Dr Naima Benkari, an assistant professor of the Faculty of Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, is staying at RIHN as a research fellow until August 15, 2018. During her stay, she is planning community-based renovation of vernacular architectural heritage in Oman, in collaboration with Dr Yasuhisa Kondo, Project Leader of the Open Team Science Project and Dr Kengo Hayashi, a member of the project.
Message from Dr Naima Benkari
I am an ICOMOS expert providing consultancies for the Ministry of Heritage and culture in Oman as well as in Japan (Municipality of Osaka), Tunisia (Institut National du patrimoine) and the World Monuments fund. From this accumulated experience, I came to the belief that the success of any renovation project is essentially conditioned by the level of involvement of the local community not only in the decision making, but also in the choice of the most appropriate strategies of interventions and their implementation. Simply because it is the community who will receive the renovated settlement or monument and it is the community who will maintain it and integrate it in its social interactions and economic life.
Such an approach requires the close cooperation between different disciplines and specialties, with scholars and professionals that come from different fields with different perspectives. And this is precisely what my stay at RIHN and cooperation in the Open team science project are offering me. With my host, Dr. Yasuhisa Kondo, and Dr. Kengo Hayashi from Tokyo University, I am developing a procedure for a community-based renovation of an important vernacular settlement in the imperial city of Rustaq in Oman. A project that was initiated a year ago and which is developing to become a robust proposal to be implemented in the near future.