Newsletters

Press & interviews

03. January, 2022

Since we are expecting a new year to come, I wanted to reach out and wish you a happy new beginning as well as to thank everyone I had the chance to meet or get to know professionally and/or personally. The past year we may all have passed by hard times as well as good ones. I am allowing myself to share with you a few good moments from my past year where many of you were behind making it happen.

Academic & research

  • Ongoing work on book volume with Alex Med Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Alexandria ornaments Encyclopedia. Here
  • Participating in the Unspoken memories, unwritten histories “The place of cultural pluralism in Alexandria” along with Amro Ali and Will Hanley and organized by the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), operates at a cross-section of academic research and civil society activism. Here
  • The first lecture at ensam Marseille in the frame work of the project « Alexandrie Forever: Échanges entre deux territoires métropolitains » Impliquant Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Marseille (ENSA-Marseille), l’Université d’Alexandrie et l’Institut Français d’Alexandrie, dans le cadre d’une subvention de la région Sud Provence Alpes côte d’azur. Here
  • Designing the concept and co-moderating the “ULC, Urban Lab Camp Alexandria, 2021” organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung FES Egypt. Here

Art & Architecture

  • Participating in the Journey exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Alexandria, organized by Welad El Balad LTD. Here
  • Designing the festival poster of “Cinéma francophone Les Bobines Alexandrines” organized by Behna El Wekalah, under the sponsorship of the Institut du monde arabe, with the support of the Institut français d’Egypte à Alexandrie. Here
  • Starting the series of CITIES MINIATURES, visual observations on cities, presenting the art, architecture, and culture which shape our societies. Here: Alexandria , Marseille
  • Participating and arriving at the 18th position among 123 participants around the world in “The UNESCO Architectural international competition for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Al Nouri Complex in Mosul, Iraq. Here

Cultural activities

  • On going participation in the project “SALAM: Imagining and building the Mediterranean of tomorrow – programme soutient le dialogue entre les jeunes acteurs de la société civile des deux rives” by Expertise France financed by Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères. Here
  • Participating in “All Around culture and L’Art Rue – Interconnected in Culture for a Stronger Ecosystem Grant”. Here
  • Cairo Photo Week 2021, Lecture panel “Reading cities through the Image”. Here

02. January, 2021

This is my second newsletter that I would love to share with you after being thankful for all your thoughts on my previous one which helped me a lot. 2020 was not a smooth year but it was a big challenge that made me realize nothing is granted, nothing lasts, neither the good nor the bad. Thanks to that year, I was able to think, do new things and get rid of things I don’t want or need. Thanks to this year I got closer to people, especially those whom I love. This year made me appreciate all the blessings in my life. With the help of my family, friends and God I managed to do good things. 

I wish you a new beginning and a happy year.

Alexandria, 2020

Below are links to some of the past year’s events:

  • A book article: Atlas de l’Égypte contemporaine (CEDEJ, CNRS Édition)
  • Very successful exhibition at SHELTER Art Space
  • Co-leading a workshop: sustainable urban development by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung & Ministry of Environment
  • Participating in the conference: Casbah d’Alger, Patrimoine Mondial de l’Humanité 28 ans après son inscription sur la liste de l’UNESCO
  • Designing and building a handmade modular bedroom

01. November 10, 2020

We are all passing through a hard time, that is impacting us, our behavior and accordingly our cities. A time of big changes for many of us, on both personal and professional levels. I would not have expected to experience such a year. With all its good and bad, I consider it one of the most important events in my life. Till February 2020, I was still practicing architecture as a full time senior designer architect in the same firm I joined 7 years ago. My latest task there was to design and lead a project in Djibouti. And naturally I had to go and inspect the site and nature of my new project. 

Working on a conceptual design

Trip to Djibouti

After Tunisia it was my first time to visit an African land outside Egypt. Traveling to the capital Djibouti on board of the Ethiopian Airlines, I had to make two hours of transit through Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Which is considered the hub of Africa. Flying over the harsh contrast of the green and yellow landscape of Ethiopia and landing in the 70s style airport of Djibouti, reminded me of the 2006 movie “The Last King of Scotland” based on Giles Foden’s 1998 novel. The movie depicts Uganda in the 1970s and the country’s cruelest leader Idi Amin. This was just my feelings from the visuals around me, because I was about to discover one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited.

