This paper critically analyzes two article which include, Archiology, Nationhood, and Settlement by Nadia Abu El-haj and A colonial portrait of Jerusalem: British Architecture in Mandate-Era Palestine by Ron Fuchs and Gilbert Herbart. The two articles may at first appear to be…
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gues that British architects focused on the designated icons of Palestinians culture to be part of their inspiration by defining the nature of Palestinian identity to be part of their designs. In the case of Nadia El-Haj article, Nadia Abu El-Haj addresses these questions and specifies for the first time the relationship between national ideology, colonial settlement, and the production of historical knowledge.
The article by El-haj depicts cultural evolution of the Jewish Palestine society. El-haj considers archeology to be a “…privileged ground for generating and fashioning collective memory for the newly established Jewish nation-state” (El-haj 215). Through the work of archeology, the author is able to show the ancient culture and social life of this society and its transformation to the contemporary society. The author also extends the explanation to the legislation of scientific objectives and terrains in which the society is considered to have not been the “…the sole institution to engage in teaching the values of antiquities to the general public” (El-haj 221).
In the case of the article by Fuchs and Herbart, the focus is on the same architectural aspect. Fuchs and Herbart uses history to explain the evolution of the Palestine culture from ancient periods to present. According to the authors, Palestine has held a seemingly constant culture until the period of the World War II. I can be noticed that, “…a new chapter in Jerusalem’s long history of cultural encounters began during the World War I when British forces brought 400 of Ottoman rule in Palestine to end” (Fuchs and Herbart 83). Therefore, it can be concluded that the two articles have a common theme of cultural evolution with regard to British architectural design in the Middle East. Universalizing of such designs is a key aspect in this case (Fuchs and Herbart 97).
El-haj, Nadia Abu. "Archiology, Nationhood, and Settlement." Makdisi, Ussama and Paul A. Silverstein. Memory and
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