In order to understand and improve cities today, personal observation remains as important as ever. While big data, digital mapping, and simulated cityscapes are valuable tools for understanding urban space, using them without on-the-ground, human impressions risks creating places that do not reflect authentic local context. Seeing the Better City brings our attention back to the real world right in front of us, focusing it once more on the sights, sounds, and experiences of place in order to craft policies, plans, and regulations to shape better urban environments.

Charles R. Wolfe
Seeing the Better City of Aqaba
Aqaba in the eyes of Artists

The people of Aqaba come out of the castle and announce a new birth to the city

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, after the castle became cramped with its inhabitants, the people decided to go out and live outside it.

At that time, most of the lands around the castle were barren, apart from some scattered palm trees, which were owned by the Bedouins of Aqaba. So, the people revived the dead land, and they dug wells and built houses and huts around the castle.

They also cultivated lands, and established farms and orchards, which were later called “Hafayer”, announcing the birth of the modern city of Aqaba.

David_Roberts drawing Louis Haghe Fortress of Aqaba Jordan

The traveler and painter (David Roberts) who visited Aqaba on February 27, 1839 referred to the presence of a few small houses outside the castle and referred to Aqaba as a quiet and small place made up of a fortress to protect pilgrims during their journey to Mecca, and a few huts surrounding it, as it appears in his lithograph print.

Aqaba in the eyes of Modern Artists

Modern point of view

Drawing is marks that have meaning

Heba Hamed Yassien Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority
hidden gems

Drawing is one of many ways to making an image; it is the process of making marks on a surface by applying pressure from or moving a tool on the surface. These marks may represent what the artist sees when drawing, a remembered or imagined scene or abstraction, or, in the case of automatic drawing, may have much to do with the automatic motion of the artist’s hand across the paper (or other surface).

Although the technical definition of drawing implies tools and motion it is believed that the process of
drawing contains much more than that. Drawing can be used to develop skills of perception communication, invention and action.

Measuring the dimensions of a subject while blocking in the drawing is an important step in producing a realistic rendition of the actual subject. A straight drawing implement held horizontally or vertically can be used to measure the angles of different sides. These angles can be reproduced on the drawing surface and then rechecked to make sure they are accurate. Another form of measurement is to compare the relative sizes of different parts of the subject with each other. A finger placed at a point along the drawing implement can be used to compare that dimension with other parts of the image.

This post is an attempt to explore –through the authors initiative as well as others- how drawing can be used to particularly enhance visitors experience of heritage sites -around Jordan-and make it more
meaningful for them.

It also focused on how drawing can be used as a medium for learning in a variety of heritage settings, and what opportunities are offered by different kinds of heritage sites.

The research contends that integrating drawing into heritage sites make the settings relevant, brings history to life, creates different relationships with place and heightens awareness.

By En. Heba Hamed Yassien

Work Art Gallery

Sedra Tree by En. Heba Yaseen
Palm cuisters - Hafayer By en. Heba Yaseen
H.Y. Historic city center
En. Heba Yaseen

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