Tamayouz Excellence Award

Tamayouz Women in Architecture and Construction Award for Near East and North Africa - NENA

The Tamayouz Women in Architecture and Construction Award is an excellence award for women who have contributed to the fields of architecture and construction throughout the Near East and North Africa. The award consists of two categories:

1. Women of Outstanding Achievements: This prize recognises the individual’s positive contribution to the field of architecture and the status of women in the field, as well as all other professional achievements and her lifelong commitment to the profession.
2. Rising Stars: This prize recognises excellence in design, leadership, early career achievements and acknowledges the candidate’s bright future ahead.


Participation is open for women who are from the NENA region (see eligible countries below) and are either employed in the NENA region and specialise in architecture and construction, or who are employed/living abroad but their contribution has had a direct impact on the built environment in the NENA region. Candidates should also have made contributions within their communities.

Countries eligible for participation

Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

​Award Objectives

– Support women from the Near East and North Africa who are working in the fields of architecture, construction and landscape.
– Empower women working in male dominated professions.
– Recognise the achievements of young women, celebrate their early success and encourage them to take it further.
– Showcase female-driven achievements to the world, like academic and professional contributions to the built environment.
– Support those who are challenging the status-quo by exploring careers in traditionally male-dominated professions, inspiring generations to come.

​​Potential Candidates Include

– Architects, landscape designers, civil engineers, site supervisors, project managers, urban designers, urban planners, site laborers and clients.
– Academics and researchers in the fields of architecture and construction.
– Activists that promote the environment and the conservation of national heritage.
– Government/public sector employees with architecture or construction backgrounds who are making a difference locally or in the wider region.
– Although this award was previously open only for Iraqi women, it it now open for women of all backgrounds so long as they contribute to the built environment of the region and follow the above guidelines.

Selection Criteria

The winner will be chosen based on her career achievements and contribution to the fields of architecture and construction.

The Prize

Both winners and highly commended will receive the Tamayouz Excellence Medal, as well as a certificate. This medal will be given during the Tamayouz Award Ceremony, with flights and accommodation for those attending the ceremony to be covered by Tamayouz Award. The host city of the 2020 ceremony will be announced at a later time.

The winner of the Woman of Outstanding Achievement will receive a ceramic statuette created by celebrated Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi. Born in Baghdad in 1939, Azzawi started his artistic career in 1964, after graduating from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and completing a degree in archaeology from Baghdad University in 1962. With exhibitions of his work held his art features in international private and public collections including the Museums of Modern Art in: Baghdad, Damascus and Tunis; Jeddah International Airport; British Museum, Tate Modern, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Institut du Monde Arabe, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Colas Foundation, Paris; Gulbenkian Collection, Barcelona; and Library of Congress and the World Bank, Washington.

Important Dates

To be announced in 2022.

Tamayouz Women in Architecture and construction Ceramic Statuette

The statuette by Dia Azzawi for Woman of Outstanding Achievement

– From 2013 to 2016 the Women in Architecture and Construction Award was open only for Iraqi Women.
Starting in 2018, the award opened for women from the Near East and North Africa, or those working within this region.

Meet our winners

Lina Ghotmeh

2020 Winner – Woman of Outstanding Achievement

Lebanese-French architect Lina Ghotmeh founded her practice in 2006, and has, ever since, brought together architects, designers and researchers from different backgrounds and cultures. Viewing architecture as an act of resilience for more humane and ecologically built environments, Ghotmeh’s architecture dialogues strongly with nature. Spanning scales and geographies, from object design to museum architecture, with projects from France to Japan, the work of her practice draws on a historical and sensitive approach to architecture. Among her acclaimed projects is the internationally recognised Estonian National Museum, an ethnographic museum spanning 34,000m2, and Stone Garden tower in Beirut, a project completed in 2020 that reinvents local vernacular techniques. Her studio is also engaged in designing the highly ecological wooden tower Réalimenter Massena, which is dedicated to sustainable feeding in Paris. Ghotmeh is also an academic, and taught between 2007 and 2014 as an associate professor at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture. She has also lectured at the Royal College of Arts, the Royal Arts Academy, the Bartlett school, and the Cité d’Architecture et du Patrimoine.

