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(Re)Constructing Urban Spaces: Unearthing the Palimpsest in Arabia

Opening Keynote with Yasser Elsheshtawy

Saturday, March 2, 2024, 6 PM

A palimpsest describes a manuscript or writing surface that has been reused, erased, or altered while retaining traces of its earlier form—and, by extension, an object, place, or area that reflects its history.

In many ways, looking at cities across the Arabian Peninsula, this notion of erased history can shed light on the processes involved in ongoing urban development projects. To that end, this talk will focus on the city of Doha, and its rapid expansion while contextualizing these processes by looking at other cities in the region.

Ultimately, this keynote talk seeks to highlight the value of preserving the past as it allows a city to become a palimpsest, composed of various layers accumulated over decades, contributing to the formation of a unique and distinctive identity.

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