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Understanding the cultural heritage landscapes in rural Palestine: Exploring local conceptions in the village of Dair Ghassaneh

Conference contribution
Authors Feras Hammami
Christine Alloush
Published in 26th session of the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape UNRAVELING THE LOGICS OF LANDSCAPE
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Conservation
Language en
Keywords Rural heritage, landscape, occupation, Deir Ghassaneh, Palestine
Subject categories Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, History and Archaeology, Architecture

Abstract

On a land that is still under occupation heritage is a critical issue that is highly related to the national identity. For heritage to continue to survive there is an urgent need for understanding the challenges of the current socio-political situation and the planning for the future of heritage laden landscapes in Palestine. This research aims at exploring local conceptions of heritage landscape in rural Palestine; as rural areas are characterized by their intact natural and cultural richness that are under threat due to the enforced constrains by the occupation practices. The village of Dair Ghassaneh, located to the north west of Ramallah City in the West Bank, is the case. Dair Ghassaneh is one of the throne villages that have played an important role during the ottoman empire, a history that has been reflected on its built environment and social life. This study followed a bottom up approach to heritage and planning, exploring the diverse relationships between the locals and their physical built environment. The idea is to develop a deeper understanding of how conceptions of heritage are constructed in relation to locals' values, needs, expectations and priorities, and to explore possibilities for better integration of heritage in rural planning. The results uncovered influential factors in how heritage landscape is conceived in rural areas and how these conceptions shape rural development and planning.

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