Marwa al-Sabouni is a Syrian architect and author of Building for Hope: Towards an Architecture of Belonging. She is an urban thinker who believes that architects have a duty to stimulate social cohesion. When war enveloped her city, Homs, she refused to leave and remained a virtual prisoner in her home for two years. In her autobiography, The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria, al-Sabouni analyses how architecture and city planning have played a role in fuelling violence and civil conflict by distorting community relationships and fragmenting societies.
She has designed proposals for rebuilding the Baba Amr district of Homs that was destroyed in the war, drawing on older Syrian spatial arrangements where there was constant contact among diverse classes and ethnic groups. In articles and public lectures, al-Sabouni argues for architecture that has human connection at its heart. She and her husband run the Arabic Gate for Architectural news, the only online media outlet dedicated to architectural news in Arabic.
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