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.
The site is located at the northeast corner of the Old City, in the vicinity of the Laqlaq Tower (Burj al-Laqlaq). The tower, which was built in 1537, is one of the most important Ottoman defensive landmarks located in Jerusalem and stands at the edge of an open area of approximately 8000 square meters dotted with small huts and old stone walls. The site was acquired by Burj al-Laqlaq Community Society from private Palestinian owners to be used for social, educational and recreational activities.
Four phases for the development of this site were completed by the Welfare Association since 1996 including hard and soft landscaping, children's playground and the rehabilitation of small buildings on site to be used as the Society's offices, children's library and museums. Work is now underway to clear the site of a multi-purpose hall that was demolished by the Israeli authorities after its completion. New master plan for site development will be completed March 2000 for future phases.
Source: Old City Jerusalem Revitalisation Programme