Workshop Trains in Interpreting City History Using Waqf Documents

On October 27, 2014, the Birzeit University History and Archaeology Department, in partnership with the international team of research at the National Endowment at the Center for Scientific Research in Paris-France "GDRI/CNRS", held a workshop on reading city histories through the documents of the Waqf, or Islamic endowment.

In his opening address, Faculty of Arts dean Mehdi Arar emphasized the department’s interest in scientific research and explained the importance of Waqf in interpreting the history of cities.

"Talking about Waqf is like talking about history, heritage and existence,” he told the audience, “as this issue is of vital importance in light of the challenges faced by Palestinian cities, especially the city of Jerusalem, which is encountering policies of Judaization and falsification of history.”

History and Archaeology professor Musa Srour said that “this partnership between the History and Archaeology Department and scientific research team at the Center for Scientific Research in Paris-France was established in 2012, which led to the holding of many scientific meetings that brought together dozens of researchers in the field of Awqaf in Europe, Palestine, Malaysia, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait, and today at Birzeit and next year in Japan.”

Director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research in France professor Randi Deguilhem expressed her pleasure at cooperating with Birzeit University, especially the history and archaeology department. She said that research papers presented at the workshop will contribute to underscoring the importance of various waqf documents in reading and writing the history of cities.

At the end of the workshop, Srour and Deguilhem concluded by presenting their own observations and recommendations.