Khaled Abdelhalim  Amr Abdelkawi  Mohamad Abotera May Al-Ibrashy Lara Baladi  Gautam Bhan
Jennifer Bremer Nabeel Elhady Aida Elkashef Mohamed Elshahed Heba Raouf Ezzat Khaled Fahmy
Kareem Ibrahim Ayman Ismail Omnia Khalil Mokena Makeka Samia Mehrez Magda Mostafa
Omar Nagati Damon Rich Joseph Schechla Yahia Shawkat Lindsey Sherman Dina Shehayeb
David Sims Diane Singerman Beth Stryker SUPERPOOL Richard N. Tutwiler  Ahmed Zaazaa

khaled abdelhalim Khaled Abdelhalim

Department of Public Policy and Administration, School of Global
Affairs and Public Policy, AUC

Khaled Abdel Halim graduated as an architect/planner from Cairo University in 1990, received an M.A. in Architecture and Housing Studies from the University of Newcastle, UK in 1995, and Ph.D. in Housing Policy, Planning and Practice from the University of Central England in Birmingham, UK in 2003. He worked for more than six years for the German International Cooperation (GIZ-Egypt) in participatory upgrading of informal areas and has also acted as consultant and report ontributor to UNHabitat on strategic district and governorate planning in Egypt. Dr. Abdel Halim is a lecturer at the Department of Architecture at Helwan University and currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Urban Policy at the Amercian University in Cairo. Dr. Abdel Halim has been executive director of the Local Development Observatory at the Local Administration Reform Unit, a UNDP program which measures good governance and local development. He is a founding member of the Egyptian Earth Construction Association and TAKAMOL Foundation for Integrated Development.

 amr abdelkawi Amr Abdelkawi

Department of Construction and Architectural Engineering, School of Sciences and Engineering, AUC

Amr Abdel Kawi has completed his education in architecture in the United States and practiced architectural design in Egypt for over twenty years through his architectural practice Praxis. He eventually diversified his practice to include interior design and furniture design. Abdel Kawi has published a periodical on architecture, interior design and fine arts titled Medina between 1997 and 2002. Abdel Kawi has been an educator since 1981 at schools of architecture at Ain Shams University, Arab Academy of Science and Technology in Cairo, and the American University in Cairo. In 2008, Abdel Kawi consolidated these diverse activities under a new design management company called Rhimal, which focuses on promoting the fields of design through a stronger link with design-based industries. He resumed his publishing activities in 2008 through Magaz, a design magazine focused on promoting design thinking as a means towards international competitiveness.

mohamed abotera Mohamad Abotera

MADD Platform

Mohamad Abotera was trained as an architect in Egypt and obtained his M.A. degree from the University of Westminster in Architecture, Globalization and Cultural Identity. He worked as an architect in Egypt and the UK and has shifted into a more academic career, working as a teacher and a teaching assistant. Recently, he co-founded Madd Platform, an open urban hub working on connecting urban initiatives to expertise. In his work and research, Abotera focuses on the political attributes of space, accidental emergencies and accumulative interventions in the city by various actors.

may alibrashy


May Al-Ibrashy


May Al-Ibrashy is an architect with twenty-one years of field experience in implementation of conservation projects in Islamic Cairo. She was previously a founding partner in Hampikian-Ibrashy, a Cairo-based conservation architecture firm with a five-year portfolio in conservation, documentation, consultation, training and research. Al-Ibrashy holds post-graduate and doctoral degrees in architectural history, archaeology and urban history from the University of London. Currently she is founder and chair of the Built Environment Collective, an Egyptian NGO working on issues of the built environment operating through its architectural hub and workspace Megawra. She is also Adjunct Lecturer of Architecture at the American University in Cairo and Ain Shams University.

