Restoration and Reconstruction of the Circassian Village Kfar Kama, by Orit Shwarts

TS 7A – Settlements Facing Man Made Changes  
Orit Shwarts
Restoration and Reconstruction of the Circassian Village Kfar Kama

FIG Working Week 2009
Surveyors Key Role in Accelerated Development
Eilat, Israel, 3-8 May 2009

Orit Shwarts,  A Geodetic Engineer and Licensed Surveyor in the state of Israel, is the manager of the Cadastre Department at Halperin-Felus Surveying and Photogrametry LTD. She hold a Ms degree in Urban and Regional  Planning Technion, Israel institute of Technology.

Restoration and Reconstruction of the Circassian Village Kfar-Kama

Key words: implementation of plans, spatial planning, restoration, preservation

The article focuses on the various perceptions and social constructions of the village core articulated by the planners and the residents. 

The residents who created their perception and  images of the place they live in, in a more intuitive way, from their daily routine practices in the village and the planners, who used their professional knowledge, which they obtained from formal education. 
The article examines planning activities that guided the restoration and preservation of the core of the village, Kfar Kama, and discuss the way in which these activities impacted social processes in the village.

This paper follows external processes that compete with the architectural preservation of the "authentic" village core and examines the inner conflict of the Circassian people, between the desire to preserve their tradition, which includes  rigid social codes, and life in the reality of the open and permissive Israeli society.

The Circassian, who came to Israel as refugees in 1878 from the Caucasus Mountains, are a very special national minority. This minority lives in two villages; the largest village is Kfar Kama. The core of the Circassian village, the old village, has been going through restoration and preservation process. These actions were financed by the Ministry of Construction and Building, and later on, by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites. The declared purpose of this joint venture was to create an  international center for preservation of the Circassia culture and heritage.

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