Tamayouz Excellence Award

The International Journal of Islamic Architecture wins the Mohamed Makiya Prize 2019

Tamayouz Excellence Award is proud to announce the winner of its Mohamed Makiya Prize for Architecture 2019, also known as the Middle Eastern Architectural Personality of the Year Award, which is given to individuals or organisations that have made significant contributions to the advancement of architecture in a specific period time.

The winner of the award’s 2019 cycle is the International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA), a US-based, bi-annual title that publishes peer-reviewed articles on the urban design, architecture and landscape architecture of the historic Islamic world, encompassing the Middle East, parts of Africa and Asia, as well as more recent geographies of Islam in its global dimensions. The journal emphasises the detailed analysis of the practical, historical and theoretical aspects of architecture, with a focus on both design and its reception. The journal also aims to encourage dialogue and discussion between practitioners and scholars.

IJIA was shortlisted with eight other finalists, who were chosen from a pool of 40 submissions, including Omani architect and radio broadcaster, Ali Jaffar Al Lawati; UAE-based architecture platform Arabesque; Egyptian architecture enterprise Benaa Habitat; British researcher, designer and author Eric Broug; Syrian reconstruction initiative Syrbanism; Iraqi academic and author Taghlib Abdulhadi Al Waily; Egyptian architect Waleed Arafa and UK-based initiative World Monuments Fund.

The judges met in Beirut, Lebanon in early September 2019 to determine the winner, the panel was hosted by the Architects Association at the Order Engineers and Architects Beirut and the Chadirji Foundation for Architecture and Society. The panel members for the Mohamed Makiya Prize 2019 included:


– Ahmed Samara Al-Zoby – Jordan: President of the Jordanian Engineers Association

– Dr Aida Hoteit – Lebanon: Chairperson of the Department of Architecture at the Lebanese University

– Dr Habib Sadeq – Lebanon:  President of Chadirji Foundation for Architecture and Society

– Dr Jala Makhzoumi – Iraq: President of Lebanese Landscape Association and co-founder of Unit 44

– Dr Jean Pierre El Asmar – Lebanon: Dean of the Faculty of Architecture Art and Design at Notre Dame University

– Dr Mahmoud Charafeddine – Lebanon: Professor at the Lebanese University and CEO of Architectural Team for Construction

– Mohamed Al-Assam – UAE: Founder and managing partner at Dewan Architects and Engineers

– Atef Mechaimech – Lebanon: President of the Architects Association in Lebanon

– Elie Harfouche – Lebanon: Assistant professor at the Lebanese American University

– Saad Naji – Jordan:  Founder and Secretary of the Iraqi Business Council in Jordan

– Ahmed Al-Mallak – UK:  Founding Director of Tamayouz Excellence Award

You can read about our judges here.

“The IJIA was celebrated for its courage and stamina in focusing on Islamic architecture at such a high academic level,” said the judges. “It is one of the few, if not only, journals of its kind. And it brings together multidisciplinary, international scholars into its realm, as it aspires to a high standard of excellence. Its impact on practitioners and researchers contributes to creating a critical platform on the subject.”

The judges also hoped that by receiving first place, IJIA’s presence would grow in academic institutions across the Middle East.

“While some universities in Middle East are unable to afford access to the journal, we hope this recognition inspires a new way forward that allows students of architecture in the region to have more access to the publication. We hope the journal’s increasing exposure and impact will benefit from winning the Mohamed Makiya Prize, and that it will become increasing accessible within the cultures it is aiming to promote.”

Ahmed Al-Mallak, founding director of Tamayouz Excellence Award, said, “The judging panel was impressed with the quality of work submitted for the Mohamed Makiya Prize 2019. We congratulate the IJIA for its work and its many accomplishments that it has achieved in less than 10 years. Since its launch in 2012, the journal has proven to be an important source for researchers and academics worldwide, which covers important issues and challenges that face our region.

“We would also like to congratulate the remaining eight finalists who showed there is hope coming out of the Middle East during one of its most difficult periods in history. We hope that the finalists and winner will inspire more individuals and organisations to start such wonderful initiatives, and we hope that the youth who have launched some of these initiatives will get the support they need to make more changes in their communities and wherever they go.”

The Mohamed Makiya Prize is part of Tamayouz Excellence Award’s programme of championing and celebrating the best of architecture in the Near East and North Africa. The award is named after Dr Mohamed Saleh Makiya, a great Iraqi architect whose influence and importance remains impactful on the region’s architectural community today. The prize was announced in 2014, in celebration of Dr Makiya’s 100th birthday.

In 2018, the winner of the Mohamed Makiya Prize was the Aga Khan Documentation Center @ MIT (AKDC@MIT), which won for its role in supporting the teaching of, and scholarship on, the history and theory of architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture and conservation, as well as the practice of architecture in Muslim societies. Situated within the MIT Libraries, AKDC@MIT is a part of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at MIT and Harvard, and was established in 1979 as a gift from His Highness the Aga Khan. AKDC@MIT is also responsible for the curation of the intellectual and content core of Archnet.

More about the International Journal of Islamic Architecture:

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, and parts of Africa and Asia. 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.

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