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Toward a New Home: Zip Regions of Hope in Saudi Arabia Open Access

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Home is a place to seek love, support, and safety. Despite life’s ups and downs, home is where one turns for comfort. However, sometimes people have to evacuate their homes due to wars, revolutions, and political conflicts. During conflict, persecution can force groups to disperse, resulting in refugee camps on the borders of their countries. The consequences of these wars, revolutions, and political conflicts can be seen on three levels: societies are ravaged, families are torn apart, and individuals are uprooted from the familiarity of their homelands. Their lives are stuck in limbo; they cannot go back home or easily access another country for resettlement. This thesis work provides one immediate solution to this issue and aims to explore alternative ways of designing an educational train program to assimilate refugees to their new environment. More specifically, interior design will be used to help refugees increase their likelihood of relocating successfully. Prior to boarding the train, refugee passengers will go through a processing center. Once complete, they will be ready to board the train that will take them to their host country, Saudi Arabia. The educational journey aims at preparing and enlightening them about the host country’s cultures, regulations, and other aspects related to migration in order to provide safety and comfort as they restart their lives in a new, unfamiliar place. The creation of this train takes into account the host country’s cultural background to ensure the easiest transition. The starting point for this project is located in the Western region along the Red Sea of Saudi Arabia. The railway will pass in a loop path through the most important cities of each region— Haql, Duba, Al Wajh, Umluj, Yanbu, Thuwal, Jeddah, Makkah, Al Lith, Al qunfudhah, Al Qahma, Jazan, Fayfa, Dhahran Al Janub, Najran, Khamis Mushait, Abha, An Namas, Bishah, Al Bahah, Taif, Medina, Khaybar, Al Ula, Tayma, Tabuk—and will end in the first city, Haql. In order for the refugees to fully understand each region’s theme and culture; then decide upon where to live, the train’s interior will introduce specific cultural aspects of a Saudi home, considering the usage of the space, colors, materials, and design elements as strong tools with which to work.

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