Why We Should Preserve Our Cultural Heritage and How Can We Achieve This Goal

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“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.” WILL DURANT, Caesar and Christ, Epilogue, p. 665 (1944).

Our world faced many of different civilizations through its history. It started from Mesopotamia civilization which is the first civilization formed on the earth planet until Maya civilization which is the last civilization the world witnessed as many of worlds famous historians agreed upon. Also, the world experienced many of different cultures, industries, governments and movements that made our history now.

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The word civilization refers to a Latin word (civis) which mean living in a city. It has a different definition that changed through the time. The most popular one is an advanced human society condition that has attained a high level of culture, science, industry, and government. And there are some examples of the oldest great civilizations existed in the world which they are: Ancient Egyptian Civilization, The Ancient Greek Civilization and The Roman Civilization.

Generally, all these old great civilizations that occurred in the world have ended their great empire through the time either by being integrated into another growing culture or by collapse and reversion to a simpler form, like what happened in Dark Ages. As result of being integrated into another growing culture, continuously changing and regenerating, cities loses their readabilities and their citizens live perception and memory problems. And it becomes more difficult to preserve the historical – cultural heritage, local originalities and city identities in that city.

The city identity is formed in the natural and cultural values which are required to preserve, unique architectural and spatial characteristics and lifestyle. For instance, you will be able to know which civilization I am talking about when I mention pyramids or mummies. Obviously Ancient Egypt, because of their well-known architecture, industry and culture which mean their unique identity.

But what happens today in our modern civilization many of the city’s lefts their originality and damaged or destroyed their own history by themselves, in order to be integrated with another new culture. As they did not give any attention to the consequences of their actions, there are many of cities lost their unique identity by the huge regeneration and trying to get revival, renewal and new architectural formation. Konya is one of these cities who started to experience this process. For example, in the Mevlana Mausoleum which consider one of the most affected buildings in Konya, they destroyed the garden area in front of the building and widened the street around it for heavy traffic.Google earth views of Mevlana Mausoleum and its environment in different periods.

As showing in the figure above, we can see the changes through the time, how they literally took out the front green area. And this behavior of removing one of the most important characteristics or elements of this kind of historical building give a sensation that the building is not completed yet. Regardless that this historical site is still readable now and they just took out a small element from the site in order to enlarge the road, but this action will have a huge consequence in the future. Is consider just a first step of destroying the whole of the building in the future.

This unstudied plan and their careless attitude about the effect of destroying the heritage sites and sculptures of the great empires will lead to loss their identities. Overtime the documented history about the heritage and civilization of each empire going to be lost, damaged or disappeared because of the corrosion. Also, there is no references left from the past about it, and this action will make the history of the old civilization difficult for the future generations to find or reach them because of the unconcern move toward historical sites. No one will take care of your heritage if you do not.

Here I’m not arguing about why these great old civilization and empires destroyed, I’m talking about why it is disappeared?

It is time to make some moves for these problems. We need places to illustrate the historical events or time. We must collect all the data and information about these destroyed sites and sculptures and stored them in advance and technological way. The other way of helping, it could be giving deep lectures about the history to the present generation to be fully acknowledgeable about history and civilizations. Also, we should rewrite and re-documented all the old history references with keeping the original reference or the oldest one safe. (To be continued)

Surly, we will face some barriers and challenges in order to make this aim happening. One of the barriers that could face us is to find historians and history lecturer with high level of knowledge. It could be difficult because of the high cost of hiring them or they are no longer on duty and most of them are retired and old. The other challenge it could be having the approval from the competent authorities for rewriting and re-documented, sometimes it takes a long of time to convince the authorities about the idea. Also, they take time to studying the idea. (to be continued)

We should do a brave step in helping our country to save the heritage from losing and destroying by the corrosion or collapsing. The move should be creating a storehouse of all old artefacts, sculptures, objects, history, materials and Antiques. This is will help to keep our city identity readable, recognizable and safe. this revival can help to preserve and promote our cultural heritage, collect and preserve our objects and materials of religious, cultural and historical value. Also, it is considering a good source of knowledge and help in research and study from the educational aspect. Moreover, it is sporting the 2030 vision from the tourism aspect because it may be an attraction site for tourists and a good source of entertainment.

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