Author(s): Marwa al-Sabouni
Drawing on the author's personal experience of living and working as an architect in Syria, this book offers an eyewitness perspective on the country's bitter conflict through the lens of architecture, showing how the built environment offers a mirror to the community that inhabits it. From Syria's tolerant past, with churches and mosques built alongside one another in Old Homs and members of different religions living harmoniously together, the book chronicles the recent breakdown of social cohesion in Syria's cities, with the lack of shared public spaces intensifying divisions within the community and corrupt officials interfering in town planning for their own gain, actions symptomatic of wider abuses of power. With first-hand accounts of mortar attacks and stories of refugees struggling to find a home, this compelling and original book explores the personal impact of the conflict and offers hope for how architecture can play a role in rebuilding a sense of identity within a damaged society.
Absolutely compelling A singular perspective on the ongoing conflict in Syria [that] describes the destruction it has visited on the built environment and the high human toll Syrians have suffered, [and] also considers the more nuanced roles architecture and planning have played amid the chaos."