Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests that architecture played a crucial role in the slow unraveling of Syrian cities' social fabric, preparing the way for once-friendly groups to become enemies instead of neighbors.

Why you should listen

Marwa Al-Sabouni was born in Homs, a city in the central-western part of the country, and has a PhD in Islamic Architecture. Despite the destruction of large parts of the city, she has remained in Homs with her husband and two children throughout the war. In her just-released book The Battle for Home (Thames & Hudson, 2016), she explores the role architecture and the built environment play in whether a community crumbles or comes together, and she offers insights on how her country (and a much-needed sense of identity) should be rebuilt so that it will not happen again.

More news and ideas from Marwa Al-Sabouni


A TED Talk from a war zone

August 12, 2016

At TEDSummit in June, we featured a talk by a young Syrian architect, Marwa Al-Sabouni. In it, she shares an important and original insight about how the roots of conflict can be traced, among other better-studied reasons, to misdirected and divisive urbanism. She offers the example of her own country, where violent conflict has been […]

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Live from TEDSummit 2016

Building blocks: Notes from Session 3 at TEDSummit

June 29, 2016

What are the tools we’re using to build the future? Session 3 speakers go deep on what’s next in finance, energy, business and the structures we live in. The next generation of trust on the Internet. For many online transactions, we rely on middlemen like banks and government to establish trust — but these systems face growing issues like […]

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