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Middle Eastern towns

 
Author Assif
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 23 Dec 2015 16:12 
Middle Eastern towns (24)
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/categories/category22.html

Beni Hammad (better under Near Eastern archaeology)
Aleppo
Bursa/Cumalikizik
Byblos (better under urban continuity)
Damascus
Erbil (better under urban continuity)
Harar (already had it under African towns)
Cairo
Kairouan
Algiers
M'Zab (better under African towns, similar to Ghadames)
Essaouira
Fez
Marrakesh
Sousse
Tetouan
Tunis
Meknes
Pearling sites in Bahrain
Safranbolu
Shakhrisyabz (better under Asian towns together with Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand)
Tabriz Bazaar (better under trade like La Lonja de la Seda at Valencia)
Zabid

Author clyde
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 23 Dec 2015 17:28 
My selection:

Cairo
Marrakesh
Sanaa ???
Damascus (maybe, due to extensive damage)

Author Khuft
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 23 Dec 2015 19:18 
Assif:
better under trade like La Lonja de la Seda at Valencia

I'm afraid the trade category is pretty much done already.... Let's discuss the sites according to the categories they currently have; it just makes everything too messy if we have to refer back to previously "finished" categories

Author kkanekahn
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 23 Dec 2015 23:22 
My selection

Aleppo- Important Ayyubid city
Damascus- One of the oldest town
Meknes- Early modern Islamic town
Cairo- one of the world's oldest Islamic cities
Marrakesh- major Islamic capital of the western Muslim world

Author elsslots
Admin
#5 | Posted: 24 Dec 2015 06:49 
Some of the Oldest inhabited cities on earth are included here.
Damascus and Aleppo seem to have the best stake in this.

Then a bunch of North African medinas. I'd say Fez is the preeminent example.
I'd also include Marrakesh for its fine Islamic buildings.

This seems to be the best place to cover Ottoman heritage too. But what would be the Ottoman site par excellence? For the early period, we could have Bursa but I'd rather go for Safranbolu. For the classical period, it should already be covered by Istanbul elsewhere.

And from the remaining ones I'd select Cairo, for its Islamic and Coptic heritage.

Author Assif
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 24 Dec 2015 07:09 
Khuft:
Let's discuss the sites according to the categories they currently have

Sure. This is just a comment for future changes of the categories.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 24 Dec 2015 09:33 
I seem to be a bit out of step on this. I am concerned that we should NOT exclude "Middle Eastern" (A lot of these are Maghrebian) sites which in age and significance are no worse than European sites which are very similar albeit of a different culture but are getting included! A lot of my "MAYBEs" are to ensure that we do a bit of X-cultural comparison before a final decision!
So YES = 6, NO = 11. MAYBE = 6
(Sanaa would be YES by the way if to be considered here - unique and striking Arabian architecture)
-Beni Hammad - NO - I see that only 7 users of this site have registered a visit here and we were unable to visit it when in Algeria a couple of years ago on grounds of "safety". So, it will have to rely on its write ups on the Web to assist assessment! UNESCO describes it as "an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city", but neither the photos nor the documentation from 1979 seem to offer any great reason to support it
-Aleppo - YES - for its long period of history and remains (leaving aside its current ruination
-Bursa/Cumalikizik MAYBE - We visited earlier this year. Mixture of Mosques, Tombs, Khans and "Kulliyes" (Islamic social complex).
-Byblos - NO - OK it claims to be one of the "oldest continuously inhabited cities" of the World and its name has a certain "cachet" but there really isn't a great deal of top significance in its remains
-Damascus - YES - as for Aleppo
-Erbil - NO - lack of authenticity
-Harar - NO -as per my assessment under "African towns"
-Cairo - YES - for its Citadel and historic mosques etc
-Kairouan - YES - I am sure that, if the 9th C Great Mosque were a Cathedral it would have been selected
-Algiers - MAYBE - Have visited - in dire condition but I suppose we have to evaluate it on other factors. I guess that (condition apart) it is as historic/significant in its way as the mediaeval parts of many European capitals which have got themselves on to the full List! How should it be compared with, for instance, a Tallin?
-M'Zab - MAYBE - Have visited - more of a series of "towns" and needs to be considered against/with the other Saharan/sub-Saharan/Sahelian towns in the African Cities category. (at least - Ghadames, Mauritanian Ksour, Ait ben Haddou). Personally its walled town and concentric streets plus its Date groves and other cultural factors would seem to me to justify inclusion as a significant CL. If it were a European viticulture area it probably would!!
-Essaouira - MAYBE - Have visited - Eurocentricity alert!! Needs to be compared with Maazagan (both seaports with Iberian influences) and with similar sites in Eeurope to ensure equal treatment?
-Fez - YES - although "close" to Marrakesh and has an element of duplication with it it covers a later period in its architectural speciality. I am sure we have European cities which duplicate as much!
-Marrakesh - YES - "iconic" city with fine mosques going back to 11C and a full set of souks, trad areas etc etc
-Sousse - NO - Have visited. How many Medinas can we have. ITs "seaward" aspects can be covered elsewhere. Would hope that,we have rejected similar "2nd level" European towns
-Tetouan - NO - Yet another Moroccan medina - its particular claim is that it " Because of its strategie position, T├ętouan had an important role as the point of contact and of transition between two civilizations and two continents" and thus "admirably illustrates the special character of this group of towns, whose form and style derive directly from the high Moorish culture of Andalusia" . But the AB also comments regarding a list produced for an ICOMOS meeting "The Moroccan town selected to illustrate "Foreign contact sites" in that list is Chefchaouen." . It all sounds a bit "niche" compared with the most significant Medinas
-Tunis - MAYBE - Have visited - but, a long long time ago! Is it a "Cesky Krumlow" or a "Quedlinburg" of Medinas?? ie does it have that little bit extra to differentiate it? Not as I remember it. Needs to be considered along with Algiers (only one of these 2 or none!) and some European comparators .
-Meknes - NO - Have visited - Its particular "claim to fame" is that it is later than the others (17C) but I don't see that as good enough reason to bring in as well as the other 2 Moroccan capitals
-Pearling sites in Bahrain - NO - OK I haven't been out to be beds but I found the Muharraq aspect a bit contrived. A very small area with the odd minaret and Wind tower but nothing that special.
-Safranbolu - MAYBE - We visited earlier this year. I come back to my Cesky Krumlow and Quedlinburg analogy! There are other "Ottoman towns" on the list in the Balkans. I guess this has the advantage of homeland "authenticity".
-Shakhrisyabz - NO - Have visited - A Timurid 15C city - Samarkand is also in part Timurid and overlaps it in period at both ends. Generally it doesn't come to match its nearby fellow sites.
-Tabriz Bazaar - NO - bazaars which are (or were) as good in Aleppo, Damascus and Istanbul seem enough?
-Zabid - NO - Have visited - a mere shadow of whatever it might have been in terms of university etc etc--

