Edited by Halit Eren,
Prepared for publication by Zeynep Durukal, Salih Sadawi, Güler Doğan Averbek,
A scholarly congress was organized on the theme of “Al- Quds during the Ottoman Era” jointly by IRCICA and the Ministry of Culture of Syria within the framework of the program “Damascus Capital of Arab Culture, 2009”. The papers which were presented at the congress have been collected in a volume. The articles in English contained in the volume are: “The development of Al-Haram al-Sharif during Ottoman Rule” by Michael Hamilton Burgoyne; “The early period of Ottoman rule in Jerusalem” by Feridun M. Emecen; “Examples of intellectual life in Jerusalem in the late Ottoman period” by Kairia Kasmieh, and those in Arabic, “Inscriptions and decorations of the Dome of the Rock” by Ahmed Mufti; “Hosting of the nomads from Bersabe in the surroundings of Jerusalem during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II” by Asma R. al-Sheikh Khalil; “The Arabic manuscript heritage in Jerusalem” by Iad Khaled Altabba; “Sufism in Jerusalem as observed by some Muslim travelers” by Bushra Kheir Bek; “Waqfs and services in Jerusalem in the 18th century AD (1112-1214H./1700-1799)” by Ziad A. M. Madani; “Introduction on justice and social relations in Jerusalem during the first half of 16th century AD in the light of the Jerusalem Sharia court registers” by Abla S. Muhtadi; “Urban revival in Bilad al-Sham towards the end of the Ottoman period (Jerusalem and Aleppo as examples)” by Omar Addaqaq; “The phenomenon of the expansion of education in Jerusalem in the light of Ottoman – foreign rivalries” (Fazıl Bayat); “The physicians of the hospital of Jerusalem in the Ottoman period” (M. Yasser Zekkour); “The wall of Jerusalem: its importance, its characteristics and the related tales” (Yousef Saeed Natsheh).
In his Preface, Dr. Halit Eren expresses the hope that the book will contribute importantly to research literature on al-Quds and also serve its ongoing cause by highlighting myriad aspects of this heritage city that call for consciousness about its cause in world opinion. “The cause of al-Quds and Palestine is the founding motive of the OIC and therefore also the foremost mission IRCICA serves. As is known, the urgency of preserving Jerusalem’s Islamic heritage continues to grow day by day. In the face of this issue of deep concern for Muslims, IRCICA from within the framework of its mandate organizes research programs, conferences and field studies the results of which are published.” From the beginning of its activities IRCICA gave importance to developing research on al-Quds history and heritage.
Its first publication resulting from these studies, titled Muslim Pious Foundations and Real Estates in Palestine (1982), was based on Ottoman official documents contained in the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul. Another, major publication is the annotated album titled Al-Quds/Jerusalem in Historical Photographs (2009) which contains photographs selected from the Yıldız Palace Albums dating from the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II that are part of IRCICA archives. It highlights the multi-faith cultural and architectural heritage of al-Quds during the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 2010 IRCICA published another book, the two-volume study by Mohammed Ghosheh, on the Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem (in Arabic). Other than research and publications, IRCICA carries out longterm programs of architectural studies and workshops on the subject of al-Quds Islamic urban heritage. Two exhibitions organized by IRCICA were opened on the occasion of the congress, displaying reproductions of Ottoman archive documents and of historical photographs from IRCICA’s archives, respectively. Another feature of the congress on its sidelines was two working sessions on the present state of al- Quds City.