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, Syria, a city in the central-western part of the 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.

Marwa Al-Sabouni’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Marwa Al-Sabouni


A first glimpse at the TEDSummit 2019 speaker lineup

May 21, 2019

With TEDSummit 2019 just two months away, it’s time to unveil the first group of speakers that will take to the stage in Edinburgh, Scotland, from July 21-25. Three years ago, more than 1,000 members of the TED global community convened in Banff, Canada, for the first-ever TEDSummit. We talked about the fracturing state of […]

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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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