Tamayouz Excellence Award


Tamayouz Excellence Award is delighted to announce the shortlist of finalists for the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture 2019, also known as the Middle Eastern Architectural Personality of the Year.

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 2016 and 2019. 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 Makiya

Out of the 40 submissions from 11 countries received this year, nine have been named finalists for the 2019 cycle and they include individuals, initiatives and organisations from around the world.

The shortlist for the Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture 2019 (arranged in no specific order):

  • Ali Jaffar Al Lawati – Oman
  • Arabesque – UAE
  • Benaa Habitat – Egypt
  • Syrbanism – Austria
  • Taghlib Abdulhadi Al Waily – Iraq
  • The International Journal of Islamic Architecture – USA
  • Waleed Arafa – Egypt
  • World Monuments Fund Britain – UK

Coventry University academic and founding director of Tamayouz Excellence Award, Ahmed Al-Mallak said: “Congratulations to the finalists. It was great to see such individuals and organisations working hard to promote and enrich the cultural heritage of the region. The outstanding achievements of hardworking people who strive to tell our side of the story should be celebrated. We encourage everyone to support the work and effort of these individuals and organisations as they represent the best of the Middle East.”

The Finalists

Ali Jaffar Al Lawati
Omani architect and broadcaster Ali Jaffar Al Lawati is the founder of several Arabic-language radio shows that air on Oman’s national radio channel and Soundcloud. Promoting regional architecture as well as good architectural practices to architects and the general public, Al Lawati strives to educate his listeners on the importance of sustainable architecture and contextually relevant architecture. Through his programme, he also hopes to close the gap between architects, planners, decision-makers and the public by creating a channel of communication. His radio show (which also runs in English) also explores religious architecture in Oman and Islamic architecture in general, with special series running during Ramadan. In addition to his radio programme, Al Lawati has published a number of written works, including a frequent column on sustainable architecture in the Saudi-run blog Layout, and articles that introduce architects for local cultural Omani magazines and newspapers. He also edited the magazine of the Oman Society of Engineers, and published four issues between 2017 and 2018.

Established by Dubai-based Egyptian architects Mouaz Abouzaid and Islam El Mashtooly, Arabesque is a joint venture that allows the two architects, outside of their official duties, to continue working towards the social and moral obligations of the profession of architecture. Working towards its best practice both in design and academia, Abouzaid and El Mashtooly hope to inspire younger generations to contribute positively to the built environment of the Middle East and North Africa. Arabesque has delivered a number of projects and concept designs since its establishment, including the curation of Egypt’s pavilion at Venice Biennale 2018. The pavilion reflects their mission and ethos: their work emphasises humanity and the need for positive social impact through architecture.

Benaa Habitat
The Egypt-based initiative seeks to create sustainable human settlements through environmentally responsible and low-cost architecture, serving as a catalyst for social development. In addition to designing and building projects following the principles and techniques of earth construction, Benaa Habitat also promotes and educates the public about sustainable architecture through workshops and training programmes. Established in 2016, the organisation has designed a number of buildings using different earth construction techniques including CEB, rammed earth, domes and vaults in different parts of the Middle East and Africa, from Egypt to Iraq to Tanzania.

Eric Broug
An independent designer and researcher based in the UK, Eric Broug has dedicated the past 25 years to promoting Islamic geometric design. He asserts that while there was consistent design excellence for 1,400 years in Islamic geometric design, the past century and a half has seen a drastic decline in the quality of the art form. In response, Broug identified and codified the design principles of best practice with the goal of enabling architects to use this popular design form in a way that respects its past. His books, such as ‘Best Practice in Islamic Geometric Design: A Manual for Architects and Designers’, are among the most popular in the genre of Islamic art and design. They have enabled thousands of people around to world to draw and understand these patterns, and apply them in their projects.

