Raymond Smith | IEREK conference on Conservation of Architectural Heritage – Egypt 2018
IEREK organised a 5-day conference on Conservation of Architectural Heritage (Egypt) cruising down the Nile from Luxor to Aswan, stopping over to visit Pharaonic heritage sites.
conservation of architectural heritage, ierek conference, pharaonic heritage sites
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Luxor in Egypt

Brief overview of the IEREK conference on Conservation of Architectural Heritage held in Egypt, February 2018


Top photo: Luxor in Egypt   (R. Smith, 2018)


During February this year I attended a conference on Conservation of Architectural Heritage in Egypt. It was organised by IEREK – International Experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange. The conference was hosted in collaboration with Springer publishing and Elsevier SSRN with reviewers from eleven Universities. It took place over five days while cruising down the Nile from Luxor to Aswan, stopping over to visit various heritage sites of the Pharaonic dynasties along the way.

This was the third IEREK CAH conference held, the first being in 2013, with participants and visitors from about 12 countries attending.

In total, 37 of the papers presented were published. Published papers from the following countries were presented: Algeria, Egypt, India, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, Kuwait, Sudan, Turkey, Tunisia, UAE, and Palestine.

The papers were divided into seven chapters.

Chapter I dealt with Conservation of Tradition and Identity and included seven papers. “Preserve the identity of Traditional buildings through conserving their passive systems” by Zainab Murtadhawi from Cardiff University and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR).

Traditional architecture on Kuwait and Northern Gulf. AARP.

Traditional architecture on Kuwait and Northern Gulf. AARP.

The Kuwaiti Heritage in The Paintings of Ayoub Hussein Al-Ayoub. Kuwait: Center for Research and Studies.

The Kuwaiti Heritage in The Paintings of Ayoub Hussein Al-Ayoub. Kuwait: Center for Research and Studies.

“Redefining Cultural impression in Princely states during colonial period” by Ashwini Nambiar from CEPT University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat was for me the most interesting.

Laxmi Villas Palace 1890 – Baroda, India

Laxmi Villas Palace 1890 – Baroda, India   (A. Nambiar)

In Chapter II Materials Techniques were discussed with two research papers being presented: “A review of Innovative ventilation techniques used in historical Hospitals in the Middle East and Europe” by Maraqa S.(1), Dweik G. (1),Van Moeseke G. (2), de Herde A.(3)


(1) Palestine Polytechnic University, West Bank, Palestine; (2) Architecture et climate, LOCI, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium; (3) MATRIciel, Place de l’université 25, LLN, Belgiumand


Malqaf section

Malqaf section   (Fathy, et al.1986)

“Rural Architectural Characteristics and Conservation issues of Alaaddinbey village in Bursa, Turkey” by Elif ACAR BῙLGῙN (Research Assistant, Uludag University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Architecture, Department of Restoration, Bursa, Turkey).

Traditional houses in Alaaddinbey

Traditional houses in Alaaddinbey   (Nilüfer Municipality Archive)

New Approaches and Concepts in Conservation of Cultural heritage in Historic Cities was the topic discussed in Chapter III which included ten papers. “Comparative ‘Insurance Plan’ in 1905 of Cairo and Alexandria” by Ali El Shazly (Associate Professor, Department of Architectural Engineering, Fayoum University, Egypt).

The Building Function of Cairo's 'Insurance Plan' in 1905

The Building Function of Cairo’s ‘Insurance Plan’ in 1905   (Municipality of Cairo)

The Building Function of Alexandria's 'Insurance Plan' in 1905

The Building Function of Alexandria’s ‘Insurance Plan’ in 1905   (Municipality of Alexandria)

“Gentrification in Heliopolis District” by Ahmed A. A. Shetawy (1), Abeer Elshater (2) Muhammad Salah Eldaidamony (3) Yehya Serag (4).


(1) Ain Shams University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Urban Design and Urban Planning; (2) Ain Shams University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Urban Design and Urban Planning; (3) Higher Technological Institute, 10th of Ramadan, PhD candidate in Ain Shams University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Urban Design and Urban Planning; (4) Ain Shams University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Urban Design and Urban Planning


Ground floor Land use of buildings of the case study – ElKorba District – with landmark photos and gentrification indicators

Ground floor Land use of buildings of the case study – ElKorba District – with landmark photos and gentrification indicators   (Central Agency for Public Mobilization & Statistics)

“Towards a stylistic characterization of the French colonial architecture produced in southern Algeria – Case study of public buildings” by Nassiba BENGHIDA and Leila SRITI (Department of Architecture, College of Architecture, Mohamed Khidher University, Biskra – Algeria. Laboratory of Design and Modelling of Forms and Environments (LaCoMoFA)).

