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Warriors of change: Inside look at Egypt’s architects calling for social and cultural change

Article-Warriors of change: Inside look at Egypt’s architects calling for social and cultural change

Women Architects in Egypt
CityscapeWIRE Revealed: A look at the women in the architectural space in Egypt making a significant social, environmental, cultural and academic impact in their field.


A fervent champion of sustainable design, Sarah El Battouty is an award-winning architect with almost two decades of experience in the green building and sustainable design field in Egypt. Founder of ECOnsult, a leading Egyptian green building and sustainability consultant that today boasts the largest portfolio of environmental and green transitions in the country, Sarah is also an advisor to the Egyptian Presidency on climate and is a global ambassador for UNFCC High level climate champions. Her focus on environmental awareness, resource management and building sustainable communities speaks for itself, with the Egyptian government recognising her expertise in 2018 and her work as a co-author of Egypt’s Tarsheed Rating System for Green Building.


With a firm focus on heritage, Egyptian architect Dr May Al-Ibrashy is all about community engagement and cultural preservation. Founder and Chair of Megawra, a Built Environment Collective that consists of a partnership between an architectural firm and an NGO, May, a licensed engineer with nearly three decades of experience, looks at linking cultural heritage to sustainability and social responsibility. Hailed for making a difference for the marginalised Cairo communities, she believes in socio-economic empowerment through design and sustainable urban regeneration.


Architect and lecturer, Deena El-Mahdy is a big proponent of conservation and cultural heritage in design. A lecturer at the British University in Egypt, Deena strongly believes that in for architecture to flourish there needs to be collaboration between academic, practice and industrial sectors. Her research focuses on digital materialisation, additive manufacturing, robotics and augmented reality in construction and tackles the merging of sustainable materials such as clay, sand and salt. Deena has several awards to her name, including Tatweer Misr’s architecture and design challenge in 2018.


A Barakat Trust Fellow at Victoria and Albert Museum and the Head of Development at the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation, Omniya Abdel Barr is one of the biggest advocators of Cairo’s cultural and architectural heritage. Dividing her time between London and Cairo, Omniya has a strong focus in Islamic architecture and is the project manager of Rescuing the Mamluk Minbars of Cairo, a project funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund. A big proponent of preserving Cairo’s heritage, Omniya has been vocal with her support on architectural conservation and calling for a halt on the looting of Islamic monuments in Cairo.


An associate professor of design in the architecture department at the American University in Cairo, Magda Mostafa’s work and research is all about how the power of design has the potential to bring about change and creativity. Currently the co-director of UNESCO-UIA, a global think-tank that looks at establishing architectural educational policies, Magda is also the author Aspectss, an autism design index, the world’s first evidence-based design framework to address built environment for those with autism worldwide. The Aspectss guideline index has been used across the world in countries in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.



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