Saturday, November 16, 2013

Siwa through history


The Importance of Following The Dream.

I have at last and after some careful consideration, found the perfect location to set up the centre for community ceramics / International residency in Siwa.

I have a head full of ideas about ways of moving forward with this, slight apprehension re distance but nothing that can’t be solved down to earth communication. Overall I have to surrender myself to everything happening at Siwan pace while bearing in mind, for example, that much of the repair work can only happen in the hot summer months as that is what the karsheef needs to ‘dry’.  
The work will be done in several stages. InshAllah, there will be many future blogs on the development of both the renovation of the house and my sketchy "what the centre is going to be used for" ideas.

I am also stepping up my doctorate application. So it's all systems go here. For now, I endeavour to spare the reader of my ever-meandering thoughts by keeping the focus simply on the building and location.

Southerly aspect.

Southerly aspect.

The house is the taller of the two. High on the list of priorities regarding the renovation of the building is the reinstatement of the curved walls. There looks to be a repair job gone awry at the front of the house with a sizeable crack requiring attention. I am reassured that it is relatively easy to repair old karsheef and that this traditional building material of salt brick and mud can be reused. Karsheef construction is entirely unique to Siwa Oasis. I hear that there are only three or four locals who have the expertise today. I will be honoured to meet such a craftsman.

Southerly aspect.

South and South Westerly aspects.

The crack that will be repaired as and when that section of the wall is rebuilt & the present door that may or may not remain.

Northernly aspect including the old Siwi toilet area that I think was used by neighbouring houses/s. It is very important to me to keep the curve despite its present bad state of repair. The blocked up front door, whose use is soon to be revoked, is just visable before the wall curves out.

Looking East. The old front door that is blocked up on the north facing facade ( where the summer rooms are traditionally positioned.)

And....saving the best until last - the utterly amazing roof views. I could do a blog alone on the views from the roof! Though perhaps a novel would be better!  

Incredible IS the word; view west towards the ruins of medieval Shali.