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Archive for the ‘social anthropology’ Category

there are 12 existing mosques in the village, each placed according to the social surroundings.  the history tells us that when Muslim conquerors established themselves somewhere, a mosque was put up first, and then the military camp was built around it.

So, to re-generate social life in this abandoned village, one could start with the mosques again.  the mosques are already there, serving almost as hot-spots for the village. So, by focusing new social programs around the mosques, it establishes an authentic approach to the situation.

the inner space of the mosque will still be sacred to the prayers, and still function as the mosque we know today.

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Al Jazeerah al Hamra is an ancient Ras al Khaimah town built of sand, bricks and coral, and it is prized by archaeologists as a rare example of pre-oil Emirati living. However, development and labourers seeking cheap housing are threatening the village’s historic integrity.

And three years ago, things began to change. Development at the nearby industrial zone brought in workers who needed low-cost housing. Companies began renting villas in al Jazeerah al Hamra, putting 20 or 30 workers into a house once shared by a family of pearl divers or fishermen.

At first, there were only a few labourers in the village. Families were reluctant to rent their old homes and many feared to live there because the village is believed to be haunted by powerful jinn, or spirit beings. But in the past six months, the south end of the village has been transformed, essentially, into a labour camp.

Businesses are moving into the village. The neon lights of laundries and grocery stores have brought life back to its dark corners. Imposing lorries and taxis are parked outside villas that drivers now call home.

As the demand for cheap accommodation increases, al Jazerrah al Hamra risks being lost. Now, under a master plan approved by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras al Khaimah, the village is to be preserved for future generations. Yet with each month that passes, the preservation of this sandcastle village comes under greater threat. New residents are moving deeper into the village, towards older houses. With them comes garbage and damage from daily living.

Rashed Abdulla is one of many homeowners from  al Jazeerah al Hamra who has decided to rent his old home. Thirty-eight years ago, he moved his family to a new village a few hundred metres north.

Abandoned 40 years ago, the crumbling old houses in al Jazeerah Al Hamra are now finding new life, essentially being transformed into a labour camp for workers from the nearby industrial zone. When renovations are finished, he will rent the three-bedroom villa to labourers for Dh20,000 (US$5,400) a year.

Ibrahim Tanju, 44, a lorry driver from Kerala, India, was one of the first to move into the village three years ago when RAK’s industrial area began to develop. “Nobody lived here at that time,” said Mr Tanju. “Now there are groceries and laundries and the rent is very cheap. In RAK, it is so much money. People live here, first of all, because it costs little money. Secondly, because it’s near the ceramics company.”

“It’s better than a caravan,” said Mr Tanju, who shares his three-bedroom house with 20 other men.

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we started of the masters with a course that aims at providing the students of architecture with a basic introduction to the knowledge fields within anthropology and theoretical and methodological approaches to variations within culture and society. Social-cultural aspects of space and place are stressed in particular. The overarching aim is to encourage a critical and reflexive attitude toward the art and craftsmanship of architecture and its consequences for and its embeddedness within culture and society.

my paper is looking at aspects of moving and re-establishing

to re-establish – gøran johansen 2010

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