 Woman of Outstanding Achievement 2020 – The Finalists

 – Hanaa Dahy – Egypt/Germany

– Shadi Azizi – Iran

Yasaman Esmaili 

2020 Winner – Rising Star

Yasaman Esmaili is an Iranian architect and educator based between Boston and Tehran. In 2017, after a successful international architectural journey which led to the completion of Goharkhatoon Girl’s School in Afghanistan, she founded Studio Chahar, a local yet global collaborative research-based studio, focused on design equity, community engagement and empowerment. Studio Chahar has initiated and completed several projects in Iran, Niger, Afghanistan and the US. Esmaili is also a founding member of united4design, an international design collective formed in 2013 to create dialogue about architecture and intelligent global practice, and a co-founder of Color My Home, a project focused on finding the meaning of lost homes through architectural thinking by working with recently displaced immigrant and refugee children. Simultaneously, Esmaili is a visiting professor at the University System of New Hampshire. Her work has been widely published and has been exhibited in New York, Munich, Venice, Washington DC and Seattle.

Rising Star 2020 – The Finalists

– Deena El-Mahdy – Egypt

– Radwa Rostom – Egypt (Highly Commended)

– Sanaz Ghaemmaghami – Iran

– Shabnam Khalilpourfar – Iran

Radwa Rostom

2020 Highly Commended – Rising Star

Radwa Rostom founded her start-up Hand Over in 2014, a social enterprise that uses sustainable construction technology to design and build cost-effective and environmentally friendly buildings for vulnerable communities. Using a human-centred design approach and earth construction techniques, Rostom’s architectural output is thoroughly research-based. Her ultimate goal is to revolutionise the building industry and create a model that could be replicated to create suitable communities and sustainable cities. She has built up a team of experts, material specialists, designers, architects and site engineers to pursue this vision, while equally addressing underprivileged communities by providing cost-effective and humane solutions. Through her work, Rostom and her team advocate for more laws and incentives to encourage more people to understand the techniques and methodologies that they adapt, removing the misconceptions that some may have on earth building solutions or sustainable solutions in general.

Dr Zeynep Celik

2019 Winner – Woman of Outstanding Achievement

Dr Zeynep Celik is a distinguished professor of architecture and history at New Jersey Institute of Technology – Rutgers University, and adjunct professor of history at Columbia University. She has also written, edited and produced numerous publications that explore the architecture and cities of the late Ottoman Empire and French colonialism. In the past, she taught at universities including Harvard, MIT, Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and Bosporus University in Istanbul. Some of her books include Displaying the Orient: Architecture of Islam at Nineteenth Century World’s Fairs (1997) and About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire (2016). She has also curated various exhibitions, including ‘Walls of Algiers’ in Los Angeles and ‘Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in Ottoman Empire’ in Istanbul.

Woman of Outstanding Achievement 2020 – The Finalists

– Habibeh Madjdabadi – Iran
– Hala Younes – Lebanon
– Shahira Fahmy – Egypt (Highly Commended)
– Sumaya Dabbagh – Saudi Arabia/UAE

Shahira Fahmy

2019 Highly Commended – Woman of Outstanding Achievement

Shahira Fahmy is an architect, urbanist and creative researcher. She is the founder and principal of Shahira Fahmy Architects, which was established in Cairo in 2005. Fahmy has designed and built projects in the Middle East and Europe, and was once hailed by Phaidon as one of the “architects building the Arab future”. Her projects include the masterplan of Andermatt Swiss Alps’ Ski Resort, phase II and III; the architecture of the Allegria Resort and a housing and residential project in Cairo. She has researched rapid urbanisation and mapping, and is a two-time recipient of Harvard University’s post-doc fellowship for her prescient work exploring the relationship between urbanism, governance and cyberspace.

Dana AlAmri

2019 Winner – Rising Star

Dana Al-Amri is a Saudi architect and the co-founder of Jeddah-based Watad Studio, which looks at creating contextual designs and architectural solutions that respond to local needs. Representing an emerging generation of female architects from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al-Amri hopes to support the needs of local communities and the developing urban fabric of her home city and country. She has designed a number of projects spanning the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors. She has also worked on socially responsible projects, such as the Solar Ovens Project, which aimed to educate those devastated by the Jeddah floods on the use of solar power and research on the regeneration of Jeddah’s slums and neglected historical neighbourhoods.