lara baladi

Lara Baladi


Lara Baladi was born in Beirut, raised in Cairo and Paris, and educated in London. She has lived in Egypt since 1997. Baladi publishes and exhibits worldwide. Her body of work encompasses photography, video, visual montages/collages, installations, architectural constructions, tapestries and even perfume. Baladi received a Japan Foundation Fellowship in 2003 to research manga and anime in Tokyo. Among other global locations, she participated in the VASL residency program in Karachi, Pakistan in 2010. The breadth and variety of Baladi’s international experience influences her use of iconography drawn from numerous cultures. Borg el Amal (Tower of Hope), an ephemeral construction and sound installation, won the Grand Nile Award at the 2008/2009 Cairo Biennale. The Donkey Symphony, Borg el Amal’s sound component, was performed by the Kiev Kamera Orchestra at the first Kiev Biennial in 2012. During the 2011 Egyptian uprising, Baladi co-founded two media initiatives: Radio Tahrir and Tahrir Cinema. Both projects were inspired and informed by the 18 days that toppled Mubarak’s leadership. Tahrir Cinema served as a public platform to build and share a video archive on and for the revolution. Baladi is a member of the Arab Image Foundation since its creation in 1997. She curated the artist residency Fenenin el Rehal (Nomadic Artists) in the Libyan Desert in 2006 and participated in workshops and conferences around the world. Baladi is represented by the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo and IVDE Gallery in Dubai.

gautam bhan

Gautam Bhan

Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Delhi

Gautam Bhan is a Senior Consultant for Curriculum Development and Policy and Advisory Services at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. Gautam’s research and writing has focused on the politics of poverty in Indian cities, evictions and resettlement in Delhi. He is the co-author of Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in Delhi (Yoda Press: 2006) as well as several journal articles, including This is not the City I once Knew: Evictions, the urban poor, and the right to the city in millennial Delhi (Environment & Urbanization). He is an active part of urban social movements as well as a frequent columnist and writer in diverse media.

jenefer bremer

Jennifer Bremer

Department of Public Policy and Administration, School of Global
Affairs and Public Policy, AUC

Jennifer Bremer is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Chair of the Public Policy and Administration Department, the first public policy department in the Middle East and one of three academic departments making up the new School of Public Affairs at the American University in Cairo. Her work focuses on corporate social responsibility, international trade, investment and development and strategies to bring private sector resources to bear on development challenges. Prior to joining AUC, she served for 16 years as director of the Washington Center of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, a unit of the University of North Carolina business school. She holds a PhD (1982) and MPP (1975) from Harvard’s Kennedy School, an M.A. (1977) from Stanford in Development Economics and an ABcl (1972) from Columbia University. Bremer serves as executive director of the US-Egypt Friendship Society; a nonprofit organization dedicated to building stronger ties between the U.S. and Egypt and was appointed to the US-Egypt Business Council in December 2005 by US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. She also holds an appointment as adjunct professor of public policy from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Bremer’s extensive international experience includes long-term assignments in Egypt and Mexico and more than 80 short-term assignments in the United States and 30 other countries, emphasizing policy reform, trade and investment, corporate responsibility, infrastructure development and private enterprise promotion.

nabil elhady

Nabeel Elhady

Cairo University

Nabeel Elhady is an architect and professor at Cairo University. He initiated and organized for five years the annual architectural students’ competition. Besides his academic responsibilities he is a practicing architect through his private practice Noon since 1998. Through the projects undertaken by his office, continuous attempts are made to blend theories with realities to bring about architecture that respects humanity and nature.

aida elkashef

Aida Elkashef


Aida Elkashef graduated from the High Cinema Institute class of 2009 and has worked as an assistant director since her enrollment in the Institute. She directed local and international awards. Elkashef worked as video campaigner in several political campaigns such as No to Military Trials and Operation Anti-Sexual Assault.

mohamed elshahed Mohamed Elshahed


Mohamed Elshahed is a doctoral candidate in the Middle East and Islamic Studies Department at New York University. He lives in Cairo, where he is conducting dissertation research on architecture and urban planning in Egypt from 1939 to 1965, with an emphasis on the Nasser era. His dissertation examines popular discourse on the architectural transformation from anticolonial nationalism to postcolonial developmentalism in Egypt. Elshahed has a Bachelor of Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master in Architecture Studies from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently blogs at Cairobserver.

heba raouf ezzat

Heba Raouf Ezzat

Cairo University

Heba Raouf Ezzat has taught political theory at Cairo University since 1987 and at the American University in Cairo since 2006. She has been Visiting Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD), University of Westminster (1995-6) and Associate Researcher at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (1998). She is widely published and her publications in Arabic include: Women and Politics: An Islamic Perspective (Washington DC: IIIT, 1995) and The Political Imagination of Islamists: A Conceptual Analysis in Islamists and Democrats (Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, 2004). She edited the two volumes of Egyptian Citizenship published by the Centre for Political Research and Studies-Cairo University, as well as Globalization: New Visions for a Changing World (Department of Political Science, Cairo University, 2002).

