Scales of Syria (symposium)


Friday, March 25, 2016, 3:30pm


Gund Hall, Harvard Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA

MEdiNA, the Harvard GSD's MENA student group, presents

Scales of Syria, a symposium on the Syrian crisis at the Harvard Graduate School of Design

As the Syrian civil war continues to unfold without resolution, the refugee crisis it has fueled has had a dramatic impact on most of the world today. Populations are fleeing the fierce fighting to countries as close as Jordan, Lebanon, and Greece and as far as Germany, Finland, and Canada. In view of the unprecedented scale of exodus—now surpassing that of Europe during and in the wake of World War II—this symposium will offer a set of reflections on displacement from local to remote territories. While the Syrian diaspora has come to be redefined in global terms, Syria’s own future remains intimately connected to its countryside. What does it mean to re-establish roots in this context? How do we grapple with the complex ways in which displacement has affected, and been affected by, the Syrian countryside? As a potential ground for refuge, one of the most significant aspects of that countryside, which composes the vast majority of Syrian land, is that it remains unexplored: agriculture, technology, archaeology, and infrastructure are all waiting to happen.


112 Stubbins, Gund Hall, GSD, 48 Quincy Street

3:30 pm:  Introductory Remarks by Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design, Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design

3:45:  From local Displacement to Global Refuge
Lindsay French, History, Philosophy, & the Social Sciences, Rhode Island School of Design
Adrienne Fricke
, Syria Consultant, Physicians for Human Rights
Heghnar Watenpaugh, Art History, Urban & Architectural History in Islamic Societies, UC Davis
by Brett Moore, Loeb Fellow 2016, GSD; shelter, infrastructure, & reconstruction advisor, World Vision International

4:30:  From the Metropolis to the Countryside
Aziz Hallaj, architect, development consultant; CEO, Syria Trust for Development
Ömür Harmansah, University of Illinois at Chicago
Sinan Hassan, Principal, S.O.S.A

5:15:  Graduate Student Work Presentations

5:45:  Keynote talk by Lina Sergie Attar, co-founder & CEO, Karam Foundation

Chauhaus, Gund Hall

6:30:  MEdiNA Beer and Dogs

fortyK, 40 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA

8:30:  Spaces from Syria Opening in fortyK

Organized by MEdiNA, the MENA Student Group at Harvard GSD.

Co-sponsors: Aga Khan Program, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
Contact: Ramzi Naj