Rooting Old Souk in the Contemporary Urbanism of Qatar: A Case Study of Souk Waqif

By Hatem Galal A. Ibrahim and Rania F. Khalil.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Problem statement: In the past few years, Qatar has undergone immense changes in its social, economic and physical environment. It has been transformed from a nomadic and subsistence farming economy into a modern urban society. Expatriates with temporary residence status make up about three-fourths of its population and the demographics of the society have become more global and contemporary and have also impacted the Qatari cultural patterns to become increasingly detached from the known traditional trend. Approach: Old Souks of Doha city bear witness to the struggle between culture, history and place making, culminating in the question of a Qatari national identity. This paper studies the idea of rooting the concept of old Souk, a place where major festivals and cultural social activities take place as a way of integrating contemporary and traditional urbanism in the region. A detailed study of Souk Waqif, the most significant old Souk developed in the city of Doha, is to be carried out to emphasize the architectural traditional elements that reflect the culture identity in the old Souk. Results: The paper presents an introductory framework for rooting old Souks in the urban contemporary environment with the support of city image and urban identity. Conclusion: Old Souks can facilitate urban identity for the groups associated with definite urban environments and play an important role in the formation, change, and reproduction of the identity of the place.

Keywords: Old Souks, Contemporary Urbanism, Traditional Architecture, Cultural Identity, Sense of Place

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.69-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 9.493MB).

Dr. Hatem Galal A. Ibrahim

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering - On Leave from Department of Architecture, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Dr. Hatem is an associate professor of Architecture in Department of Architecture and Urban Planning in Qatar University since August 2008 (on leave from Department of Architecture, College of Engineering, Helwan University-Cairo-Egypt). He served in many educational institution includes King Saud University-Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, besides many other private educational institutions. He got his PhD from School of Architecture and Building Engineering, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom and worked a research fellow in California State University in USA. His research areas are focused on: Architectural Design Process and Simulation, Architecture Education, A Knowledge-Based System Assisted Architectural Application, Intelligent Buildings, and Sustainable Design. Beside his publications at Scientific & Professional Journals, Scientific & Professional Meetings, Dr. Hatem’s work is including many funded research projects related to urban development, architectural education, green architecture and sustainable design. He is a member in numbers of scientific and educational organization includes Institute of Acoustics – England, Egyptian Architects Association, Egyptian Society of Engineers, Engineers Syndicate-Egypt, Ministry of Education-Egypt, Committee of Development the Industrial Education (CDIE) – Architectural Branch-Egypt, Member in Saudi OMRAN Society. Dr. Hatem got a Scientific Recognition-the first Awards from King Saud University in Riyadh besides a KSU’s gold medal for his academic electronic educational site in 2008.

Dr. Rania F. Khalil

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Dr. Khalil is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design in the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qatar University since August, 2010. She is a graduate of Cairo University College of Engineering, 1997. She received her master’s degree from the same University in 1999 and her PhD in 2003. In addition to the core architectural course work, her academic experience and teaching activities include lecture courses in planning theory, housing policies, urban conservation, urban design, and urban planning legislation. Her research focuses on sustainable master planning, environmental upgrading projects, new urbanism, and the impact of regulations on urban planning and development. In 2005, Dr. Khalil moved to the United States and continued her professional career as a programmer/facility planner. She has gained a solid market experience in portfolio strategy and facility planning and had the opportunity to work with multi-disciplinary teams of architects, planners, engineers, artists and other consultants to comprehensively coordinate integrated design solutions. Dr. Khalil is a LEED AP and a member of the APA and the ULI.