Palmyra’s Reconstruction: Importance and Discourses of Authenticity after Reconstruction

Palmyra’s Reconstruction: Importance and Discourses of Authenticity after Reconstruction

13/04/2021 by Sarah Amawi This huge and complex heritage site has witnessed several civilizations throughout history from Romans to Arabs and Persians Palmyra is one of the most iconic world heritage sites. ‘Historically established around the third millennium B.C., acting as a major trading path on the infamous Silk Road’,[1] Palmyra – otherwise known as Tadmor in Arabic – has always been one of modern Syria’s most visited and cherished tourist sites. This huge and complex heritage site has witnessed several civilizations throughout history from Romans to Arabs and Persians.  The main issue at hand in our modern days is...

The Wonders of Water: The Aflaj of the Sultanate of Oman

The Wonders of Water: The Aflaj of the Sultanate of Oman

05/01/2021 by Jonathan Bentham The Sultanate of Oman lies at the south-eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. Roughly half of its borders are made up of coastline, yet it frequently ranks as one of the driest and most arid countries on Earth. In 2014, the Sultanate of Oman ranked 12th amongst the driest countries in the world by annual rainfall.[1] For centuries, the people of Oman have looked to the ‘Aflaj’ to fulfil their requirement for the distribution of water. While in recent decades Oman has looked to oil for its prosperity, its domestic lifeline is, and has always been...

The day when it rained glass

The day when it rained glass

23/09/2020 by Yara Ritz, Associate Researcher (Lebanon) Elected general quarters of partying, the neighbourhoods of Gemmayze and Mar Mikhael are revealing examples: it is in these very dynamic districts that people, whether young or less young, Lebanese or foreigners, used to meet and hang out. As a symbol of Beirut’s cosmopolite life, they have nonetheless been the most impacted by the double explosion. First, a thick and insidious grey smoke. General dizziness, guilty curiosity. Then, the rush to the windows. And the flood. A shallow breathing, an apocalypse and a deafening noise that took away innocent lives within a few...

Hajj paintings in Upper Egypt, an artistic practice and a social marker

Hajj paintings in Upper Egypt, an artistic practice and a social marker

05/10/2020 by Servane Hardouin The murals represented various objects and landscapes seen by the pilgrim on his way to the sacred city; more precisely, they either evoked the pilgrimage directly, or they set its cultural and natural background An interesting feature of Egyptian culture is the hajj murals, colourful paintings decorating the walls of many houses and evoking the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Hajj murals are practiced by Muslims living south and east of the Mediterranean, in Libya, Syria, and Palestine; but the heartland of this artistic tradition is Egypt, especially the Fayum, rural parts of Cairo and Suez,...

Errors of the past, shadows of the present

Errors of the past, shadows of the present

09/09/2020 by Elie Saad, Local observer Paris of the Middle East or a Warzone  A melting pot or a racially and sectarian divided city  Switzerland of the East or capital of a ponzi scheme At least is was a city… As I am writing this article, trying to force myself to work in order to forget about the calamity that struck us, the number of victims stands at 181, more than 7000 injured, 300 000 homeless, and 40 still missing under the rubble of the city that once was their home. The government has resigned, and the future of the...

Two phares, not far. The story of Beirut’s lighthouses

Two phares, not far. The story of Beirut’s lighthouses

02/09/2020 by Elie Saad Light by itself had always guided us and served as a beacon both physically and spiritually. From the dawn of time and up until our modern civilization, the night sky has always fascinated mankind. This grimdark sheet, punctuated by tiny light rays beaming hundreds of thousands of light-years away, nurtured our dreams of discovery for centuries. Its shiny stars guided us through our most advanced and important discoveries. Light by itself had always guided us and served as a beacon both physically and spiritually. Therefore, naturally, we tried to spread it, using it in our rooms,...

How Covid-19 is affecting our Intangible heritage

How Covid-19 is affecting our Intangible heritage

29/07/2020 by Ala’a Baroun, Observer from Kuweit The new restrictions, social distancing, curfews and lockdowns imposed around the world in response to the pandemic highlighted how intangible heritage has a social, economic and psychological role in our lives.  Ala’a Baroun We are living in a time where a pandemic has largely impacted our lives in an incredibly short period of time. The Covid-19 virus has been declared a health emergency at a global level ever as a dangerous and quick-spreading virus. Consequently, several safety measures were taken by countries to contain and slow down the spreading of the virus. Those...

The role of Dabkeh for Refugees in Diaspora as a promoter of Palestinian-Syrian intangible heritage

The role of Dabkeh for Refugees in Diaspora as a promoter of Palestinian-Syrian intangible heritage

26th June 2020 by Shyrine Ziadeh “It is our folklore, from my culture, my heritage. In the camp in Syria, while I used to dance Dabkeh I was a happy kid… Oh this music! It reminded me of the inner peace I had back then.” Said Israa a lady in her 20’s, during a break from a dabkeh rehearsal, Athens 2018. To be able to wake up in the morning, to go to work in a safe and peaceful place, to have a healthy life, to live under a roof, and being able to live in a country that gives...

Archaeological Heritage:  From War to Safety

Archaeological Heritage: From War to Safety

Le 24/06/2020 by Muntadher Aloda “Come, I will take you to Uruk, to the sacred temple, home of Anu and Ishtar, where Gilgamesh is perfect in strength, like a wild bull lording it over the menfolk.” The Epic of Gilgamesh I was raised near ancient cities, loved the dust of the surrounding deserts and held a love of these places. I desired to know for myself, as an Iraqi of the South, my own history in a progressive and scientific way, not as it is narrated by outsiders or those with the loudest voices who just frequent the local cafés....