University Students Win Local and Regional Competitions

Three architecture students at Birzeit University: Walaa’ Samara, Shahed Fawaqa, and Rula Shaheen, took home various awards and prizes for the project “The Museum of Resistance in Bil’in” in competitions held both in Palestine and in the Arab world.

The project details an idea for designing a national museum that reflects the popular resistance in Palestine in general, and in Bel’in specifically. It aims to support the popular resistance and raise the public’s awareness of it.

The project was awarded the Honor Distinction in the “Omrania l CSBE Student Award for Architectural Design” in its tenth cycle. “The Museum of Resistance in Bil’in” competed against 193 projects from 47 universities spread across 14 countries in the Arab World.

The project also won the second place in the architectural sustainability competition “iSUSTAIN”– the first place was removed –  after competing against 26 other projects from various Palestinian and Jordanian universities.  

“iSUSTAIN,” one of the initiatives organized by the Jordanian A/E Business Council, aims to build an entrepreneurial framework and a communal initiative that showcases the partnership between the academic, public, and private sectors.

The students also took home the third place in the Exceptional Graduation Projects of Engineering Students in Palestine category of the “Hassib Sabbagh & Said Khoury Engineering Award.” An award in which the Architectural Engineering Department at Birzeit University fared greatly, as three other Architecture students from the department won the first prize. Not to be outdone by her students, Nadia Habash, an instructor at the department, also won the Best Engineering Project in Palestine award for the year 2017.

Rula Shaheen, co-designer of the project, said, “The Museum will be built in Bil’in as it is a symbol of the fight against the Zionist apartheid wall; it has made great strides in pushing back the wall and reclaiming huge swaths of its land. It also managed to draw the global and local attention of the media through its weekly protests.”

She added, “This museum was not designed in a typical way, that is, it is not a showroom or a gallery. It is, however, a unique multi-faceted interactive experience that takes the Bil’in weekly protest path as its standing point. Visitors will live the experience of popular resistance, and will stop at multiple points, each of which featuring a story of the resistance, starting from the gathering area, passing by the former point of contact, which is where the old wall was, to the current point of contact where the current cement wall is. As such, the trail showcases all facets and points of resistance.