01 May, 2017

Rebuilding is about restoring people's connection with history - and each other: Arab Media Forum delegates told

It's not just a practical challenge of reconstruction of destroyed cities, says expert

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 1 May 2017

The process of reconstructing a civilisation is about restoring people’s connections with each other -- and with their history and their culture -- through the act of the reconstruction of physical things, said an expert.

Dr Alexy Karenowska, Director of Technology, The Institute for Digital Archeology, Physicist and a researcher at Oxford’s Department of Physics, was addressing a session titled “Civilisation Restored by Technology” on the first day of Arab Media Forum 2017,

Dr Alexy said the process of reconstructing a civilisation or community which has suffered as a result of cultural cleansing or the large-scale devastation of its physical heritage through natural forces, is not just about a practical challenge of rebuilding physical things.

Dr Alexy spoke from an aptly named “Palmyra Stage” in memory of the historical site destroyed by a section of fundamentalists.

“The success of any project of this kind is measured not only by the technical prowess of the engineering which makes it possible – crucial though that is – but in the extent to which the process of reconstruction enables people or peoples to reclaim the sense of individual and community identity invested in what is being rebuilt,” she said.

Community Dialogue

The scientist added that dialogue and collective, community-led action, is the key to achieving this dual success.

“Our history is simply the preceding portion of the same complex network of conversations that determine our future, and it is our relationship with those conversations – their past,  present and future – that defines who we are and who our children believe they can be,” she said.

Dr Alexy, a scientist at the University of Oxford and also an engineer, is in Dubai in connection with a strategic partnership with the Dubai Future Foundation, which is focused on the development of technology for the physical restoration and reconstruction of cultural heritage objects.


Arab Media Forum
Since its launch in 2001, the Arab Media Forum has cemented its position as the leading platform to discuss key topics related to the Arab media landscape and its future by attracting prominent speakers and experts from the region and around the world. The event is organised by Dubai Press Club and held under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. 

The Forum aims to stimulate constructive dialogue between Arab media professionals and encourage positive communication between Arab and Western media players to further enhance understanding as well as contribute to the development of Arab media content. Over the years, the Forum has published a number of comprehensive reports about the Arab media scene covering both traditional and new media. These reports were published in collaboration with prominent Arab and international academic and research organisations.

Every year, the Forum hosts prominent media figures and government officials. For more information, please visit:  

Dubai Press Club
Dubai Press Club (DPC) was launched in 1999 under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. DPC serves as a platform for media professionals to network and discuss key political, social and economic issues. DPC also plays a key role in developing and supporting the media sector regionally through initiatives such as the ‘Arab Media Forum’, ‘Arab Journalism Award’, ‘Arab Social Media Influencers Forum’, and ‘Emirati Media Forum’.

For more details, please contact: Basel Abdulkarim, Dubai Press Club: Tel: 97143833417

Mobile: +9710551904595 or email:  

Hashtag: #Arab_Media_Forum
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© Press Release 2017