The Story of Shukriya’s House via aljumhuriya

There was a big house in our old neighbourhoods, so big that a keen observer could find everything it it although it was no larger than 400 square meters and only two stories high.

The house’s overall structure was created by piling up different building forms over four generations of the same family. Each block of this large building had its own story, one that would be told and retold by the house’s many residents within earshot of their neighbours. The saga of the house, the almost continuous building and tearing down, neighbouring, and sharing and dividing among its generations and offspring, is a condensed one and speaks for the life stories of the other neighbouring houses. These latter represent a microcosm of the city itself and (and if I may say) of the whole country.

More than three quarters of a century ago, our neighbourhood which lies west of the city, was nothing more than a piece of land for growing wheat. It was only when the city began to spread out from its centre that such lands were turned into orchards to meet the needs of the city’s people, and landowners became in need of labourers who were brought in from surrounding villages.

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