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Cementing Gaza's history by sketching its ancient sites

Architect Wala'a Shublaq is using urban sketching to preserve the Strip's Palestinian identity

April 23, 2023 at 10:00 am

Gaza is a region we hear about often but how much do we know about its past and history? This is something architect Wala’a Shublaq is looking to change as she sketches ancient sites and helps Palestinians in Gaza reconnect with their past.

The 27-year-old urban sketcher hopes her work will also help in future restoration projects especially as some sites are in a state of disrepair or could be damaged by Israeli attacks in the future. This is part of the Masar project, an artistic research project aimed at studying the remnants of previous civilisations in the Old City of Gaza.

“The project mainly seeks to document the sites and celebrate their history and authenticity, as proof of the original Palestinian identity,” Wala’a explains, adding that it is part of urban sketching which allows for keeping a visual diary and record of your surroundings.

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Urban sketching involves drawing as one roams around an area and being inspired by the surrounding.

“A large number of these sites are either partly destroyed or are in a state of disrepair, so documenting them either through sketches or through photographs creates a complete archive which can be referenced during renovation works or if the sites were to be lost,” she says.

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