The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria

The Battle for Home The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria Drawing on the author s personal experience of living and working as an architect in Syria this timely and fascinating account offers an eyewitness perspective on the country s bitter conflict throug

  • Title: The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria
  • Author: Marwa al-Sabouni Roger Scruton
  • ISBN: 9780500343173
  • Page: 223
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Drawing on the author s personal experience of living and working as an architect in Syria, this timely and fascinating account offers an eyewitness perspective on the country s bitter conflict through the lens of architecture, showing how the built environment and its destruction hold up a mirror to the communities that inhabit it.From Syria s tolerant past, with churchesDrawing on the author s personal experience of living and working as an architect in Syria, this timely and fascinating account offers an eyewitness perspective on the country s bitter conflict through the lens of architecture, showing how the built environment and its destruction hold up a mirror to the communities that inhabit 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, these actions are symptomatic of wider abuses of power.With firsthand accounts of mortar attacks and stories of refugees struggling to find a home, The Battle for Home is a compelling explanation of 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.

    One thought on “The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria”

    1. Beautifully written and a highly informative book about what is going inside Syria, no doubt from a local glance. On the other hand, it illustrates quite clearly the basic and vital correlation between the urban setting, architectural structure of buildings and the political, socio-economic corruption prevalent in the entire country, ending up in the flames of a brutal war. So sad it is and also touching to hear a voice from within, a voice of the voiceless, who takes "almost" no side but tries [...]

    2. I was really taken aback by how beautifully written and sensitive this book was, half-memoir half philosophical treatise on the failings and possibilities of modern urbanism. The author is a native of Homs, a now-destroyed city, and is an architecture PhD who is also a beautiful and thoughtful writer. The book comprises many intimate reflections of the nature of life in Homs and Aleppo before those cities were "wiped from the earth," as she plainly describes it. Something that is often mentioned [...]

    3. This is one of those books that I came across only because I was in a physical bookstore, walking from one section that I normally frequent to another, and in the space in between my eye happened to land upon it. The subtitle, "The Visions of a Young Architect in Syria", was arresting to me. When one thinks of Syria nowadays, constructing new buildings is not what comes to mind. One more example of why going to a physical bookstore to buy your books is important.Marwa Al-Sabouni is a young femal [...]

    4. It must took a lot of effort from the author to write such a tragedy in a professional practical way. I cannot even visualize what I'm reading in these pages.I've seen a lot of photos and videos but I always believed that a book can tell a the tragedy more than a movie or a photo and here's the proof. The only shocking fact that it's not a fiction book.

    5. The author is an architect who express her views on her country, the war, the reconstruction of Syria in a very beautiful way.Through our sketches and drawings, you can witness how she sees the damages done to cities and her optimism. It's a touching, interesting book.Was impressed by the honesty of her work.Great book.Lucienewbooksonmyselves

    6. I was surprised by how this book forced me to think about my own community - the streets I walk on, the buildings I inhabit, the apartment complex I live in - in ways that I'm not used to thinking. This is the story of a frustrated, idealistic young architect in Syria who sees the way poor urban planning choices exacerbate (and sometimes create) tensions that ultimately led to the heartbreaking catastrophe engulfing Syria today. The book's descriptions of the street design, architecture, and dem [...]

    7. So great to read about Syria *from* a Syrian, not a foreign reporter. And from the totally fascinating (to me) perspective of city planning and architecture.

    8. To write a dissertation then a memoir when your country is being torn apart by war and your city is almost completely destroyed is beyond impressive. The electricity cuts, the scarcity of ink, the bureaucracy, the bombs, the kidnappings, the traumaYet she still manages to write a book in a foreign language. Chapeau bas!I haven't read anything by a conservative woman in a long time, so to be honest, some of her comments about morality took me by surprise. When discussing refugees, she develops th [...]

