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Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus (2019)

Heritage and continuity in the bazaar (Tehran)

Haj Khan Mirzai Sarraf, Ali

Titre : Heritage and continuity in the bazaar (Tehran)

Erbe und Kontinuität im Basar

Auteur : Haj Khan Mirzai Sarraf, Ali

Université de soutenance : Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus

Grade : Master of Arts in World Heritage Studies 2019

Tehran Bazaar has been the most influential marketplace in Iran, over the last two hundred years, since Tehran became the capital of the country. The Bazaar has been a significant socio-political agent in Iranian society. Nevertheless, less attention has been given to its internal atmosphere, where the bazaaris, have tried to conserve their traditions and preserve their heritage. One of these heritages are “hey’ats”, religious formations for holding mourning sessions in Muharram month, as a ritual in Shi’a Islam. “Hey’ats” give the guilds a sense of collective identity, they represent them, and also build a shared heritage for them. The Drapers’ Guild was the first guild in Tehran Bazaar, founding a hey’at. They founded this hey’at in 1883 and named it “the Drapers’ Hey’at”. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Drapers faced difficulties preserving their heritage. They were forced to displace the Mirza Mousa Mosque in the Bazaar. The Mosque was their center for holding religious sessions and was publicly known as “the Drapers’ Mosque”. Since they were attached to the Mosque, their displacement was perceived a loss of heritage. Later, they decided to build a new home, “the Drapers’ Hosseinieh”. They decided to implement the interior design of their lost Mosque in the new place. This strategy enabled them overcome “the traumatic experience of displacement and heritage loss.” Also, to safeguard their new place, they legally registered their hey’at as an institution, and they wrote a constitution for it. The attempts for modernization, led them to develop beneficiary activities, as well. In this research, a qualitative approach is applied, benefiting from multiple methodologies, including ; ethnography, secondary sources, and visual methods. The researcher has attempted to outline the story of the Drapers in preserving their heritage. This study hopefully would be useful for similar traditional organizations, showing how continuity and heritage preservation are possible to achieve for communities having experienced a troubled past


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