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- zawia is an idea, born in a time of significant change, to bridge years and layers of intellectual distancing and isolation. It is a trial to provide channels and open new possibilities for a mutual constructive dialogue within its discipline, a trial to re-establish links of relevancy and necessity between the local and the global community. It is a trial to cope with and absorb a powerful wave of change with all its energies and promises. - zawia is a periodical publication, and an online forum, on design, architecture and urbanism. - zawia is about collaboration, discussion of ideas, and the sharing of knowledge. Hence, ZAWIA provides an open platform for the collective knowledge of architectural discourse, a space for questioning, rethinking, examining, and testing, a space that is organic, hybrid and unexpected.   - zawia oscillates between research and practice as it is open to ideas, processes, encounters, experiences, musings, utopias, projects, manifestos, comics, photographs, articles and essays.   - zawia is a hybrid of different locales, positioned between the generic and the specificity of contexts. - zawia founders:  Ahmed Gamal    Ahmed Shawky    Kareem Hammouda    Mazin Abdulkarim    Moataz Faissal Farid
how ZAWIA works?
- zawia produces its volumes in English and Arabic. Each volume discusses a specific theme or field of interest, presenting a collection of contributions, bringing them into a constructive dialogue. Zawia will also be available in digital formats. - zawia concentrates on themes that are selected by a ‘Core Team’. The themes are grounded within local problems and issues to link them to a wider global perspective.   - zawia keeps the process of ