Four Egyptian artists, organisations shortlisted for Middle Eastern Architectural Personality of the Year

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Nov 2020

The shortlist consists of 12 submissions, representing countries all over the world, including Iraq, Egypt, Syria, the UK, and Iran

Top: Cairo Heritage school represented by Deena El-Mahdy, Waled Shehata, Ahmed Tobgy and Ahmed Saleh. Bottom: Film My Design represented by Farah El-Rafei, Israa Mahmoud Ibrahim and Nada Salem.

Four Egyptian architects and projects have made it to the shortlist competing for the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture, also known as the Middle Eastern Architectural Personality of the Year.

This year, a total of 12 made it to the final round. 

Egyptian projects are represented by Cairo Heritage School, Film My Design, Hanaa Dahy and ​Radwa Rostom.

The other entries include Ahmad Sukkar (Syria/USA), Ali Al-Lawati (Oman/UK), Arabesque (UAE), IWLab (Syria/UK), Jalal B. Mejel Algaood (Iraq), Mazen Alali (Jordan), Reparametrize Studio (Syria) and ZAV Architects (Iran).

"The award is given to individuals and organisations who have promoted, encouraged, campaigned or influenced (directly or indirectly) the advancement of architecture and the built environment in the Middle East between 2017 and 2020," reads the press release.

Part of the Tamayouz Excellence Award programme that champions the best of architecture in the Middle East, North Africa and beyond, the annual prize is named after the prolific Iraqi architect Dr Mohamed Saleh Makiya.

Among the Egyptian finalists is the Cairo Heritage School (CHS), a collaborative educational platform dedicated to heritage, urbanism, architecture and the built environment. Established in 2015 by Deena El-Mahdy, Waled Shehata, Ahmed Tobgy and Ahmed Saleh, CHS works to bridge many gaps in the field of cultural heritage management in Egypt, and does so by providing a parallel education platform.

Film My Design (FMD) is a Cairo-based design-film festival founded by Farah El-Rafei, Israa Mahmoud Ibrahim and Nada Salem. Since 2018, FMD has fostered a community of Egyptian architects, designers, filmmakers, and creatives in general, who connect with one another in order to be inspired by each other’s work and the work of their counterparts across the globe.

Egyptian architect Hanaa Dahy is an architect and engineer who has accomplished several international patents in the area of sustainable building materials. Her registered product, Bioflexi, is a sustainable building product suitable for flexible architectural design variations. Dahy is a founding member of the Stuttgart Research Center for Architecture, and she established a research department at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Stuttgart, through which she pushes forward an agenda of sustainability.  

Radwa Rostom is an Egyptian architect who founded her startup ‘Hand Over’ in 2016. In the nearly five years since, Radwa and her team have worked towards one main goal: finding alternative building solutions that are cost-effective and environmentally friendly, creating a real approach to community development and an alternative for the building sector.

The Mohamed Makiya Prize was previously won by International Journal of Islamic Architecture (2019), Aga Khan Documentation Center @ MIT (2018), Dr Khaled Al-Sultany (2014).

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