Memory and place

Assi, Eman (2008) Memory and place. In: 16th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Finding the spirit of place – between the tangible and the intangible’, 29 sept – 4 oct 2008, Quebec, Canada. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

The landscape of the environment we live in is an image of our common humanity. The sense of place individuals and people as a whole have is both a biological response to the surrounding physical environment and a cultural creation. People get attached to places that are critical to their well-being or cause them distress. This paper sketches the story of ‘ Sahet Alqaryoun’ , a public open space in a residential neighborhood in the historic city of Nablus, West Bank. The question of how ‘Sahet Alqaryoun’ as an open public space is appropriated by the various segments of the population, and how this has been changing overtime is addressed here through investigating various stakeholders and users of this place, starting from individuals to the families living in this neighborhood or even the municipality and professionals who are responsible for any future intervention proposed for Sahet Alqaryoun. This paper will attempt to explore the structure of such a shared place, how it is related to the social meaning and also its cultural connotation as a place of collective use that is perceived through representation and images produced by its residents. It will also study the physical evolution and different factors that shaped ‘Sahet Alqaryoun’ and demonstrate the sustainability of this historic place through time, re-identifying it and re-establishing it as an essential part of the social, socio-economic and political fabric of the city. This paper argues that urban spaces do present a public history. Our responsibility as professionals in preserving our historic spaces is to try to understand all factors that have played a role in shaping this space and to try to recognize and respect the long social and cultural history as successive stages of the city’s evolution.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Assi, Eman
Languages: English
Keywords: public space; intangible heritage; historic place; urban open space
Subjects: O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 13. Historic town centres
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Sahet Alqaryoun, Nablus, West Bank
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2008, 16th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2010 07:50
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:12
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