WIT Press

A VILLAGE OF PALESTINE HERITAGE – AL-DHAHIRIYA PALESTINE

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/HA-V1-N3-441-450

Volume

Volume 1 (2017), Issue 3

Pages

9

Page Range

441 - 450

Author(s)

GHASSAN J. DWEIK

Abstract

In 2009, Palestinian historian Bshara Domani identified a popular phenomenon among Palestinians called ‘the archive fever’. During the last 40 years many researchers and artists searched through their old pictures and Archival collections; in addition they tried to conduct interviews with the old people and collect data of the old buildings and the demolished villages. Clearly, this is difficult for people who lost their geography, most of their cities, half of their villages and were expelled from their land. These people – the Palestinians – are trying to describe their history which was not allowed to be narrated at the time of Israeli occupation in 1948. The project of ‘documenting and rehabilitating the old centres of the Palestinian villages’ aims at exploring the current status of 800 village centres which survived after the 1948 war and which contained an independent, self-sufficient lifestyle. The Palestinian villages endured for centuries using primitive skills that offered a sustainability model developed by the residents. This article is a visual and practical tour in a part of the Palestinian rural area and a clear evidence in the 21st century on the remaining distinctive architectural heritage that is under threat. It is also an attempt to increase the awareness and finding the right solutions to rehabilitate the Palestinian villages. For centuries, the architecture in the Palestinian villages was described as ‘spontaneous simple architecture’, and until the 1920s, the mountains of the West Bank was the heart of rural life in Palestine. Al-Dhahiriya village – the example which is studied in this article – is a small village located in the south of West Bank. The old core of Al-Dhahiriya will be analysed in this article.

Keywords

Al-Dhahiriya village, archaeological, dwelling, environment, Hebron, historic centre, Israeli, Palestine, residential, souk, stone, traditional