Nura Ibold successfully defended and published her dissertation

Nura Ibold, associated doctoral student at the Research Training Group “Cultural and Technological Significance of Historic Buildings” has successfully defended her dissertation thesis on May 5, 2020 at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg.

The thesis reflected a preliminary theoretical study on heritage formation and its connection to memory and identity, it discussed the different types of heritage values, their assessment, cultural significance, and the steps to initiate and implement the most appropriate conservation practice.

The various realms of discourse on post-conflict reconstruction after World War II were examined with focus on the treatment of ruins, the perception of people and the contribution to the overall social-recovery process. The work incorporated analytical and case-based study research of post-conflict reconstruction of four different urban structures in Dresden and Freiburg in Germany, Beirut in Lebanon and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the intention to provide a practical input and learned lessons to be utilized in post-conflict old Aleppo.

The heritage typologies varied from an entire ancient city to a single historic district and monument, and the implemented approaches between replication, installing new buildings in historical context, and adopting a tabula rasa method. Syria’s political history; the reasons for the uprising; and the different actors involved in the conflict and their interests were researched to develop a deeper understanding of Syria’s pre-war identity, as well as the war’s aftermath.

The core of the research combined a detailed documentation of Aleppo’s history, heritage assets and how the urban fabric is affected directly by the conflict, this part paved the way for the final section which provided a summary of the key empirical findings of the selected case study research, along with a discussion of the effects of the adopted rebuilding approaches, a brief presentation of a possible framework and proposed guidelines for old Aleppo followed.

The preparation of Nura Ibolds thesis was kindly supported by a grant from Gerda Henkel Stiftung – together with Zeido Zeido whose dissertation focuses on the recent history of Aleppo as well. Both researchers have published on the division of Aleppo with Routledge/London in 2019.

The thesis was published online under the title Perspectives for Aleppo: towards an integrated approach for ‘post-conflict’ reconstruction of cultural heritage.


Albrecht Wiesener
T +49 (0) 355 69-4915