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The Battle for Home

Memoir of a Syrian Architect

Marwa Al-Sabouni


The ‘visionary memoir’ (Observer) of a female architect in war-torn Syria, and the role architecture plays in whether a community crumbles or comes together

Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


‘Everyone in Syria has lived his war. Every day people have fought for their lives, every day has brought a bid for survival, but it is not only bodies that suffer; souls, too, go through these battles, dying a thousand times in anticipation, only to rise up wearily to face another day.’

So begins the eyewitness account of Marwa al-Sabouni, a young architect based in war-torn Homs, on Syria’s bitter conflict. Seen through the revealing lens of architecture and depicted with clarity, conviction and deep intelligence, she shares her personal experience of how the built environment directly affects the community that inhabits it, how the stage for civil war has long been set in her country, and how architecture might play a role in reversing the damage.

The Battle for Home reveals uncomfortable truths and asks important questions, but ultimately offers hope for rebuilding both a proud country and a much-needed sense of identity.

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'A visionary memoir. . . extraordinary'

'An understated gem of a book . . . gripping'
The Spectator

'An angry and personal memoir'
Daily Telegraph

'Incisive … speaks with that particular mix of solicitude and sharp criticism born of true belonging married to broadness of perspective'
Art Review Asia

'It is safe to say that you will find this extraordinary work remarkably unlike any other recent architectural publication … inspirational and decidedly humbling'
RIAS Quarterly

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 13.0 cm

Extent: 192 pp

Illustrations: 32

Publication date: 6 July 2017

ISBN: 9780500292938

Contents List

1. The Battle of Freedom • 2. The Battle of Old Homs • 3. The Battle of Mortar • 4. The Battle of Baba Amr • 5. The Battle of Finding a Home • 6. The Battle of Continuation

About the Author

Marwa al-Sabouni has a PhD in Islamic Architecture and runs a private architectural studio in Homs, Syria. She is co-owner of the first and only online media site dedicated to architectural news in Arabic:

List of Contributors

Roger Scruton

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