AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Affairs
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts


STEM Designation
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Skill Trails
Student Affairs
Student Awards
Student Conduct
Student Council (All Programs)
Student Financial Services
Student Health Services at Columbia
Student Organization Handbook
Student Organizations
Student Services Center
Student Services Online (SSOL)
Student Work Online
Studio Culture Policy
Studio Procedures
Summer Workshops
Support GSAPP
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6

Celebrating Arab Heritage at GSAPP

Masaha and GSAPP have launched a series to celebrate Arab heritage by highlighting the work of Arab alumni from across GSAPP’s programs whose work spans multiple disciplines across the globe. Scroll down to learn more about the work of the first three featured alumni: Nora Akawi ‘11 MSCCCP, Joanne Hayek ‘12 MSAAD, and Marwan Ghandour ‘88 MSAAD.

Nora Akawi ‘11 MSCCCP is an Assistant Professor at Cooper Union School of Architecture, former faculty member at GSAPP. As a student at GSAPP, Akawi’s thesis, advised by Professor Felicity Scott, was on the role of archives in the formation of Palestinian future spatial imaginaries. Her research focuses on bordering and ruination as the architectural project of settler colonialism. She formerly directed GSAPP’s Studio-X Amman, where she helped found the Janet Abu-Lughod Library and Seminar.

Here are some links to learn more about Nora Akawi’s practice:

  • Akawi and Interim Projects co-founder Eduardo Rega Calvo delivered a presentation titled “Rehearsing Exits” at the Practice and Pedagogy lecture series at the Architectural Association in 2022.
  • Akawi and musician-composer Khyam Allami had a conversation on Tuning, Bias, and the Wild Beyond as part of L’Internationale Online’s public talks in 2021.
  • Akawi curated the exhibition “Al Majhoola Min Al Ard” (This Earth’s Unknown) at the FRAC Center’s Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans in 2019.
  • Akawi delivered the lecture “Traversing Territories” as the 2018 Harvard GSD Aga Khan Lecture.
  • The Arab City: Architecture and Representation, (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2016) is a book co-edited with Dean Emerita and Professor Amale Andraos and Caitlin Blanchfield ‘14 MSCCCP that engages contemporary architectural and urban production in the Arab worlds.
  • Akawi’s presentation at the “GSAPP at the Venice Biennale” event on September 21, 2018 presented her curation of the Bahrain Pavilion and its associated publication Friday Sermon.

Joanne Hayek ‘12 MSAAD is the founder of An Open Studio, a multi-disciplinary practice for the design of sustainable futures, as well as the lifestyle label Vanina. Hayek is also a senior lecturer at the American University of Beirut’s Department of Architecture and Design and assistant professor at the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI). Following the explosion, which demolished their ateliers and store in Gemmayze, Hayek and Vanina co-founder Tatiana Fayad stated in Financial Times, “Today, more than ever, we are determined to continue expanding our brand internationally, grow our local network of creation, and support our family of artisans.”

Here are some links to learn more about Joanne Hayek’s practice:

Marwan Ghandour ‘88 MSAAD is the director of the School of Architecture and Emogene Pliner Professor at Louisiana State University and a partner at the Beirut-based architectural firm Bawader Architects. Ghandour’s academic projects include comparative urban regeneration strategies in the global south, the expansive space of the modern state and its urban management tools, and design at the geo-communal scale where ecology, urbanization, infrastructure, and politics are integrated. Most recently, Ghandour participated in the 2020 “Emergency Architecture and Planning: Recovering Beirut Post-Explosion” event hosted by the GSAPP Collective for Beirut.

Here are links to articles and a lecture to learn more about Marwan Ghandour’s practice:

About this Series
The series was launched in April 2022, on the occasion of Arab American Heritage Month, to highlight the work of GSAPP’s Arab alumni engaged in international practices across multiple fields including architecture, exhibitions, and design. The initiative is ongoing; please reach out to masaha@columbia.edu and communications@arch.columbia.edu to nominate alumni.
About Masaha

Masaha is a student association that investigates contemporary issues facing the Arab world. Using the historic Saha as precedent, Masaha creates a platform where diverse perspectives coexist to question and redefine the many Arab identities. The association aims to connect creative students across disciplines to contribute to the improvement and development of scholarship that focuses on the Arab world. In an existential time where we are witnessing cities being flattened to the ground, while others ascend vertically and unsustainably, we offer this platform for people who are interested in learning about our past, present, and future issues that continue to shape our cities and shape us. Masaha is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious professional organization that is open to all GSAPP students.

The student group was established in January 2021 with the help of Ziad Jamaleddine and with the support of Dean Andraos. The group has since launched a podcast series, organized a multitude of events at GSAPP and around NYC. They are currently working on launching a publication which is coming out later this summer, so stay tuned!