Rising Star 2020 – The Finalists

– Deena El-Mahdy – Egypt
– Mariska Stoffel – Germany/UAE
– Omniya Abdel Barr – Egypt/UK

Suad Amiry

2018 Winner – Woman of Outstanding Achievement

A prominent architect, writer and community leader, Palestinian architect Suad Amiry is the founder of Riwaq and an award-winning author. She is also vice president of Birzeit University’s Board of Trustees and a board member for the Palestine Investment Fund and the Palestine Housing Council, as well as a jury member for The Palestine Award for Culture. Among her extensive project list, her most notable one is Riwaq’s 50 Villages project, which is a large-scale cultural heritage initiative with the primary aim to rehabilitate and revitalise Palestine’s most significant historic centres.

Woman of Outstanding Achievement 2018 – The Finalists

– Faten Issa Alsarraf – UAE
– Jinan Ali Galib – Turkey/Iraq
– Lara Zureikat – Jordan
– Meisa Batayneh – Jordan
– Nadia Habash – Palestine (Highly Commended)
– Rayya Al-Zubaydi – Iraq
– Samar Kattan – USA/Iraq
– Dr Shaimaa Hussain Alahbabi – Iraq

Nadia Habash

2018 Highly Commended – Woman of Outstanding Achievement

Palestinian architect and academic Nadia Habash has contributed to many renovation projects across Palestine, served as the first woman head of a regional branch of the Engineers Association of Jordan and Palestine, as well as city councillor in Ramallah, during which her main aim was to preserve the cultural heritage of the city. Habash’s projects include the rehabilitation of Arraba Palaces and the Old Road, the rehabilitation and addition to St. Nicolas Elderly Bait Jala, and the revitalisation of Bethlehem Old Market.

Ebtissam Moustapha

2018 Winner – Rising Star

Egyptian architect Ebtissam Moustapha established her architecture and design practice six years ago to challenge the “conventional model of design production in Egypt” through advanced technology, research and fostering collaboration between education, practice and manufacturers. Hoping to nurture an international hub of design that can thrive in today’s economy, Encode offers architecture, design and furniture design services. Simultaneously, she also lectures at the Fine Arts Department of Architecture at Alexandria University.

Rising Star 2020 – The Finalists

– Basima Abdulrahman – Iraq
– Dr Deyala Tarawneh – Jordan (Highly Commended)
– Noor Marji – Jordan
– Omaima Kadhim – Iraq
– Rowa Senan – UK/Palestine

Deyala Al Tarawneh

2018 Highly Commended – Rising Star

Deyala Al Tarawneh is an architect, urban planner and faculty member at the University of Jordan’s Department of Architectural Engineering. Her research focuses on brownfield sites adaptive reuse, temporary urbanism and achieving spatial justice in Amman. Maintaining a positive impact on her students – reflected in her many student testimonials – Al Tarawneh is a regular contributor to Jordan-based design and architecture magazine InteriorPH, and has published a number of research essays and conference papers.

The 2018 jury panel for the Women in Architecture and Construction Award met in October at the Roca Gallery in London to select the winners.
​Listen to what they thought of the 2018 cycle.

Suhair Al-Sinawi

2015 Winner – Woman of Achievement

Having worked for the Ministry of Housing in Iraq for nearly 40 years and with various UN agencies like the UNDP and UN Habitat for five years, Suhair Al-Sinawi held a number of positions throughout her ongoing career including head of design and research directorate for the State Organisation of Housing, head of studies department at the Ministry of Housing, and head of implementation department at the State Housing Directorate. Al-Sinawi’s publications, reports and studies focused on different aspects of the housing sector and the building materials in Iraq, and they are now references used by the Iraqi government and UN agencies working in Iraq.​

Sura Al-Khafaji

2015 Winner – Rising Star

Sura Al-Khafaji was chosen as Tamayouz’s rising star for her writing and research about architecture, urbanism and heritage. Her reports are often published in large newspapers in Iraq. An academic at Bayan University in Erbil, Al-Khafaji was also recognised for making a difference and influencing decision-makers through her insightful articles.​

Farah Al-Hashimi

2015 Winner – Rising Star

Acknowledged for producing high-quality work, Farah Al-Hashimi is an academic at Nottingham Trent University as well as a PhD candidate at the same university. She was selected for having an outstanding, diverse body of architectural work.

