Between the 7th and the 8th of April, at the IUAV University (Venice Architecture University), took place a 2 days conference about the future of Syria, in therm of possible scenarios of reconstruction after the end of the war.
Even if the conflict is still taking place and the country is living in a full situation of instability due to the presence of ISIS in different regions, it’s never too late to start thinking how to rebuild a country that is facing one of the biggest crisis since its foundation. The 15th of march 2016 has been the 5th anniversary of this terrible conflict, and the UN has been calculating so far 250.000 people dead and 1 million injured since the beginning of the war. The numbers are different if we check the sources: the independent think-tank Syrian Center for Policy Research declared that in this conflict died at least 470.000 people. Syria had a population 23 million people before the conflict and now half of the population is not living anymore in the same place. The statistics say that 6.5 million Syrians are now displaced and 4,8 million of them are refugees outside the country. The majority are in Turkey (2.62m), Lebanon (1.2m), Giordania (600k), Iraq (245k) and a minority is spread around Europe.
What about the economy of the country?
The World Vision Organization and Frontier Economics have been calculating so far 275 billions of dollars of lack of growth and if the conflict is going to continue to 2020 the lack is going to arrive to the astronomic number of 1,3 trillion of dollars. But this conflict is not just a huge problem for the economy of Syria: just think about Giordania, that due to the war is loosing around 2,5 billion of dollars every year.
So with this numbers the question is: what’s next for the Syria? Who is going to pay to rebuild the country?
In Venice, at the conference called “URBICIDE SYRIA” organized by IUAV and curated by prof. Wesam Asali and Prof Jacopo Galli, we interviewed two of the main experts in Architecture of the Islamic World, such as prof. Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor and Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and professor Salma Samar Damluji, MMA Binladen Chair for Architecture in the Islamic Word at the Department of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut and an expert about Syria but also about Yemen.