Tamayouz Excellence Award


Since its launch in 2012, Tamayouz Excellence Award has grown from being a local award for Iraqi architecture graduation projects to an international, multi-award initiative. Its growth, which can also be seen in its expanding programme that now offers a week-long workshop, internships, and public events across the Middle East and North Africa, is in large part thanks to the voluntary efforts of its tight-knit family of coordinators. While Tamayouz’s network casts a wide net and flourishes due to the support of its many volunteers, judges and sponsors, these core coordinators help in various ways – and it’s time to meet them.

The following is arranged in alphabetical order.

Ahmed Azzawi
Coordinator, Rifat Chadirji Prize
Having worked with Tamayouz Excellence Award since 2012, Iraqi architect Ahmed Azzawi has long been responsible for overseeing Tamayouz’s international award coordinators and liaising with companies and universities to facilitate the organisation’s international exposure and recognition. He has spearheaded successful efforts that have led to Tamayouz’s growth, and today, he looks after the Rifat Chadirji Prize, which was established in 2017.

Outside of Tamayouz, Ahmed is a technical coordinator at the UK-based firm Barratt Homes. He has a master’s in management for construction from Coventry University, which he received two awards for. Ahmed has lectured at Jordan University and guest lectured at Coventry University.

Why do you work with Tamayouz?
I work with Tamayouz because I feel that we are helping other architects reach their goals. It’s also an amazing platform to meet other architects, journalists and academic personalities within a friendly environment.

What do you hope for the future of your category and Tamayouz?
I hope that it continues to shed light on neglected areas and inspire the global architectural community to get involved in finding creative solutions.

Dafir Mann
Coordinator, Dewan Award for Architecture
With Dewan Architects + Engineers being an avid supporter of Tamayouz Excellence Award since its inception, Iraqi architect and lecturer Dafir Mann has long orbited the organisation, offering support where needed. He participated in the first award ceremony in Baghdad, and has been responsible for Tamayouz’s winners who are granted internships with Dewan. Today, Dafir oversees Tamayouz’s Dewan Award for Architecture, which was launched in 2018, and participates as a jury member. Dafir also helps spread awareness of the organisation through public lectures at universities and professional organisations.

Outside of Tamayouz, Dafir is a senior manager of development at Dewan Architects + Engineers, and a senior lecturer at various universities in the UAE.

Why do you work with Tamayouz?
I feel an immense professional and academic social responsibility to empower younger generations of architects. And this has a great return of development to the professional and academic organisations that I am working for.

What do you hope for the future of your category and Tamayouz?
Tamayouz Excellence Award in general, and Dewan Award in particular, are witnessing a vertical growth in the number of participants, as well as a horizontal expansion geographically.

My aspirations for Tamayouz is that its relationship with prestigious academic and professional institutions continues to grow – leading to greater scholarship prizes and an expansion of its renowned jury panels. I wish for Tamayouz to be a solid reference, promoting emerging talents in architecture.

Mohanad Alwash
Coordinator, Iraq
Iraqi architect Mohanad Alwash has been a part of Tamayouz Excellence Award since 2014, when he began facilitating the relationship between the award and the University of Babylon. Later on, he became more involved, spreading awareness about Tamayouz to students across Iraq in the hopes of getting them more involved in the international architecture scene.

Outside of Tamayouz, Mohanad is a site architect and planning manager at Detay Yapi in Baghdad.

Why do you work with Tamayouz?
My passion for the award and mission to get more Iraqi students involved rises in parallel with my interest in getting to know amazing people who come together and share my devotion for the Tamayouz cause.

What do you hope for the future of your category and Tamayouz?
I hope to see the participation of Iraqi students rise, and to see them become more actively engaged in the workshops and platform that Tamayouz provides.

Nipun Prabhakar
Coordinator, Tamayouz South East Asia
A former winner of Tamayouz International Graduation Projects Award (2016), Indian architect and photographer Nipun Prabhakar is the organisation’s ambassador to South East Asia, where he tours across the sub-continent spreading Tamayouz’s message and promoting its programme. In the last three years, Nipun has worked as a social architect and taken on multiple projects in Nepal, including the rebuilding of a housing settlement for Tibetan refugee nuns and monks, and designing low-cost housing for the Newari community in villages around Kathmandu. In addition, Nipun has been practicing social documentary and architecture photography, which centres around his interests in the interaction of built spaces with migration, displacement and climate change.

Nipun is currently a visiting scholar/artist at Cornell University in New York, where he’s pursuing an independent project on the thresholds of Kathmandu.

Why do you work with Tamayouz?
I work with Tamayouz because I feel that Tamayouz is trying to do something really important in the field of architecture and the built environment, and I feel responsible to spread the idea. Recognition is an important part of the creative pursuit – it helps students and practitioners gain confidence to pursue the work they are doing, which is important especially in Asia and the Middle East. Personally, apart from gaining great friendships, I have been able to meet people in the field of architecture and the built environment across the globe, interact with them and exchange ideas, which are very valuable to me.