Bechar in Sahara west

Bechar in Sahara west   (Postcard – Courtesy M. Khidher)

Chapter IV addressed Historic Buildings and Rehabilitation of Historic areas. Mona M. Abdelhamid (1) and Mohamed M. Elfakharan (2), presented “Introducing the Rehabilitation policy in order to safeguard the built heritage – Case Study: El Masry Arabic public bath (Hammam) in Alexandria”.


(1) Assistant professor of architecture at the faculty of Engineering, Pharos University in Alexandria; (2) Assistant professor of architecture at the faculty of Engineering, Pharos University in Alexandria


Hammam bath in El Masry, Alexandria

Hammam bath in El Masry, Alexandria   (Courtesy M Abdelhamid and M Elfakharan)

Mona Shedid (1) and Gehan Ismail (2); studied the effects of displacement of communities in their paper “Architectural and urban Expression in Nubian villages – origins and transformation with Special reference to Displacement villages.”


(1) Lecturer of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Benha University; (2) Assistant Lecturer of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Benha University


Nubian culture displaced in 1964

Nubian culture displaced in 1964   (Courtesy – Egypt Today newspaper)

Chapter V was concerned with Promotion of Heritage and Cultural Tourism with three studies presented. Ons Sakji (1) and Fakher Kharrat (2); presented “The reconversion in Tunisia between remembrance and contemporaneity” applied Aloîs Riegl’s theoretical method of objective analysis in understanding the duality of values as expressed in a case study of Fondouk El Atterine.


(1) Architect, Assistant Professor UTC – University Tunis Carthage); (2) Architect, Professor and director ENAU – National School of Architecture and Urbanism)


Fondouk El Atterine, Tunis, Tunisia

Fondouk El Atterine, Tunis, Tunisia   (Courtesy O. Dakji and F. Kharrat)

In another paper “Reviving Sudan’s Ancient history and Tourism,” by Aida Nayer PhD (1, 2), Alaa Abbas (1) and Fatima Abbas (1), proposes a strategic centre to facilitate the promotion of tourism along the Nile.


(1) Effat University, Jeddah; (2) BHI


Proposed project site at Bagraywiah, Sudan

Proposed project site at Bagraywiah, Sudan   (Courtesy Google Earth)

Cultural and Religious Identity and their Manifestation of Heritage was the topic explored in Chapter VI with Adel Yasseen from the Ain Shams University in Cairo, presenting his theory on how the Pyramids of Giza was actually built, in his paper “Architecture of the great Pyramids of Giza” while

The original Giza plateau as imagined, while keeping the pyramids in place to show the static mass of the original geologic formation

The original Giza plateau as imagined, while keeping the pyramids in place to show the static mass of the original geologic formation   (Model, courtesy Adel Yasseen)

Shatha A. Alamiri (1), Mustafa Abdul Jalil (2) and Doaa M. Alzubaidy (3), discussed the impact of Western culture on Baghdad in a presentation entitled “The impact of Western culture on the Transformation of residential Patterns in one of the heritage areas of Baghdad.”


(1), (2), and (3) University of Baghdad


Baghdad aerial

Baghdad aerial   (Courtesy Google Earth)

In the final Chapter VII, which included four studies under the heading Heritage Planning Policy, Design guidelines and Community development, Sonali Roy Chandra (1), discussed a regeneration project in her paper “Regeneration of Historic core of Patan, India.”


(1) Conservation Architect, Assistant Professor University School of Architecture and Planning, Guru Gobind Singh University, New Delhi, India


City of Patan, India

City of Patan, India – The transformation of buildings from traditional to contemporary evident in the street plans above and elevations below at Patan   (Courtesy Sonali R Chandra)

The preservation of Vernacular architecture was the topic of Mostafa Gabr (1), Wael Kamel (2), Ghada Gamal El-din Gaber (3) in their paper entitled “Proposed Vernacular-Ecotourism Guidelines as a Tool to preserve Vernacular Architecture in Nubia, Egypt – Case study: Katoo-dool Nubian House, Aswan, Egypt.”


(1) Mostafa Gaber Prof. of Landscaping Architecture and Environment Design Dept., AASTMT; (2) Wael Kamel Prof. of Environmental Engineering Construction and Building Engineering College; (3) Engineering and Tech., AASTMT)


Nubian courtyard houses in Aswan, Egypt

Nubian courtyard houses in Aswan, Egypt   (Courtesy M. Gaber)