Author elsslots
Admin
#8 | Posted: 24 Dec 2015 10:17 
Solivagant:
Kairouan - YES - I am sure that, if the 9th C Great Mosque were a Cathedral it would have been selected

Kairouan is already in via a different category (Islamic). That's why I did not select it here.

Author elsslots
Admin
#9 | Posted: 1 Feb 2016 11:56 | Edited by: elsslots 
We seem to have forgotten this one.
Summarizing, and hoping for some more input from others.

Beni Hammad
Aleppo - for its long period of history and remains - 3
Bursa/Cumalikizik
Byblos (better under urban continuity)
Damascus - already in under urban continuity
Erbil
Harar
Cairo - for its Islamic and Coptic heritage - 4
Kairouan - already in under Islamic religious structure
Algiers
M'Zab
Essaouira
Fez - representing the North African medina - 2
Marrakesh
- "iconic" city with fine mosques going back to 11C and a full set of souks, trad areas - 4
Sousse
Tetouan
Tunis
Meknes
Pearling sites in Bahrain
Safranbolu - Early Ottoman site par excellence - 1,5
Shakhrisyabz
Tabriz Bazaar
Zabid

Author Assif
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 1 Feb 2016 17:01 
My selection:

Zabid
Marrakesh
Fez
Damascus
Cairo
Kairouan
M'Zab
Aleppo
Harar
Bursa

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 1 Feb 2016 17:06 
I will double Solivagant's Yeses

In terms of his maybes that I have knowledge of I would say

Tunis - No, I have a soft spot for it, as it was my first medina and African WHS but it doesn't add anything that aren't better shown in Fez or Marrakesh. Lovely place though and well worth a visit.

Essouira - I think maybe is about right, it brings an interesting coastal dimension, with associated defences. As well as a grid planned aspect to the medina but beyond that isn't as interesting as other Moroccan examples. Perhaps Rabat would be a place that better represents all of those elements in the same site, as well as bringing the addition of a European planned new town.

Author elsslots
Admin
#12 | Posted: 2 Feb 2016 10:07 
Summarizing again, and bringing over to the main page.

Beni Hammad
Aleppo - for its long period of history and remains - 5
Bursa/Cumalikizik - Ottoman Mixture of Mosques, Tombs, Khans and "Kulliyes". - 1,5
Byblos (better under urban continuity)
Damascus - already in under urban continuity
Erbil
Harar
Cairo - for its Islamic and Coptic heritage - 6
Kairouan - already in under Islamic religious structure
Algiers
M'Zab - walled town and concentric streets plus its Date groves and other cultural factors - 1,5
Essaouira
Fez - representing the North African medina - 4
Marrakesh - "iconic" city with fine mosques going back to 11C and a full set of souks, trad areas - 6
Sousse
Tetouan
Tunis
Meknes
Pearling sites in Bahrain
Safranbolu - Early Ottoman site par excellence - 1,5
Shakhrisyabz
Tabriz Bazaar
Zabid

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 Middle Eastern towns

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