Ben Ezra Synagouge
Because Jewish law forbids the disposal of sacred texts, even when they're torn or unusable, Jews have either buried the texts in a cemetery or deposited them in a genizah (Hebrew for "storehouse"), a dedicated room usually in the attic or cellar of a synagogue. Many communities transport their old papers from the genizah to the cemetery and bury them every few years. Not only does this afford the documents a proper interment, it also prevents them from falling prey to the ravages of mold and insects.
The exhibition focuses on the three main religious communities—Muslims, Christians and Jews—whose members, living in “peaceful co-existence,” helped shape Old Cairo’s neighborhoods, markets and public places. With the help of Christian and Jewish officials, a Muslim governor headed the administration of Fustat—the commercial and financial capital of Egypt. For much of Fustat’s history, the people did not express their religion through distinctive clothes, food or occupations. However, the different languages (Arabic, Coptic and Hebrew) and major architectural landmarks, including the Ben Ezra Synagogue (one of several in Fustat), the church of St. George, Abu Serga and al-Mu’allaqa (the “Hanging Church”), and the mosques of ‘Amr and Ibn Tulun—all of which can still be visited today—served as reminders of the diversity of the population. The show reveals patterns of life in Fustat by exploring the topics of taxes, administration and industry, as well as more personal aspects of life, such as dining, leisure, family life and adornment.
The selection of appropriate elastic response spectra according to soil categories and seismic intensity is the simplest way to account for site effects both for engineering projects and for a general-purpose microzonation study. Contemporary seismic codes (IBC 2000, UBC97, EC8) have largely accepted the significant role of site effects and attempt to incorporate their influence either by means of a constant amplification factor exclusively dependent on the soil class or including additional parameters like the shaking intensity, near field conditions (Seeskin K., 2005). Even though concerning site classification different approaches exist, the basic idea of the mean value of shear wave velocity over the last few decades of meters (30 m or other) is considered to be a sound parameter for site classification. However soil classification exclusively based in terms of VS, 30 assumption, is a rather simplified hypothesis, misleading in many cases, which can potentially lead to erroneous results, especially in cases of deep soil formations or abrupt stiffness change between the soil layer at − 30 m and the bedrock laying deeper (Seed RB, 1991).
The ARCE-funded survey is an initial step toward consideration for further restoration and other uses that reflect Cairo’s Jewish heritage and, more broadly, the role of this important minority in Arab and Muslim societies.
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Seeskin K. The Cambridge companion to Maimonides. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2005. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-521-81974-9.
Seed RB, Dickenson SE, Mok CM. Seismic response analysis of soft and deep cohesive sites: a brief summary of recent findings. In: Proceedings, CALTRANS first annual seismic response workshop, Sacramento, California; December 3–4, 1991.