Architect, conservationist and director of Old City of Jerusalem Revitalisation Programme, Shadia Touqan graduated with a Baccalaureate degree in
Architecture in 1969 from Cairo University. She obtained a Masters in Urban Design
from Manchester University in 1981, and
attained a PhD in Urban Development and Planning from Development Planning Unit/ Bartlett School of Architecture
from the University of London in 1995. She worked as an architect on a number
of projects in the UK, Jordan, UAE, other Arab countries and is an expert on
urban development of Palestinian towns.
Shadia is the Chief Technical Advisor for USESCO in Yemen,
Director of the Old City of Jerusalem Revitalization plan since November 1997,
and is an expert on cultural heritage preservation and revitalization of
historic cities with a number of international
organizations such as the World Bank and UNESCO. She has not only published a
number of papers and articles on the subject of preservation of cultural heritage. She won the prestigious Aga Khan
Award for Architecture for her work in Jerusalem in 2004.
A culturally significant complex in the Old City of Jerusalem, Dar al-Aytam al-Islamiyya dates back to the Circassian Mamluk and Ottoman periods, and covers 10'000m² of built up area. It includes an Islamic orphanage, secondary school, soup kitchen, workshops, bakery, Mosque, and the palace of Sitt Tunshuq. Renovation included the construction of stone walls with layers of limestone to support the cross vaults, and the installation of electrical systems, sanitation, heating, and ventilation. All work was carried out by local builders and craftsmen.
The comprehensive restoration
of the 600-year-old Mamluk and Ottoman complex was undertaken in six phases
beginning in 1999; it was completed in 2004. The $3.5 million project, financed
by private donations raised during the Sharja festival in 1998, and by grants
from the Islamic Development Bank and from Welfare's own resources. Project
implementation was based on the results of extensive technical surveys, a
historic analysis study and needs assessment study.
architecture shows the transition in architectural styles from the 14th century
Mamluk era to the early Ottoman period. Today it houses a boy's academic
school, an industrial vocational school with print shop, bookbinding and
carpentry workshops, a boarding dormitory, an Islamic traditional soup kitchen
and a small mosque.
comprehensive restoration and rehabilitation project included infrastructure
upgrading of all interior and exterior services, as well as stone restoration
of the monumental carved and mosaic facades, and introduction of modern
facilities, machinery, furniture and equipment for both the academic and
vocational schools, including a computer laboratory.
regeneration project also included the administrative and technical facilities
upgrading for both schools.
Source: Old City of Jerusalem Revitalisation Programme