Angela Brady OBE, Architect and Past President of the Royal Institute of British Architects announcing the winners of the Tamayouz Women in Architecture and Construction 2015.

Shereen Sherzad

2014 Winner – Woman of Achievement

Architect, academic and urban planner, Dr Shereen Sherzad from Ajman University taught architecture at the Baghdad School of Architecture from 1980 to 2003. The director of the high commission for the revitalisation of the Erbil Citadel in 2008, Sherzad worked with UNESCO in preparation for the citadel masterplan – the Erbil Citadel later gained World Heritage status. Sherzad is the author of four architecture textbooks that are often used as references and teaching materials in schools of architecture across the Middle East.

Venus Akef

2014 Winner – Rising Star

Tamayouz’s first Rising Star prize, Venus Akef was an aspiring architect and academic from the University of Technology in Baghdad. With a focus on architectural heritage and cultural identity, she is currently studying for a PhD at the University of Cincinnati in the US.

Neda Al-Juboory

2014 Special Prize

In 2014, the Tamayouz team dedicated a special commemorative award to Neda Al-Juboory, an outstanding community architect who engaged with her local community and inspired anyone who came in contact with her. In 2007, Al-Juboory, then the director of urban planning at the Ministry of Municipalities, was killed in a car bomb explosion at her work place during a ceremony celebrating her achievements. Tamayouz gave the special award for the family and friends of the late Neda Al-Juboory.

Angela Brady, Architect and Past President of RIB announces the winner of the 2014 Tamayouz Women in Architecture and Construction.

Jala Al Makhzoumi

2013 Winner

The first winner of the Tamayouz Award for Women in Architecture and Construction, Dr Jala Al Makhzoumi is an Iraqi architect and academic who taught architecture and landscape design at the University of Technology in Baghdad for 15 years. In 2001, she founded the landscape department at the American University of Beirut and in 2007, she co-founded the Cambridge Centre for Landscape and People in Cambridge, England. Having produced a number of research publications and books related to landscape design, Al Makhzoumi has also worked as a consultant in Iraq, Syria, the UAE, Lebanon and Cyprus.

Hawry Talabani

2013 Honourable Mention

An honourable mention from the awards’ first cycle in 2013, Hawry Talabani was acknowledged for her work in Kirkuk, Iraq. According to the judges, her distinguished career of consistent, hard work across Kirkuk as an architect and city planner was highly commendable. She was also recognised for being involved in many other supporting aspects of city planning and urban development.

Fituh Al-Zubaidi

2013 Honourable Mention

Recognised for her outstanding contribution to the medical sector in Iraq, Fituh Al-Zubaidi was commended during the 2013 cycle for having “achieved a great deal in the area of health care facilities, with huge responsibility for the architectural design of hospitals, which she had clearly built as her speciality,” said the judges. They added, “Her work consistently helps the community that is much in need. She clearly has a campaigning spirit that’s helping her fellow country folk.”

Ghada Al-Silq

2013 Honourable Mention

Recognised during the 2013 cycle, Dr Ghada Al-Silq was acknowledged for being an “outstanding, serious academic.” She studied for many years and inspired many of her students with her consistent, hard work and unwavering interest for her field. She was also quite active in architecture publications and in the promotion of her field.

Huda Mohamed Ali

2013 Honourable Mention

Iraqi architect Huda Mohamed Ali was honourably mentioned in 2013 for being a “serious, hardworking architect,” who contributed greatly to project planning.

Angela Brady PPRIBA, the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Sept 11 – Sept 13) announces the winners of the first ever Tamayouz Women in Architecture and Construction Award.

If you have any inquiries about this award, get in touch with our Women in architecture and Construction Award Coordinator



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