    9. Um belo livro a que cheguei nas minhas investigações a propósito da tese. Mais do que uma reflexão gerada pelas questões lançadas pela sua tese de doutoramento, é uma chamada de atenção de uma jovem arquitecta síria sobre questões prementes nos dias que correm quanto às questões da memória e identidade espelhadas na Arquitectura. A sua ausência resulta num espaço urbano e arquitectónico esvaziado de sentido que acicata confrontos e destruição, onde antes havia paz e sã conviv [...]

    10. This book looks at the relationship between the current conflict in Syria, particularly the city of Homs, and its built environment. It discusses how the architecture of place has, over time, resulted in a loss of identity and social fracturing The book has some interesting insights and I feel like I have learned more about the characteristics of 'Islamic Architecture' and the social policies and corruption which have led to the physical manifestations of place. Unfortunately, despite being hear [...]

    11. This memoir starts out describing the battles Marwa Al-Sabouni has witnessed in her own backyard and how her heart bleeds for her home, as well as some well thought out theories about how and why everything went so terribly wrong.But then, as she decides to do something on a personal level about global events, the book shifts into a description of the battle she had to fight herself against the gate-keeping that takes place at any university, anywhere, whenever anyone not white and male tries to [...]

    12. Architecture is one of the first steps taken when peace arrives, after everyone agrees it's time to rebuild. But can architecture be a weapon, as well, something that seeks to divide rather than unite? So says the author, a young female architect who has witnessed the horrific destruction of her home city. She believes there is a cautionary tale in the story of Syrian architecture, which enforced segregated communities. Full review at MidCenturyBooks.Net, Syria

    13. "The pyramids of Egypt should no longer be considered the biggest tombs in history; the title should be given to the cities of Syria."I was very much impressed by the touching and honest writing style in this book. This is the memoir of an incredibly brave woman who tells the story of Syria's destruction through the lens of architecture, a subject that she clearly loves. Her insight and dedication are enlightening and inspiring.

    14. A remarkable woman living in a time that speaks of no hope, yet she is full of hope and optimism for the future of her country. A story of courage and strength.

    15. The five-star is for the architect's spirit; her professionalism and the responsibility she is willing to bear, in hopes of making her community a better place.

    16. A Syrian Muslim architect writes about home and architecture in her own city. Informative and insightful.

    17. This was a difficult book to rate. It wasn't what I expected. It was less than I expected while much more at the same time. This was not a war journal. Al-Sabouni does not describe the war in Syria is any detail or choose sides. She comments about the conflict sparingly and then only as it relates to the peoples' loss of what can be considered their "home". But "home" means much more to the author than simply a place where one resides. Home includes all the social, political, religious and philo [...]

    18. From a young woman architect, this is an affecting memoir of the war in Syria, with the focus on how the last century's city planning--largely borrowed from colonial expertise in urban control--certainly did its job and kept people divided and less able to develop a collective identity built around shared spaces and pride of place. This has implications not just for other cities, but also shows a deep seated optimism that reconstruction might be possible and a thoughtful reconstruction might be [...]

    19. al-Sabouni, I believe, is brave. First, for writing the book. Second, for challenging the conventions in her chosen profession. Third, for recognizing the pathologies of her home. Most of us are unwilling to truly confront what ails our own motherlands, and therefore, little meaningful change takes place. I wish there were more Marwa al-Sabouni's. Also, I learned a bit about architecture and design. So, there's that too.

    20. ProvokingHaving lived in Damascus and loving the old cities, it was refreshing to hear a Syrian decry the hideous concrete block apartments that fill tiny streets with such ugliness. But her review of the architecture community does not give me much hope that Syria will be rebuilt with any beauty.

    21. Regrettably this was the sort of nonfiction that I can't read because it has lots of dry stuff about buildings (but the title sort of gives that way, so I shouldn't have been naive). It does contain many eerily wise lines of prose, though, in between. Ultimately, I'm confused by the format of the narrative, and wish I could absorb the contents other than by reading.

    22. This book was very dense, but I came away from it with a new approach to the built environment. In particular, it presents a very useful case study in Baba Amr for social stratification and religious division.

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