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  • AutorenbildWanja Wedekind

Capacity building for the conservation and restoration of the cultural heritage in Syria, Irak and J

One day, the war will be defeated and peace will come to the Middle East. In a future post-war order it will also be necessary to re-open the sites of the built and archeological heritage of the region and to take conservation or restoration action. For this, structures and processes of all kinds must be strengthened and installed. For this purpose, trained professionals will be needed. An ambitious training and study program is therefore intended to build skills for the future conservation, restoration and reconstruction of historical monuments as well as to safeguard the cultural heritage of the region.

Therefore, the study course "MSc Architectural Conservation" has been established at the German Jordanian University (GJU). The program is funded by the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany within the framework of the project "The Hour Zero - A Future for the Time After the Crisis". The program was initiated by the "Archaeological Heritage Network" under the direction of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

It's not just about Jordanian students, it's also about thousands of refugee graduates which are now living in Jordan. Here lies the potential for the training of professionals who will be qualified for future tasks in the field of heritage preservation, restoration and conservation. Therefore, the study program also includes young Iraqi and Syrian refugees. The german site is sponsoring 30 Jordanian and refugee students with a full scholarship.

The Master Program "Architectural Conservation" is a cooperation program organized by the Department of Historic Building Conservation and Research from the RWTH Aachen University and the Post-graduation Master program Cultural Heritage at the TU-Berlin in cooperation with the German Jordanian University.

The German side is supporting the program with Visiting Professors experts in the field, while the main bulk of the teaching is provided by the GJU teaching staff and professors.

In the mission of Visiting Professors, the architects Prof. Christian Raabe (RWTH) and Yasser Shretah and the restorers/conservators York Rieffel, Berlin State Restorer and the conservation scientist Wanja Wedekind were on site to provide restoration expertise in workshops and intensive courses. As part of the courses, various fieldwork and excursions to current restoration projects took place. These took the students to Jerash, the historic center of Amman and the rock city of Petra.

A student group with Prof. Wanja Wedekind in Petra
Prof. Christian Raabe showing one of the latest restoration project in Iran
Prof. York Rieffel and Prof, Wanja Wedekind with a student group during an excursion in Amman

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