural style and heritage,” lawmakers say, as they caution against commercial investments and developments that would exacerbate parking issues.
Rebuild historical buildings
According to them, the housing ministry initially agreed to acquire and rebuild old houses in a manner befitting the area but later opted for residential apartments, neglecting ongoing infrastructure concerns, particularly parking spaces.
Bu Anq notes the high hopes of the people for a project that would provide them homes in their hometown, Hoora. “However, it’s all shattered now. It's worth nothing that Hoora, alongside the Central Business District, Adliya, and Juffair, stands as one of the vibrant nightlife hubs in Manama.
Renowned for its plethora of hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs catering to both Arabic and Western tastes, Hoora enjoys immense popularity among visitors from Saudi Arabia.
MPs have also previously pointed out several issues in the area, demanding a crackdown on massage parlours offering indecent and X-rated services. They had also expressed their anger over the delay in the introduction of smart parking metres.
Parliamentarians had also voiced their disapproval over the decision to bulldoze graves in the Hoora Cemetery for road expansions. Actions were also urged against nightclubs and lounges in the area that allegedly caused residents in the area to lose their sleep, thanks to the noises deep into the night.