Syria: What We Have Lost and How It Can Be Restored

“What would happen if all the architectures of the past were destroyed, as it happened in Homs, first with the French colonial urban plans, then with modernistic real estate development, and finally with war? The courageous answer of Marwa Al-Sabouni is: there will be people able to rebuild it because the human, ethical, and social substance of architecture is alive in us” (Serafini, 2017).

Arch. Marwa Al-Sabouni, author of The Battle for Home: Memoir of a Syrian Architect (Thames & Hudson, 2017) will discuss post-war Syria at the International Society of Biourbanism 2019 Summer School from July 13-20.

“The most interesting aspect of Arch. Al-Sabouni’s work, according to ISB, is her capability of enduring the horror of the war that has destroyed her city, reflecting on it, and formulating a convincing analysis on how urban design played a role in such an outcome. The Battle for Home (Al-Sabouni, 2016) is the book that collects her questioning and thoughts on how architecture and urban design can destroy or strengthen a community and its sense of identity, and how this can lead to greed, selfishness, indifference, and eventually hatred—or rather, support inclusiveness, sociality, and compassion” (Serafini, 2017).

Al-Sabouni is a Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development 2018 Laureate. Her memoir, The Battle for Home, is being translated into Italian and will be released by Artena Anarchist Press at the ISB Summer School.

Serafini, S. (2017). In recognition of the first honorary members to the International Society of Biourbanism. Journal of Biourbanism, V(1&2/2016), 285–290.