Dabke : from Social Dance to Political Stance

Dabke : from Social Dance to Political Stance

Le 09/06/2020 by Sarah Amawi What was Dabke? What was Dabke? Dabka (also spelled dabkeh, dabka, dubki, and with the plural, dabkaat) could be defined as : “a circling folk dance made up of intricate steps and stomps” (Rowe, 2011) [1]. “Once such origin may have developed from Canaanite fertility rites wherein communities joined in the energetic foot stomping dance to scare away malicious spirits, clearing the way for healthy and secure growth of their seedlings. However, the more popularly recognized origin is derived from traditional house-building in the Levant where houses were structured with stone and made with a roof consisting of wood, straw and dirt...

Park to Parking: The socio-spatial evolution of Beirut’s Martyrs square

Park to Parking: The socio-spatial evolution of Beirut’s Martyrs square

Le 21/05/2020 by Elie Saad “In architecture school, or any other design & arts school, when having difficulties drawing a perceptive of a certain shape, we put it in a box. The pure geometrical square sides of the box simplify the object and its spatial interpretation. Nevertheless, not all squares reflect simplified visions. Some squares themselves become complexes reflecting real life conditions rather than theoretical ones. At this point reality itself must be simplified, to be interpreted, most often in historical squares and their evolution” The paragraph above although “philosophical” reflects the situation of a square, a complex one, currently...

Inside Story : being an actor of heritage in Libya

Inside Story : being an actor of heritage in Libya

30/04/2020 by Reem H. Furjani Growing up abroad to my grandparents’ narratives about an enchanting Medina of Tripoli in its earlier thrive, my imagination was animated: Behind the fountains of the courtyards laid the ladies adorned in silk and gold, in the shade reciting folk between sips of minted tea, and the scent of jasmine carried by a siesta breeze; the trotting carriages; the animated bazaar; the throbbing hammering of the copper market; and the rhythmic arches echoing a shadow melody. My senses and emotions were stirred by the notion of home; but when I returned, Tripoli had a different...

The Majlis in the Arabian Peninsula: a social and cultural space

The Majlis in the Arabian Peninsula: a social and cultural space

Le 04/12/2019 by Omar Babakhouya “Al Majalis Madaris” says the Arab proverb, meaning “the Majalis are schools”. The Majlis, singular of Majalis, literally means “space where we sit”, an assembly or a council. This traditional practice, widespread in the Arabian Peninsula, consists in gathering a group of people in a host’s Majlis. In that region, the Majlis is fully part of social life, a manifestation of solidarity and hospitality between hosts and visitors. Within communities, it is a privileged place of discussion, transmission of knowledge and familial stories, receptions for happy or sad ceremonies. The Majlis very often belongs to...

Heritage under threat in Libya

Heritage under threat in Libya

24/03/2020 by Reem Furjani, local Observer Since many whom I have tried speaking to in December and January 2020 about protecting the heritage of Tripoli from war have ignored the threat, it is ironic to see surprise about the rocket that fell in the Medina this 20th March 2020. Not much damage but is an alarm. I do not know what else was expected. The destruction in Benghazi as in Syria should be enough motivation, but negatively watching until it is too late and then moan pointlessly is a typical chronic method here. Maybe nothing will happen, that is the...

Heritage under threat in Yemen

Heritage under threat in Yemen

Le 05/03/2020 by Ayoub Amer, local observer What are the key challenges? Due to the accelerating events in our country, the armed conflict that is renewed from time to time, those interested and active in the field of protecting the tangible and intangible cultural heritage face many great challenges, most notably : – The absence of relevant state institutions – The competent authorities are not fulfilling theirs commitments efficiently – Cultural heritage is not considered as a priority – Few support from international organizations for preserving the tangible and intangible cultural heritage – Ignorance, poverty and lack of basic services,...

The architecture of the Nile Valley, ancient heritage and modern method for sustainable development

The architecture of the Nile Valley, ancient heritage and modern method for sustainable development

Le 12/11/2019 by Servane Hardouin Nubia is the name given to the region which encompasses the south of Egypt and the north of Sudan, between the cities of Aswan and Khartoum. The Nubians, the modern inhabitants of the region, are an ethnolinguistic group which originates from an ancient people living in the central Nile Valley even before Pharaonic Egypt. Nubia has an extremely rich history, land of the kingdom of Kush, the great rival of the Egyptian pharaohs, then home of various ancient kingdoms, Christian, and Islamic, followed by aperiod of British occupation, then by a division of the Nubian...