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Urban Heritage In Islamic Countries

An international urban heritage conference in Riyadh, 2010

eTN Staff Writer  Nov 01, 2009

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host next April (2010) the First International Conference on Urban and Architectural Heritage in Islamic Countries (FCUAHIC) at the Saudi capital of Riyadh to discuss the role of urban heritage in the cultural, social, and economic development in the Islamic countries.

The Saudi Commission of Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) will organize this event, which is under the patronage of the Custodian Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, in collaboration with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, King Saud University, the Heritage Charity Foundation, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference represented by IRCICA, as well as Riyadh Municipality and the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh.

HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman, president of SCTA, took an initiative represented by holding an international conference with a vision to highlight the importance of cultural, economic, social, and tourism factors of urban and architectural heritage as a key sector of development in Islamic countries and to generate a mutually-agreed upon policy, implementation mechanisms, and designation of joint projects between cooperating countries in the areas of urban heritage in the Islamic world.

FCUAHIC Objectives:

1. To assess the current state of urban and architectural heritage in Islamic countries and identify a framework for future development of their economic, social, and cultural opportunities.

2. To develop a cooperation strategy among Islamic states regarding the maintenance and function of architectural heritage buildings and villages.

3. To find appropriate solutions to the impediments affecting the financial support for architectural heritage preservation and urban development projects.

4. To exchange administrative and technical expertise among Islamic countries in the design, development, and use of architectural heritage sites.

5. To create employment opportunities for craftsmen and artists in the renovation, restoration, and decoration of heritage buildings.

The papers and presentations will discuss several issues such as the current state of urban architectural heritage in the Islamic world, preservation of architectural heritage, economic aspects, awareness and media, successful architectural heritage projects, government efforts and private sector initiatives, training and education in the field of architectural heritage, and environmental variables and their impact on architectural heritage.

On the margin of the conference, several activities will be held - an exhibit, workshops, and field and study trips, as well as live demonstrations of skilled experts and apprentices in heritage reconstruction and technologies as follows:

• Experiences of Islamic states

• Traditional heritage building materials, tools, and raw materials

• Methods of treatment and maintenance

• Documentation and studies in the field of architectural heritage

• Examples of the experiences of private sector investment in architectural heritage sites

• Live demonstration by one hundred craftsmen (30 craftsmen from within the kingdom) specialized in crafts related to architectural heritage buildings

• Events to introduce students, male and female, to traditional and modern applications in urban and architectural heritage

• Field trips to heritage projects; delegates will be able to choose from a number of heritage sites.

FCUAHIC will be held during the period April 18-23, 2010 at King Faisal Conference Hall, Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel. The abstract submission deadline is November 7, 2009. Exceptional contributions will be awarded a certificate, a plaque plus SR12,000 (US$3,200) each for research, education and training, media, rehabilitation of the historic sites, implementation of the modern design in historic urban context, use of modern technology, and excellence in craftsmanship, etc.

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An international urban heritage conference in Riyadh, 2010
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