khaled fahmy

Khaled Fahmy

Department of History, AUC

Khaled Fahmy is Professor in and Chair of AUC’s Department of History. After graduating from AUC with a B.A. in Economics and a M.A. in Political Science, Fahmy pursued a DPhil from Oxford University. A renowned expert in Middle East studies, Fahmy served as Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University (NYU) before joining AUC as a faculty member. A prolific writer, Fahmy authored several publications including Mehmed Ali: From Ottoman Governor to Ruler of Egypt (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2009); All the Pasha’s Men: Mehmed Ali Pasha, His Army and the Founding of Modern Egypt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); and The Body and Modernity: Essays in the History of Medicine and Law in Modern Egypt (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub, 2004).

karim ibrahem

Kareem Ibrahim

Urban Development Consultant
Co-Founder of Takween ICD

Kareem Ibrahim is an architect, planner, and graduated from Cairo University in 1995. In 1997, he worked on the UNDP’s Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project. He has also worked for Aga Khan Cultural Services – Egypt between 1997 and 2010 as the Built Environment Coordinator of the Darb al-Ahmar Revitalization Project, one of Cairo’s most ambitious urban revitalization programs. In 2009, he co-founded Takween Integrated Community Development and has been working on a range of issues including sustainable architecture, participatory planning, affordable housing, public infrastructure, and urban revitalization throughout Egypt with a number of local and international organizations.

ayman ismail

Ayman Ismail

Department of Management, School of Business, AUC

Ayman Ismail is Assistant Professor and Abdul Latif Jameel Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship at AUC School of Business, Department of Management.
Ismail graduated with an MBA from the American University in Cairo and a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

omnia khalil

Omnia Khalil

Urban Action

Omnia Khalil is an architect, researcher and M.A. student in the anthropology/sociology program at AUC. Her graduate thesis in the Department of Architecture in Cairo University focused on the Tanneries Quarter of Old Cairo and was featured at the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennale and awarded by the WA World Architecture Community. Khalil is interested in community urban action planning. She joined Tarek Waly Center in 2009, heading the Memphis World Heritage Site Plan. In October 2010 she released a 10-minute documentary Architecture Without Architects expressing the perception of Cairo’s residents toward beauty in architecture and buildings. In July 2012, she released her first exhibition Egyptian Urban Action which included a 25-minute short documentary on urban deteriorated areas and their residents’ status against governmental policies in formal/informal neighborhoods.

mokena makeka

Mokena Makeka

Makeka Design Lab

Mokena Makeka is principal and founder of Makeka Design Lab. His highlight was being selected among 100 architects globally by Herzog and de Meuron to be a part of the Ordos 100. He is a two-time recipient of the CIA Award of Merit and a 2010 nominee for the Johnnie Walker Celebrating Strides Awards in Design. He sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Design, is an external examiner at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (GSAPP) and lectures at the University of Cape Town. Makeka’s vision is to create a sound African aesthetic that serves the public and client, bringing dignity and grace to the built environment.

samia mehrez

Samia Mehrez

The Center for Translation Studies, AUC

Samia Mehrez is Professor of Arabic Literature and Director of the Center for Translation Studies at the American University in Cairo. She has published widely in the fields of modern Arabic literature, postcolonialstudies, translation studies, gender studies and cultural studies. She is the author of Egyptian Writers between History and Fiction: Essays on Naguib Mahfouz, Sonallah Ibrahim and Gamal al-Ghitani, AUC Press, 1994 and 2005 and Egypt’s Culture Wars: Politics and Practice, Routledge 2008, AUC Press 2010. Her edited anthologies A Literary Atlas of Cairo: One Hundred Years in the Life of the City and The Literary Life of Cairo: One Hundred Years in the Heart of the City, in which she translated the works of numerous Egyptian writers, are published by AUC Press (2010, 2011) and in Arabic by Dar Al-Shorouk, Cairo. She is the editor of Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir, AUC Press (2012). She is currently working on a translation from Arabic into English of Mona Prince’s memoir, Ismi Thawra (Revolution is My Name), forthcoming in 2013, and a book-length manuscript tentatively titled The Making of Revolutionary Culture in Egypt.

