Marwa Al Sabouni
Marwa Al-Sabouni was born in Homs, Syria, a city in the central-western part of the now war-torn country. Despite the destruction of large parts of the city, she has remained in Homs with her husband and two children throughout the Syrian civil war. Al-Sabouni has a PhD in Islamic architecture, and is the author of The Battle for Home, a book that explores the role architecture and the built environment play in whether a community crumbles or comes together, offering insights on how her country might be rebuilt. The Battle for Home was chosen by the Guardian as one of the five best architectural books of 2016. In 2017 we hosted Marwa to talk about her book in London.
What caused the war in Syria? Oppression, drought and religious differences all played key roles, but Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests another reason: architecture. Speaking to us over the Internet from Homs, where for the last six years she has watched the war tear her city apart, Al-Sabouni suggests that Syria's architecture divided its once tolerant and multicultural society into single-identity enclaves defined by class and religion. The country's future now depends on how it chooses to rebuild. Watch Marwa's illuminating TED talk here.