Role of universities in preserving cultural heritage in areas of conflict

Saifi, Yara
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People living under occupation continue their struggle against loss of land by preserving their authentic cultural heritage, narrative, identity, and very existence in various ways. This paper sets out the efforts of Palestinian universities to protect their cultural heritage in the face of continuing Israeli occupation, which demonstrate resilience by building sustainable livelihoods. This includes raising awareness of their cultural heritage, and assisting the economy through the provision of work opportunities that portray a collective policy towards their culture. It sheds light on the case of Al-Quds University that is implementing several conservation projects in different cultural sites rich in the contextual values in the Old City of Jerusalem. The university adopts people-centered solutions, which give the built heritage significant meaning and value. A taxonomy of efforts among the projects is outlined to inform policy discussions related to the role of universities. Through utilizing empirical data that can stimulate discussions on developing a more shared set of efforts, the paper contributes to ongoing debates on the reconstruction of built heritage as a dynamic process and strategy to help people recover from the impacts of conflicts.
Yara Saifi (2020): Role of universities in preserving cultural heritage in areas of conflict, International Journal of Cultural Policy, DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2020.1857374