magda mostafa

Magda Mostafa

Department of Construction and Architectural Engineering, School of Sciences and Engineering, AUC

Magda Mostafa, Ph.D. is currently an Associate Professor of Architecture at the American University in Cairo. Her research interests include Architectural Education and Special Needs Design- particularly design for autism, for which she has recently developed the Autism ASPECTSS Design Index™. She has received various awards including the International Award for Excellence in the Design Field in 2008 and was shortlisted for the same award in 2012, as well as nominated for the 2005 UNESCO Prize for Research and Training in Special Needs Education for Children. She is an active member of the UNESCOInternational Union of Architects (UIA) Validation Council and Architectural Education Commission, where she currently serves as Deputy Regional Vice President for Region V and Co-Director of the Draft Panel on Academic & Professional Integrity and Plagiarism in Architectural Education and Professional Practice.

omar nagati

Omar Nagati


Omar Nagati is a Ph.D. candidate and practicing architect/ urban planner living in Cairo. A graduate of Cairo University, he studied and taught at the University of British Columbia and University of California Berkeley, with a special focus on informal urbanism. Nagati adopts an interdisciplinary approach to questions of urban history and design and engages in a comparative analysis of urbanization processes in developing countries. He teaches Urban Design Studio at the Modern Sciences and Arts University in Giza and he is a part-time instructor at Cairo University. Nagati has recently co-founded CLUSTER, a new platform for art, urban research and design initiatives in Downtown Cairo.

damon rich

Damon Rich

Division of Planning and Community Development, Newark, NJ

Damon Rich is a designer and artist, and currently serves as Chief Urban Designer for the City of Newark, New Jersey. In Newark, Damon leads design efforts with public and private actors to improve the city’s public spaces, including launching the Newark Public Art Program, rewriting the city’s zoning laws for the first time in 50 years, and overseeing the design of the city’s first riverfront parks. In his exhibitions, graphic works, and events, sometimes produced in collaboration with young people and community-based organizations, Rich creates fantastical spaces for imagining the physical and social transformation of the world. His work represented the United States at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has been exhibited at PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. In 1997, he founded the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) a nonprofit that uses design and art to improve civic engagement, and was Executive Director for 10 years. Damon has taught architecture and planning courses at the Cooper Union, Syracuse University, Pratt Institute, and the Parsons School of Design, and has written about architecture and politics for publications including Perspecta, The Nation, Domus, and Architecture.

 joseph schelcha Joseph Schechla

Housing and Land Rights Network, Cairo

Joseph Schechla has focused much of his research and field experience on popular movements and legal defense of economic, social and cultural rights within the UN Human Rights System. His articles and books have dealt with the human rights solutions to problems related to adequate housing and land, related forms of institutionalized discrimination, population transfer, and rights-based remedies for indigenous peoples and peoples under occupation. Having previously served as program coordinator with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Gaza, Palestine) and OHCHR representative in Tunisia (2011, 2012), and director of democratic development (AMIDEAST, Washington DC), since 2000, Joseph Schechla has been Cairo-based coordinator of the Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) of the Habitat International Coalition (HIC), an umbrella organization linking some 450 member organizations in over 100 countries promoting the human right to adequate housing.

 yahia shawkt Yahia Shawkat

Shadow Ministry of Housing

Yahia Shawkat is a built environment researcher and critiques built environment policy on his blog, Shadow Ministry of Housing. The Right to Housing Initiative, which identifies a greater right to housing that encompasses other rights like land, water and energy and aims to map social justice in the built environment on a national level, involves the production of a series of short documentaries in addition to a guide for civil society, activists and students. Shawkat is also a housing and land rights researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and has taught part-time at AUC. In 2008, he curated the Egyptian Pavilion at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale. Shawkat holds a B.Sc. in Architecture from Cairo University.

lindsey sherman

Lindsey Sherman

Urban-Think Tank, Caracas, Zurich

Lindsey Sherman received her Master of Architecture from Columbia University, GSAPP and her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she is a Project Architect at the interdisciplinary design practice Urban-Think Tank. At U-TT she leads several design projects, exhibitions, and research initiatives focusing on architecture, urban design, and mobility across South America, Europe, and Asia. In addition, Sherman has also worked in architecture offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Caracas.

