Nadia Habash, a professor of architecture at Birzeit University, said in a telephone interview, “The general Palestinian situation is always present in teaching, because we are raising a generation that uses architecture for resistance and steadfastness, and therefore most competitions with its different subjects focus on these concepts.”
Habash, who was chosen by the magazine Middle East Architect as one of the 50 most influential architects in the region for 2019, is also one of the founders of the Department of Architecture at Birzeit University. She always advises her students, she says, to focus on content and goals to produce “an authentic, productive architecture that respects and serves its environment, contributes to its development and is characterized by creative form compatible with this environment and keeping pace with the latest technological developments.”
Majd Malki, one of the team members, agreed with that point. “There is a great tendency within the university to make us think that architecture is not just a building, and what is required is to understand the surrounding with its different contexts before building,” he said in a telephone interview.
The Port Is for Everybody
The team was also inspired by the forms of daily life in Palestine, where private spaces are absent due to Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian-owned lands, and the Palestinian authorities’ adoption of a land-use classification system.