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Marwa Al-Sabouni: Rebuilding Syria

Syrian architect Marwa Al-Sabouni remained in the city where she was born as the war reduced it to rubble. Now it's time to rebuild, this courageous thinker has some incredible plans to remake her city.

Hosted by Fauziah Ibrahim. 

In The Studio

“These buildings, streets, trees are not just the component of urban environment. They are the very structure of every human community.”

Marwa Al-Sabouni

What role does architecture play in creating identity?

Marwa Al-Sabouni believes a landscape shapes its community.

Despite unthinkable danger, the architect chose to stay with her husband and two children in Homs — Syria's third largest city — as the Syrian civil war raged around them. Sixty percent of buildings were destroyed.

Rebuilding offers an opportunity to rethink the cityscape. The town planning that had been imposed by colonists had replaced courtyard houses with concrete towers and cut off neighbourhoods into demographic ghettos. This breakdown in social cohesion, Al-Sabouni believes, created conditions for armed conflict.

Join this brilliant thinker as she considers the impact of conflict on urban environments, and the possibilities that emerge from rebuilding; and share her hope that architecture can play an essential role in strengthening communities, and in healing the Syrian people.

More about Marwa Al-Sabouni...

Marwa Al-Sabouni is a Syrian-born author, speaker and architect who resides in Homs with her family, despite sixty percent of the city being destroyed in the Syrian civil war. She holds a PhD in Islamic Architecture and is the co-founder of Arch-news, the world's first website dedicated to architectural news in Arabic.

Marwa is the author of The Battle for Home: Memoir of a Syrian Architect, where she suggests that architecture played a crucial role in the slow unravelling of Syrian cities' social fabric. Philosopher Roger Scruton called it “the work of a profound thinker.”

Hosted by Fauziah Ibrahim

Fauziah Ibrahim is a broadcast journalist with over fifteen years of experience working with international media including Al Jazeera, CNBC and the BBC. She is currently a presenter on ABC News TV and the host of Sunday Extra on Radio National.

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