A voluntary, independent initiative led by Syrian architects Nour Harastani and Edwar Hanna, concerned with the reconstruction process in their home country, Syrbanism aims to engage Syrian people and involve them in the post-conflict recovery of their cities. Through campaigns that run informative videos about the country’s reconstruction laws and processes, as well as the rights of property owners, the organisation equips the general public with knowledge and raises its awareness of relevant policies. Syrbanism has succeeded in a number of ways: it’s managed to influence the government to amend some of the clauses in Law No. 10, as well as Decree No 66, which involved issues of housing, land and property rights during and post conflict periods in Syria. Syrbanism’s campaigns have attracted media attention as well as key stakeholders. Its informative campaigns have also been used as valuable advocacy resources by the UN and EU agencies, shifting the topic of reconstruction from an expert-only area to one that involves ordinary citizens.

Taghlib Abdulhadi Al Waily
Iraqi architect and urban planner Taghlib Abdulhadi Al Waily has long dedicated his practice to the revitalisation of Baghdad’s Historical City Centre (BHCC). With a vision to create a celebrated space within this neglected area, Al Waily shared his experience and findings in his book ‘Baghdad 21st Century’. Rich in information, the publication has become a go-to resource for Iraqi architects and planners seeking up-to-date information and plans about the historically, culturally and architecturally significant area. In addition to his practice and authorship, Al Waily is involved in academia, public awareness, and governmental and non-governmental organisations. His academic roles include presentations on the revitalisation of BHCC in Amman and London, as well as facilitating workshops in both cities, which has drawn the participation of other Iraqi architects and planners. In November 2018, Al Waily launched the initiative Ihea’a, which aims to spread awareness of the importance of BHCC.

International Journal of Islamic Architecture
Since its establishment in 2012, the International Journal of Islamic Architecture has been a purveyor of innovative and progressive research on architecture in the Middle East. The journal, which features various sections including Design in Theory, Design in Practice, Architectural Spotlight and Reviews, encourages the exchange of ideas across borders and disciplines – a vital ethos in today’s society. Its content explores important topics, such as heritage, cultural destruction, curation, expertise and immigrant architecture, as well as provides a resource of current publications, exhibitions and conferences. This year, its position in the academic world was cemented by its acceptance into the highly competitive and rigorous Web of Science: Art and Humanities Citation Index.

Waleed Arafa
Having established his own architecture practice in 2006, Dar Arafa Architecture, Waleed Arafa was recently the centre of media and academic attention following the completion of his landmark project Basuna Mosque in Egypt, which was also shortlisted for the Abdullatif Al Fozan Award for Mosque Architecture 2019. Having garnered wide academic interest, the mosque has quickly become a reference point for Islamic and Egyptian architecture – it has also sparked debate on architectural design, conservation of historical buildings and innovative structural design. The recipient of the Arab & African Youth Platform Award in 2019, Arafa has been invited to lecture at academic and cultural venues in major universities across Egypt, as well as in Algeria and Bahrain.

World Monuments Fund Britain
The World Monuments Fund Britain has organised a stonemasonry training programme in Mafraq, Jordan, which aims to increase the practice of stonemasonry among Jordanians and Syrian refugees so that they can participate in the post-conflict reconstruction of their home country. The project, which addresses the economic and cultural impact of conflict in the region, illustrates the importance of investing in traditional skills, and equipping individuals with the know-how to contribute to the construction of their environments.

About the award
The Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture: The Middle Eastern Architectural Personality of the Year
The Mohamed Makiya Prize is part of the Tamayouz Excellence Award programme of championing and celebrating the best of architecture. The award is named after Dr Mohamed Saleh Makiya, a great Iraqi architect whose influence and importance is far greater than his built work. The prize was announced in 2014, in celebration of his centennial birthday.

Every cycle, the prize is presented to the architectural personality of the year – the individual or organisation that has made the greatest contribution towards the advancement of architecture in a specific period. The winner of this award will be celebrated during the annual Tamayouz Excellence Award Ceremony held every December.

Previous winners:

2014: Professor, architect, critic and author Khaled Al-Sultany – Iraq

2018: The Aga Khan Documentation Center @ MIT – USA

Tamayouz Excellence Award is sponsored by; The Iraqi Business Council in Jordan, Kufa – Makiya Charity, Coventry University, Dewan Architects and Engineers, the United Nations Global Compact, Ayad Al-Tuhafi Architects, Bonair Ltd.

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