Ruins next to the main road in Kafr Aqab ©


We are pleased to award the The revitalisation and development of rural Jerusalem project £1,018,470

This project will restore the historic centres of  four villages in north west and north east Jerusalem, and build capacity in restoration for local workers and heritage professionals.

Historic centres in Jerusalem

Al Jib, Qalandiya, Kafr ‘Akab and Jaba’ villages are historically and architecturally significant due to their rich built heritage. They include over 250 historic buildings, as well as monuments, historic features and archaeological sites. The history of Al Jib dates back to around 2200 or 2000 BC, and Jaba’ and Kafr ‘Aqab are built atop of Roman and Byzantine archaeological layers containing churches, towers and water systems.

The significance of sites in this region goes beyond the physical form and fabric of the buildings. The understanding of these buildings, along with the traditions and intangible heritage associated with them, are significant to the development of Palestinian communities. Due to Israeli occupation, the villages are largely cut off from Jerusalem City and the population are in marginalised conditions, with many of the historic centres abandoned and deteriorating.

Restoring historic centres and building capacity in the region

In this project, RIWAQ Centre for Architectural Conservation will work with local communities and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to restore the historic centres of Al Jib, Qalandiya, Jaba' and Kafr 'Aqab. The sites will be researched, surveyed, documented and excavated, and detailed drawings and analytical mapping will be produced. RIWAQ will undertake emergency consolidation work on a number of buildings and structures.

RIWAQ will renovate a historic courtyard to serve as a cultural hub, and will restore two buildings in partnership with the village council for local community needs. Alongside this work, a programme of cultural activities will be delivered in collaboration with the local youth and women to increase understanding and appreciation of the local heritage.

About RIWAQ Centre for Architectural Conservation

Founded in 1991, RIWAQ's mission is to protect, restore, and rehabilitate the architectural and cultural heritage in Palestine. This is addressed through its main programs; the Restoration Program, the Regeneration of the 50 Most Significant Historic Centers, and the Community and Cultural Program.

RIWAQ contributes to the production and dissemination of knowledge about heritage through its Research and Publications Program including the Registry of Historic Buildings in Palestine, and contributes, in collaboration with other actors, to building a conducive institutional and legal environment.

Project partners

  • Al Jib Village council, Jerusalem
  • Qalandiya village council, Jerusalem
  • Kafr 'Akab Municipality, Jerusalem
  • Jaba' village council, Jerusalem