What do you hope for the future of Tamayouz?
Tamayouz’s popularity is growing at a very fast pace and I hope it expands and becomes synonymous with excellence in the field. I also believe that we have to recognise the people who work at the grassroots level, like the artisans who spend their lives developing and advancing certain crafts.

Ossaid Aleitan
Coordinator, International Graduation Projects and Tamayouz Annual Workshop
Starting off as an advisory board member in 2012, Jordanian architect and youth activist Ossaid Aleitan was instrumental in launching the International Graduation Projects Award in 2016. In the years since, he has worked to promote the category and Tamayouz in general to students across the Middle East. Ossaid also oversees the curation of Tamayouz’s annual workshop, which was established in 2018, and runs for one week following the awards ceremony. In addition, he also works to enhance Tamayouz’s relationships with academic and professional architectural institutions in the region with the goal of establishing promising, long-lasting cooperation.

In his day-to-day, Ossaid teaches at the University of Jordan and Balqa’a Applied University. He also runs his own architecture and construction practice, called AlKafo for Construction Management & Design Consultancy. Lastly, Ossaid also serves as a central commission member of the Jordanian Engineers Association – the youngest architect to be elected to the association’s council.

Why do you work with Tamayouz?
I have always believed that we, as practicing architects, have a duty to give back to society through public and voluntary work. Working with Tamayouz allows me to help empower young architects, women architects and architects-to-be. Closing the gap between different cultures and backgrounds has been proven possible through the unifying platform of Tamayouz.

What do you hope for the future of your category and Tamayouz?
I hope to reach all the students around the world and present them the chance to participate and compete in Tamayouz, which would not only boost their understanding of the world and architecture as it exists in different regions, but also invite them to be part of the Tamayouz family.

Rima Alsammarae
Project Manager & Coordinator, Women in Architecture and Construction
Rima Alsammarae joined Tamayouz Excellence Award in 2017, after reporting on the annual jury meeting that year for an architecture journal in the UAE. Since then, she has become the coordinator for the Women in Architecture and Construction Award, as well as Tamayouz’s project manager. In both roles, she works to nurture Tamayouz’s supportive platform for female architects in the Near East and North Africa, as well as co-handle the day-to-day tasks and long-term goals of the organisation.

Outside of Tamayouz, Rima is an architecture and culture journalist based in Dubai, UAE. She has written and edited for publications including Middle East Architect, Architectural Digest Middle East and Brownbook.

​Why do you work with Tamayouz?
I believe in Tamayouz and the work that it does. The Middle East is in need of support, encouragement and positive acknowledgement. Tamayouz offers all of this, and by doing so, it fills a void that has existed for decades.

What do you hope for the future of your category and Tamayouz?
Tamayouz’s award for women in architecture is one of the few awards in the world that recognises the achievements of women in this field, and with women in the region facing challenges that are particular to culture, context and society, I believe the award’s value is not only in shedding light on hardworking people who deserve recognition, but it’s also in providing support and morale. I hope that Tamayouz continues to do what it has already been doing, and that more women receive the acknowledgement they deserve. In the bigger picture, I hope for Tamayouz to continue promoting architectural dialogue, supporting students and young architects, and connecting people across the world.

Turath Jamil
Coordinator, Iraqi Graduation Projects
Paris-based Iraqi architect Turath Jamil has been a part of Tamayouz since 2013, when he offered support to the early development and organisation of the initiative. The following year, he went on to serve as a jury member, and as Tamayouz grew, so did Turath’s responsibility for the Iraqi Graduation Projects Award. Today, he continues to facilitate the award and promote it (and Tamayouz in general) to students of architecture across Iraq.

Outside of Tamayouz, Turath has been an architect at Fevre Gaucher since 2011. His work consists of design, project development and construction supervision. Academically, he recently finished his master’s in art history from Sorbonne University, and he’s currently defending his PhD thesis on the same topic.

Why do you work with Tamayouz?
I work with Tamayouz to help Iraqi students advance their skill sets and engage with the field of architecture on an international scale. Architecture education in Iraq has a strong foundation with a lot of potential, and Tamayouz is a platform that allows Iraqi students to discover the world, develop their potential and take their place on the world stage.

What do you hope for the future of your category and Tamayouz?
Iraq has a strong history of architecture, and we have great pioneers who opened new paths for architects today. However, particularly since the 1980s, Iraq has suffered from the chaos of trends and styles, and many of our cities have lost their architectural identities – I hope that we help correct this by empowering emerging architects. My goal is simple: empower students to benefit from Iraq’s heritage and continue the country’s architectural path in the right direction.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay tuned

Receive All the Tamayouz Updates

Limited-time offer
Skip to content