We are delighted to be funding the Iwan Center for Cultural Heritage at the Faculty of Engineering at the Islamic University of Gaza in an important forthcoming project. This project will undertake essential restoration work on the oldest Mamluk religious site in the Gaza Strip: a 700-year-old Sufi institute called Zawiya Al-Ahmadiyya.
It is named after one the most famous Sufi scholars, Ahmed Al-Badawi (1199-1276). The institute was built by his followers and the Mamluk governor in 1336.
The project has three stages. Firstly, it will train 100 local students in archaeological restoration and mapping skills. Secondly, it will carry out the restoration process on Zawiya Al-Ahmadiyya with experts and these students. Thirdly, it will document the building and its history.
A warm thank you to all our donors for making this work possible, and for helping keep this heritage alive.
The project has been met with tremendous excitement, and you can read articles about it in Al-Monitor and University World News.
The following extract for the Al-Monitor article highlights the importance of our work here:
“Jamal Abu Rida, director of antiquities at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in the Gaza Strip, told Al-Monitor that the Zawiya Al-Ahmadiyyah is one of the few remaining buildings in Gaza from the Mamluk era. The ministry is coordinating with the Iwan Center on the project. “The Gaza Strip includes 280 archaeological facilities ranging from zawiyas, public bathrooms, houses, mosques, churches, and others, but many of these facilities are threatened due to poor external funding,” Abu Rida lamented. He indicated that most of the funding is channeled to Christian archaeological sites, such as the St. Hilarion Monastery in the western Gaza Strip, which received more than $2 million over several years. Also, the Byzantine Church in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip has received more than $500,000 for excavation and restoration.”
If you would like to contribute a donation today towards future projects like this, there is a quick and easy donation section on the side of this page. We thank you heartily for your support.