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Muhammad alZekri (2014): Women Dreaming in Arabia. Exploring the Cultural Heritage and Society of Dubai

Cover: Paperback
Price: 13,80 $
Pages: 99
Size: 6” x 9”, 15.24 x 22.86 cm
Published: Sept. 2014, Bonn
ISBN: 978-3-940766-70-0

Muhammad alZekri provides the first ever introduction to public gatherings of Dubaian women, which are held to discuss dream interpretation. Aimed at a wide readership, he points out step-by-step that through the public communicative activities of dream recounting, explaining and discussing, Arabian women of Dubai were and are actively marking their impact on the social reality of Arabia.

The book is focused on eighty years of Dubai’s culture of dream interpretation communicated through three consecutive Dubaian generations (Pearling Era Generation, Oil-based Industrialized Generation, and Multi-Media Generation) covering the years from the 1930s to the 2010s.

The book carefully portrays women, in their effort to bring the dreamer closer to the intended dream message; a process in which they resort to three stages of generating meaning: the introductory tafsir (explanation), the intermediate taawil (interpretation), and advance taabir (crossing over).

The book explains the nature of dreams, the role of the explainer, and the worldview of the dreamer. It also contains an abridged dream dictionary that lists many dream symbols and their meanings.

The heritage of dream interpretation continues to make sense to many of us because it touches upon emotional, personal, communal and social elements. The book highlights the importance of dreams in the modern Islamic world by expanding on how Muslims maintain a network of communication, which interlinks individuals with different knowledge backgrounds, from diverse locations and belonging to various age groups and generations. The author in fact motivates the readers to seek such unique interpretation of their dreams.


Britta Rudolff (2010): 'Intangible' and 'tangible' heritage. A topology of culture in contexts of faith 

Cover: Paperback
Price: 34,80 €
Pages: 363
Size: 148 x 210 mm
Published: December 2010, Bonn
ISBN: 978-3-940766-36-6

Where is the borderline between an intangible and a tangible heritage expression? Is there a real difference between a cultural space and an associative cultural landscape? Would it make more sense to categorize heritage expressions along different concepts than their decree of physical materialization? How does this somewhat arbitrary division influence the way we perceive our heritage nowadays?

'Intangible and tangible heritage - a topology of culture in contexts of faith' presents a conceptual framework which could enable heritage professionals to approach cultural heritage in a more holistic understanding. The book emphasizes opportunities for a re-combination - in conceptual and practical terms - of two recently divided heritage concepts: the so-called 'intangible' and 'tangible' heritage. In arguing that the above division is not supportive to observing the dynamic construction and re-affirmation processes of heritage and identity, and further, that this division is a risk to the preservation of the shared heritage of humankind, the author emphasizes the importance of halting and redirecting the progressing divergence of the two fields.

With the concept of heritage topologies, the book introduces an innovative discourse to heritage studies and a new methodology to heritage identification. It is a fascinating tool for heritage studies students and scholars as well as heritage practitioners, for not only the analysis but also understanding and preservation of heritage expressions.