Bilad al-Sham Ottoman Architecture Reviewed

Birzeit University professor of sociology and senior fellow and former director of the Institute for Palestine Studies-affiliated Institute of Jerusalem Studies Salim Tamari reviewed Bilad al-Sham architectural heritage under Ottoman rule and the British mandate period in a lecture sponsored by the social sciences doctoral program.

Vice President for Development and Communication Ghassan Khatib said that the lecture aims at increasing the knowledge and understanding of Ottoman provincial architecture. "This is a part of our Islamic and oriental heritage and identity that must be highlighted, documented and transferred between generations."

Tamari said that the stereotype promoted by the British and French mandates that Ottoman architecture and urban planning is underdeveloped is incorrect.

"Ottoman modernity and urban transformation, especially in the 16th century, is undeniable. The area that forms the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine once formed an integrated region with multiple urban centers, each with its own distinctive configuration," Tamari went on.

 "The accumulation of material and cultural goods brought back to Europe by colonialists meant that Ottoman architecture emerged as an object of display in the Western community," Tamari said.