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

About the Book

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

“Everyone is Syria has lived this war,” writes Marwa al-Sabouni in her first book, THE BATTLE FOR HOME: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria. “Every day people have fought for their lives, every day has brought a bid for survival, but it is not only bodies that suffer; souls, too, go through these battles, dying a thousand times in anticipation, only to rise up wearily to face another day.”

This gripping eyewitness account on the country’s bitter conflict is told through the revealing lens of architecture and depicted with clarity, conviction and deep intelligence. What caused the war in Syria? How did a once beautiful country turn from its tolerant past, with churches and mosques built side by side, to its current state of violence and displacement? Marwa al-Sabouni shares her personal experience of how the built environment directly affects the community that inhabits it, how the stage for civil war was long set in Syria, and how architecture might play a role in reversing the damage.

“We have seen our buildings demolished, our cities destroyed, and our archaeological treasures vandalized,” Al-Sabouni writes. “In this book, I try to show that in the built environment we can find not only indications of events that have already occurred, but also portends of what could or might still occur. I try to show how architecture in Syria has played a vital role in creating, directing, and heightening conflicts between warring factions. I write about the shape of settlements and related economic systems, the moral code inspired by the architecture of a place, and the ways in which architectural choices can determine questions of identity and home.”

THE BATTLE FOR HOME reveals uncomfortable truths and asks important questions, but ultimately offers hope for rebuilding both a proud country and a much-needed sense of identity.

The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria
by Marwa al-Sabouni