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These houses are a perfect example of how to build a community in total harmony with the physical environment without pretense or architectural pastiche.
Since its depopulation in 1948-49, Lifta has been kept deserted by the Israeli authorities and it currently faces demolition by speculative developers. As a last act of architectural violation, gangs of drug addicts and squatters have been roaming the village and destroying the elegant domed roofs in an attempt to prevent a return by Lifta’s legitimate owners.
Alas, Lifta will see darker days ahead, should genuine efforts to save it from demolition fail.
Making the case for Lifta
Our application to the WMF included many illustrations, historical documents, indicative plans and some superb photographs taken at various periods of Lifta’s recent history. An important document included with the application was our “Save Lifta” petition which attracted 2,958 signatures from around the world. This number, at which point the petition was closed in time to file the application, symbolically represented the number of Lifta inhabitants in 1948 before it was ethnically cleansed. Had we kept the petition open, we were certain it would have attracted thousands of other signatures.
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