Modern architecture meets tradition in Palestine's first planned city – Al-Monitor

An image reveals a part of the brand new Palestinian city of Rawabi as seen by a sculpture, on the development website of the brand new city simply north of Ramallah in the West Financial institution, April 22, 2015. (picture by THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Pictures)

Modern architecture meets tradition in Palestine's first planned city

Creator: Ismail Abdel Hadi

RAMALLAH, West Financial institution — A big Palestinian flag flies over Rawabi, the city in the West Financial institution that symbolizes Palestinian desires of a haven that mixes excessive residing requirements with the most recent architectural design. Between Jerusalem and Nablus, to the north of Ramallah in the West Financial institution, the mannequin city stretches over roughly 6.three sq. kilometers (2.four sq. miles).

AbstractPrint The Palestinian city of Rawabi, which mixes modernity with Palestinian heritage, hopes to draw vacationers from around the globe.

“The city is following the requirements of city planning in addition to the most recent architecture and fashionable development requirements,” Majid Abdul Fattah, the top of the Rawabi municipality, advised Al-Monitor, “With the joint efforts of the Bayti Real Estate Investment Company and the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, the drilling and development operations have been ongoing since 2010 with the purpose of attaining a sequence of residential neighborhoods.”

Nevertheless it has not all the time been straightforward for the city, whose construction workers were attacked with stones by the residents of the close by Israeli settlement of Ateret, which lies on a hill near Rawabi. They needed to hinder the institution of the Palestinian city pondering that its financial prosperity would immediate the Palestinians to carry onto this land. Additionally they thought that the city can be a supply of air pollution and result in visitors in the long run. The connection between the 2 settlements is illustrated in a statue of Nabil Anani, one of many founders of the Palestinian modern artwork motion. The statue reveals a Palestinian household in their conventional garments clasping their palms round a Palestinian flag and standing with their backs to Ateret and their faces to the city of Rawabi, which they imagine is their future.

“The city consists of 23 residential neighborhoods comprising of greater than 5,000 housing items. It will likely be inhabited by greater than 40,000 individuals as soon as the development phases are accomplished and can thus grow to be the most important Palestinian funding venture to offer flats at inexpensive costs for all segments of Palestinian society. It additionally offers job alternatives for a whole lot of people that have discovered in this city a possibility to attain their hopes and aspirations,” Fattah stated.

He maintained that Rawabi established a hyperlink between the current and the traditional heritage of the previous Palestinian cities: The districts have been given previous Canaanite names corresponding to Sawan, that means stone, and Makmatah, Dulaim, Waruar, Ikshaf and Tarsa.

“The sidewalks and corridors of the city are paved with stones and brilliant-coloured tiles with distinctive ironworks which can be impressed by the previous. The home windows and constructing entrances are much like the traditional Palestinian arches, which strengthen the traditional look of the place,” Fattah added.

The city of Rawabi contains industrial buildings, gardens, sports activities courts, worship halls, accommodations, banks, faculties, the Taj Rawabi Cinema, eating places, inexperienced areas, a fuel station, excessive-pace fiber-optic community and the Rawabi English Academy. Additionally, the city is about to determine the most important Roman-impressed amphitheater to accommodate greater than 15,000 spectators.

“We hope that Rawabi will function the birthplace of a brand new era whose desires will come true. There must be a geographical connection between the city of Rawabi and all the Palestinian cities and villages to restrict any settlement growth in this area,” Fattah stated, including that the city had already hosted many key figures, together with former UN Secretary-Common Ban Ki-moon.

Rawabi had beforehand been criticized for contracting Israeli companies for the provision of development supplies. Bashar al-Masri, the chief govt officer of Bayti Actual Property Funding Firm, advised Al-Monitor, “Palestinian corporations are given precedence, and greater than 100 contracts have been signed with Palestinian corporations, whereas not more than 12 Israeli corporations could be contracted for the provision of uncooked supplies and important companies that aren't accessible in the Palestinian market and are troublesome to import, corresponding to cement and sand. This has been the case with all the different Palestinian buyers.” He careworn that the Palestinian legislation permits cooperation with overseas corporations, together with Israeli ones.

Mohammed Abu Jaish, a researcher in the fields of tourism and archaeology, advised Al-Monitor, “The city of Rawabi may be very fashionable amongst residents in numerous components of the West Financial institution, and it's frequented by native and overseas vacationers who search to get an in depth take a look at its leisure and cultural services, which mix modernity with the authenticity of historical Palestinian historical past.”

He identified that tourism performs an vital function in attaining financial and social improvement in any nation, because it is a vital supply of laborious foreign money and it creates job alternatives. “Folks wish to journey and go to vacationer websites around the globe. Statistics present that just about 75% of overseas guests who go to Israel go to vacationer sights in the West Financial institution, together with the city of Rawabi,” he added.

Ahmad Saleh, a resident of Rawabi, advised Al-Monitor, “My household and I are thrilled to lastly notice our dream of being one of many residents of this glorious and fashionable city and revel in its excessive-finish life-style and distinctive buildings that remind us of our previous and heritage.”

He added, “Rawabi is among the most stunning cities in the world. You possibly can stroll round safely, take pleasure in its purity and breathe an air that's devoid of dangerous exhaust emissions, and this positively impacts the city and its inhabitants.”

Abu Jaish warned that Israel's actions and settlements would have an effect on funding and tourism in Palestine and can lead a lot of native and overseas vacationers to chorus from visiting vacationer websites. “There are additionally the restrictions imposed on tourists and buyers upon getting into the West Financial institution; these foreshadow whole paralysis in the incoming tourism exercise,” Abu Jaish stated.

Learn Extra: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/05/fashionable-design-meets-tradition-in-rawabi.html

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Modern architecture meets tradition in Palestine's first planned city - Al-Monitor