L.I.S.A.: What is your project about and what got you interested in the chosen topic to begin with?
Aboudan: My project within the scholarship is about the Architecture of the Traditional Islamic Madrasas in Aleppo covering different Islamic periods (Zinged, Ayyubid and Mamluk). The research provides a comprehensive study of madrasas during the three periods through presenting historical information and architectural description and analysis of three madrasas. I focused my study on Madrasas that were originally built as a madrasa – not as a mosque for example and then converted - and preserved their original architectural and structural elements.
The study resulted in producing a catalog for Madrasas in each period including the same detailed data. The catalog was developed using information from previous studies, in addition to detailed analysis of the available plans and photographic evidence. The catalog of each madrasa includes the history, location, year of establishment, architectural drawings, and architectural, structural and decorative elements. I chose three madrasas as case studies for my extensive anlysis, Al Asadiyya (Zengid period), Al Kamiliyya (Ayyubid period) and Al Saffahiyya (Mamluk period).The analyasis of each madrasa includes the political, social and architectural aspects as well.
The research concludes with an assessement of the architectural developement of the Islamic madrasas in Aleppo from Zengid to Mamluk periods by comparing the architectural spaces and elements from each example. Through this comparison, we could conclude what architectural, structural and decorative elements were continuously used in these eras, in addition to the architectural elements that had developed sequentially, all gathered in one map showing the location of madrasas in the old city of Aleppo.
I chose this research because there are only few studies about traditional Islamic madrasas in Aleppo during the different Islamic eras (Zengid, Auyybid, and Mamluk) in general, considering architectural, structural and decorative aspects. Also there is a lack of studies about development of Aleppo madrasas during different islamic periods, therefore I figured that it is important to do a research that provides a comprehensive study of madrasas during the three periods that gives a clear idea about Islamic madrasas in Aleppo, also recognizing the development of architectural and structural elements of Islamic madrasas, which will help us understand how these madrasas had developed clearly.