“Middle East-Europe” Heritage Research Forum

Project Details


This forum aims to build a substantial heritage research network and capacity and establish opportunities between scholars from UK, Europe and the Middle East to work on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects that investigate and respond to cultural and heritage challenges in these regions particularly in relation to conflict spreading in different countries in the Middle East. The
The project originally proposed “The Future of Historic Places in conflict: Tangibles and Intangibles” forum in Lebanon to bring scholars and professionals actively working in heritage context together to discuss the heritage challenges and present their work. The meeting aimed to facilitate the emergent of working projects between participants and to sustain the outcomes by targeting new small grants in order to establish stronger basis for large grants among the group.

Owing to COVID 19 pandemic, the team had to postpone the meeting in Lebanon and to change the project focus into establishing the research capacity through carrying out research projects on current heritage challenges in the region in collaboration with partner institutions in Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey:

•Lebanese American University- Louis Cardahi Foundation, Lebanon
•Alexandria University, Egypt
•Yildiz Technical University, Turkey

This has been achieved by setting up a local heritage hub in each collaborating institution and employ research assistance to support the local hubs’ projects. Each local hub had a collaborator who with Tarek have managed the projects and the research assistants in each country.

Key findings

Tarek and the collaborators were able to carry out eight successful projects that tackle current heritage issues such as heritage fragmentations and the impact of contemporary infrastructure in Lebanon. In Egypt, the group investigated heritage and current valuation policies, the contribution of heritage to people wellbeing during the pandemic and the contribution of conservation and creative technologies to revitalise tangible and intangible heritage in danger. In Turkey, the group focused on exploring dark heritage and heritage memorialisation in the post-conflict time. This has thus far created a substantial research capacity and collaboration essential for future GCRF bids.

The project was successful in building capacity of ODA countries local research assistants through exploring original projects and applying diverse research methods to answer the addressed questions. In particular, the project was successful in encouraging female researchers in the Middle East to go successfully through the research projects promoting their research capacity and their role in responding to the local challenges, a key GCRF aim. Eight article have been drafted and now they are under an editing process to be submitted to the identified journals which are:

1. A tailored framework for heritage and values identification in historic Alexandria: Cultural mapping through Historic Urban Landscape conceptualisation, to be submitted to City, Culture and Society Journal
2. Reinterpreting vernacular intangible values in times of pandemics: analytical study for vernacular intangible values in the spatial settings, Egypt, to be submitted to the Journal of Public Space
3. Revitalizing the physical built environment in historic commercial streets in Alexandria, Egypt: Safia Zaghloul Street as a case study, to be submitted to Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
4. Bridge the gap between local communities and the lost historic garden in Alexandria: The role of digital tools, to be submitted to the Journal of Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture
5. The Role of Architectural Heritage in offering a more resilient lockdown in Egypt, to be submitted to the Journal of Heritage and Society
6. Heritage in the Fragmented City of Tyre: A Blessing or a Curse? The Heritage Trail Approach as a Possible Solution, to be submitted to the Journal of Heritage and Identity
7. The “In-Between”: The impact of transportation infrastructure on the old town of Batroun, Lebanon, to be submitted to the Journal of Public Space.
8. Destruction, heritage and memory: post-conflict memorialisation, interpretation and presentation, to be submitted to the Journal of Cultural Heritage
Effective start/end date14/11/1931/07/20


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