Addis Ababa, Djibouti the capital

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In Aswan  

By the beginning of March when the Egyptian authorities announced the first cases of covid-19 in Aswan, I was already there. I had received an invitation form professor dr. Abdel-Aziz Farouk,the head of Architecture department at Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Aswan to instruct and lead an intensive workshop for the young students and future architects. The aim of this course was to explore how freehand drawing can increase the level of understanding of the complexities of architecture.

Working with the young team in Nubia

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Freedom of the lockdown

When I came back from Aswan to Alexandria in March, I was very sick and it was a Corona infection. For me this was the beginning of a big change. I had to stay home for a month. When I started to recover, the country had already applied the partial lockdown. This was the time when I felt what it means to own your time. Time is our real wealth. Doing many things I neither had the time nor the energy to do, have made it clear for me, there was no going back to the same pattern of life. This period was and still is very hard but it revived the creativity. It made me think and reflect a lot. The daily news was mainly talking about the pandemic situation all over the world, describing and analysing the impact on our physical and mental health. Then they started about the post impact on the economy, politics, sociology, society and city. The pandemic has already changed the way we interact with each other and with the city. Driven by all mentioned factors, I launched the project Memories of Alexandria before the Pandemic. My aim was to collect and document voices from the city ignorer to visualize how the city used to be before the change.

The call for stories is still open till February 2020

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At the Shelter

On the 23rd of this month SHELTER Art Space and the French Institute of Egypt launched the exhibition “Destinations” to explore the richness, diversity and beauty of Alexandria through the artworks of artist Benoit Guillaume and myself. The exhibition features both visual art and architectural elements to explore a live walk to different destinations within the city layers of Alexandria. Each of us is interpreting his own personal vision of the city’s vibrant buildings and streets. Yet each is different in its approach and interrelated in its interpretation of the city reflection on our daily social life and encounters. The exhibition is still ongoing if you are in Alexandria.

Photo credit: Shelter

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Interview/ French
Ne pas céder au piège de la nostalgie

Al-Ahram Hebdo printed/online
May, 2022
Read here

Interview/ Arabic
Reading the city

Bab Masr
May, 2022
Read here

Article/ English
Take a walk: Following Alexandria’s heritage sites

Ahramonline
May, 2021
Read here

Article/ English
A trail of intangible heritage in Gohar’s Description of Alexandria

Ahramonline
May, 2021
Read here

Article/ English
Our cities 2021: Egypt’s story

Ahramonline
May, 2021
Read here

Article/ English
Destinations: An art exhibition that takes us into the heart of Alexandria

Ahramonline
November, 2020
Read here

Interview
Destinations Exhibition: Arabic interview by Radio Monte Carlo Paris
November, 2020
Read here

Interview/ Arabic
The official Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper, printed
November 02, 2020
Read here

Live talk/ Arabic
The invisible cultural heritage of Alexandria
May 20, 2020
Read here

Interview/ Arabic
The official Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper, printed
May 16, 2020
Read here

Interview/ Arabic
The official Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper, printed
November 27, 2019
Read here

My contribution
Cities | The Guardian
November 22, 2019
Read here

Article/ French
National Geographic Al Safar, a project built with UNESCO, Misk Art Institute
May 22, 2019
Read here

Interview
Middle East Eye
2018
Read here

Documentary/ Video
Interview on NTR the Dutch public-service broadcaster
IsCheck the interactive map and click on Alexandria
Read here

Article/ French
Qantara magazine of Institut du monde arabe
Issue 107 April, 2018
Read here

Interview
Egyptian Streets
January 30, 2018
Read here

Audio Interview
Monte Carlo Doualiya radio, Paris
December 23, 2017
Read here

Interview
Foreign Policy
April 23, 2015
Read here

Documentary, video
Sergi Cabeza
October 31, 2014
Read here

Interview
Urban Sketchers usk
November 20, 2014
Read here

Interview
Cairobserver
November 25, 2014
Read here

Interview
Italian press, Linkiesta
June 17, 2014
Read here

Interview
Spanish press, El País
July 12, 2014
Read here