Al-Kamalaia school, a 200-year-old abandoned building in Gaza. AP
Gulf Today Report
Al-Kamalai School, the grand 500-year-old Gaza building has slowly begun its journey to former glory after years of being abandoned.
The building made in the Mamluk-era is located in the old quarter city of Gaza. It is one of a lot of structures on the risk of demolition.
Abdullah al-Ruzzi, an artist and leading volunteer said "it was in a very difficult, pitiful state. It was a dump.”
The Mobaderoon program was created by a group of artists hoping to save abandoned houses and from two periods of Gaza’s history: the Mamluk Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire.
Houses from those ears that are still standing are less than 200, according to a report.
Due to the size of the Gaza Strip, experts and volunteers are apprehensive about structures of past centuries disappearing as residents make way for new urban development.
According to Al-Ruzzi, the goal of the renovation is to transform the building into a venue for cultural and artistic activities.
"This is the only school that still maintains its architectural standing, it still has classrooms. It’s clear that this school was used until a recent time in education and memorizing the Quran because it’s in the old city,” said Jamal Abu Rida, director of the archaeology department in Gaza’s Tourism Ministry.
A few blocks from the school, a different team is working on renovating a house, the Ghussein palace, named after the family that has owned it for 200 years. The workers scraped the bricks to remove layers of dust that hid their features. Others took measurements for the door frames.
Hamas said on Wednesday that two overnight bombings killed three Palestinian police officers in the Gaza Strip in what witnesses called suicide attacks as the Palestinian enclave was placed under a state of alert.
The deaths on Friday came as thousands of Palestinians held protests at several sections of the Israel-Gaza border fence. Gaza's health ministry said 38 others were wounded by live fire.
Israeli forces attacked Hamas positions in Gaza after rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave hit the Jewish state, the military said early on Saturday.
The dangerous escalation in Gaza and the tragic loss of innocent lives is a matter of deep concern, as it will further bruise the already-tottering peace efforts. Among the Palestinians killed by the Israeli strikes were a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece, which is a clear indication
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