dina shehayeb Dina Shehayeb

Shehayeb Consult

Dina K. Shehayeb is the principal of her private consultancy firm Shehayeb CONSULT as well as a professor at the Housing and Building National Research Centre (HBRC) in Cairo, Egypt. Graduated as an architect in 1984, she focused her post-graduate degrees on Environment – Behavior Relations in Architecture, Urban Design and Planning. With a specialty in trans-disciplinary research and practice, she works on bridging the gap between the physical environment and its socio-economic, cultural and psychological dimensions. Her practice offers expertise on culturally appropriate built environments and effective housing policies, community-based neighborhood upgrading and planning, conservation and revitalization of “living heritage” patterns. Shehayeb CONSULT has recently focused on research utilization in practice and policy making through the development of more usable tools and design guidelines. Shehayeb has conducted and trained in participatory design and action planning both nationally and internationally. She is a member of several committees and working groups both national and international institutions and has more than 30 publications in scientific journals, conference proceedings and international reports and books.

david sims David Sims

Author of Understanding Cairo

David Sims is an American economist and urban planner who has led a number of studies about Cairo’s urban development and housing.
He is the author of Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City Out of Control.

diane singerman Diane Singerman

Department of Government, American University, Washington D.C.

Diane Singerman is an Associate Professor at American University, Washington D.C. She is a comparativist whose research interests focus on political change from below, particularly in the Middle East, and more specifically Egypt. Her work examines the formal and informal side of politics, gender, social movements, globalization, public space, protest, and urban politics. Her most recent edited books are Cairo Contested: Governance, Urban Space, and Global Modernity, and Cairo Cosmopolitan: Politics, Culture, and Urban Space in the New Globalized Middle East. Singerman is also the Co-Director and Co-Founder of Middle East Studies at American University.

beth stryker Beth Stryker


Beth Stryker works between NYC and the Middle East and has recently curated exhibitions and programs for the Beirut Art Center, the AIA/Center for Architecture in NYC (where she held the position of Director of Programs), and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Her artworks have been exhibited widely including shows at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Stryker received her B.A. from Columbia University, and her M.Arch. from Princeton University. She recently cofounded CLUSTER, a new platform for art, urban research and design initiatives in Downtown Cairo.

superpool SUPERPOOL


Superpool: Selva Gürdoğan, Architect (born 1979, Turkey. 2003 graduate from Sci-Arc, USA) and Gregers Tang Thomsen, Architect (born 1974, Denmark. 2003 graduate from Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark) founded Superpool in Istanbul in 2006. They met at Rem Koolhaas’ studio Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 2003, where they worked until establishing Superpool. Currently, Superpool is engaged in TailorCrete, a European Commission-funded research project on incorporating robotics into concrete construction technology, along with the design of single-family houses in Zekeriyakoy, Istanbul. Superpool has also recently completed Mapping Istanbul, a book commissioned by Garanti Gallery with nearly a hundred maps and information graphics creating a valuable resource for architects, planners, and policymakers invested in the city’s future. Superpool is a recent contributor to the Audi Urban Future Award 2012 to research mobility in Istanbul in 2030.

 richard Richard N. Tutwiler

Desert Development Center, AUC

Richard N. Tutwiler is a research director specializing in rural development and natural resource management in the Middle East and North Africa. He has been Research Professor and Director of AUC’s Desert Development Center since 2001. Author of numerous publications on sustainable development, Tutwiler was a co-winner of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Article in 2000. His current research activities include desert development in Egypt and water management in the Nile Basin. Tutwiler earned his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Macalester College and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he also earned graduate diplomas in Middle East Studies. Tutwiler received The President’s Distinguished Service Award of the American University in Cairo in 2008.

ahmed zaazaa Ahmed Zaazaa

MADD Platform

Ahmed Zaazaa is an architect, urban designer and researcher, and he focused on informal territorial claims in public space and housing for his master’s thesis. He is particularly interested in working with local initiatives on participatory design in low-income areas. Zaazaa is a co-founder of Madd Platform, an urban hub that communicates with the public through local initiatives and connects ideas and proposals to willing expertise. Madd supports initiatives with shared skills and participatory principles to form a pool which feeds ground actions. Madd Platform is responsible for Al-Kum al-Ahmar Village Development Project and is currently working on the Mit ‘Uqba Development Project. Upcoming projects include ‘Izbit Awlad Allam Village Development Project. Zaazaa is also an instructor at the American University in Cairo and the Department of Architecture at Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport.