Designs of reconstructed destroyed Palestinian villages blossom in competition

For the second year in a row, Birzeit University architectural engineering students are frontrunners at the the “Competition for the Reconstruction of Destroyed Palestinian Villages,” organized by the Palestine Land Society. The students won second and third place in a special ceremony held on September 7, 2018 in London.

Under the supervision of Dr. Samar Nazer, student Arwa Qlalwa, placed second for reconstructing Qula village near the Ramle Subdistrict. Luai Dai’q, who won third place, presented a design for the   reconstruction of Bayt Jibrin village, located in northwest Hebron.

Architectural engineering students from eight different universities in the Arab countries participated in the competition, which encourages students to contribute in the preservation of historical and religious sites and traditional water resources in villages that were destroyed during the Nakba of 1948, to reaffirm Palestinians’ steadfastness despite the Israeli occupation.

Student Yazan Nasrallah from Petra University in Amman, Jordan, won first place for a design for the reconstruction of Al-Qstal village near Jerusalem. Amjad Owaida, Ahmad Ajour, Dina Abu Sahmoud, and Kariman Mashahrawi, participating from Islamic University of Gaza, received a commendation by the competition jury for their strong designs.   

An international jury of academics and architects judged the participants. is the jury was comprised of the Palestinian architect Rasem Badran, Victoria Walterz, Nasser Golzari, Yara Sharif and Robert Moll.

The ceremony was inaugurated by the Palestinian historian and academic Dr. Salman Abu Sitta. Sitta is also the president of PLS and the head of the competition’s committee. He stressed the importance of such competitions and their role in emphasizing the Palestinian narrative, and preserving their history and identity.

In last year’s competition, Birzeit University graduate and teacher assistant in the architectural engineering department Hussam Barham, was the first place winner of the competition. Two other students from Birzeit University, Mahran Abul Humos and Rula Shaheen, received commendations by the competition jury for their designs.