Decentralizing power : building peace through architecture in the Middle East

El Masri, Yasser
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This paper argues that applying contextually conscious, and sustainable design principles in Middle urban environments has far-reaching social, cultural and environmental implications that could help diffuse and mitigate future conflicts and increase survivability for inhabitants. Initially, an extensive study of the role of cultural perception through the eyes of colonialism and orientalism on the conflicts and architecture of the Middle Eastern region, particularly its legacy on identity, and architecture indicates the fact that due to this legacy, modern conflicts in the Middle East tend to be recurring, identity based and related to resource inequity. These findings inform the idea that architecture has a duty to adapt and deal with the complicated problems that face the populace and play a role in an attempt to alleviate them. Modern residential and commercial building design and construction in the Middle East region had failed to react accordingly to these various dangers as proven by the immense recurring conflicts and levels of destruction and suffering present in various modern-day Middle Eastern urban battlegrounds. By studying the experience of people inhabiting these urban zones, and their relationship to the government and its effect on resource and energy, a framework of architectural intervention dubbed “Peace Building Architectural Intervention” that incorporates political, cultural, and energy contexts is theorized that is a vital tool to protect people in conflict-prone areas by helping diffuse these conflicts, aid them by giving them energy and resource dependence, power transparency and cultural expression