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Salem Al-Qudwa

Influential Architect and Academic

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Date of Birth:



Benghazi, Libya

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Significant contributions to architecture in conflict zones, focusing on sustainable and community-centered approaches.

Brief bio

Salem Al-Qudwa is recognized for his pioneering work in architecture, particularly in the context of conflict-affected areas in Palestine. His expertise in sustainable architecture and his dedication to rebuilding and rehabilitating communities have established him as a key figure in Palestinian architecture and academia. Al-Qudwa's contributions extend beyond construction; they encompass a holistic vision of architecture as a tool for social and environmental resilience.

Major Milestones


  • Educational Achievements:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine (1998-2003).

  • Master’s Degree in Architectural Engineering from the Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine (2011-2013).

  • PhD in Architecture from Oxford Brookes University (2015-2019).

  • Academic and Teaching Career:

  • Served as a Lecturer in Architecture at the Islamic University of Gaza from September 2003 to May 2018.

  • Professional Practice in Architecture and Humanitarian Work:

  • Worked as an Architect Project Coordinator with Islamic Relief Worldwide in the Gaza Strip from June 2006 to April 2013.

  • Served as Shelter Programme Manager for Secours Islamique France in the Gaza Strip during two terms, May to November 2018 and June to December 2019...See More

  • Fellowship at Harvard University:

  • Held a Fellowship at Harvard University from September 2020 to May 2022, focusing on research related to the reconstruction of communities devastated by conflict...See More

  • Leadership and Consultancy:

  • Construction Manager and Housing Specialist at Dream Design International since December 2022 in Rapid City, South Dakota, United States.

  • Research on Reconstruction of Conflict-Affected Communities:

  • His PhD research titled "Architecture of the Everyday as a Responsive Possibility in Gaza, Palestine," exploring local community engagement in the reconstruction process to create appropriate homes responding to socio-cultural practices.

  • Development of Housing Prototypes:

  • Developing self-help housing prototypes to address the dire housing need in Gaza, focusing on the use of existing materials and sustainable, simple schemes.

  • Teaching and Curriculum Development:

  • Co-founded the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Engineering at Birzeit University, contributing significantly to architectural education in Palestine.

  • Award-Winning Architectural Projects:

  • Led several notable projects, including the design and rehabilitation of historical and heritage sites such as the Araba Palaces, recognized with awards for their contribution to local urban heritage and community use.

  • Advocacy for Professional Architecture Practice:

  • Promoted a professional methodology in architecture, adhering to global standards like those issued by UNESCO and ICOMOS, particularly in the context of documentation, intervention, and architectural design processes...See More

Date of Last Update: 
April 6, 2024

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