The battle for home – The memoir of a Syrian architect

Throughout history, Syria has been a melting pot of cultures and faiths – where people lived harmoniously together in beautiful, ancient cities. What happened? How did a once beautiful country turn from its tolerant past to its current state of violence, displacement and breakdown of social cohesion?

Marwa al-Sabouni, who runs a private architectural studio in Homs, offers a gripping account of living and working in war-torn Syria, and explores the role architecture plays in whether a community crumbles or comes together – including the lack of shared public spaces intensifying divisions and corrupt officials interfering with town planning for their own gains.

With first-hand accounts of mortar attacks and stories of refugees struggling to find a home, this compelling and timely book reveals uncomfortable truths and asks important questions. Ultimately, the author offers hope, as she provides insight into ways of rebuilding a proud country and a much-needed sense of identity. As the writer and philosopher Roger Scruton states in his Foreword, she is ‘a profound thinker with a unique ability to address one of the most pressing questions confronting the people of the Middle East, which is the question of their built environment’.

Complete with a new introduction reacting to the developments in Syria over the past year, Marwa al-Sabouni reflects on the destruction of her ‘torn apart, and bleeding’ hometown, and the impact of the worldwide praise following the first edition.

Marwa al-Sabouni has a PhD in Islamic Architecture and runs a private architectural studio in Homs, Syria. She is co-owner of the first and only online media site dedicated to architectural news in Arabic: www.arch-news.net.

6 July 2017 £8.99 paperback

Extent: 192pp Size: 19.80 x 13.00cm

32 illustrations ISBN: 978 0 500 292938