Grounded in street level interactions, the following virtual journey reintroduces typical Arabo-Islamic design features like window grills and traditional shop fronts, as well as domestic furniture that was characteristic of Arab Palestine before the 1948 exodus. It charts an alternative territory, by framing the most up-close and personal rudiments of a once-thriving Palestinian neighbourhood. In doing so, this audio-visual experience aims to address my hometown’s destruction from the regional to the material scale, by enabling its audience to experience the neighbourhood’s vernacular past and real-estates present through contemporary modes of visualisation.
Born in Jordan and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Zain Al-Sharaf Wahbeh is a London-based Palestinian researcher and designer, and postgraduate Architecture student at the Royal College of Art. She obtained her Part I qualification in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in 2019. As a Part II Architecture student at Royal College of Art, Zain Al-Sharaf has actively confronted the dissolution of the Palestinian vernacular under the Zionist occupation in her hometown, through multidisciplinary archival practices. To problematize the extinction of Jaffa’s Arab urbanity, she conducts speculative reconstructions of its urban-communal-memories using digital modelling and rendering software. Her forensic and journalistic endeavours have since been invested in promoting social justice, biopolitical inclusivity, and cultural restoration.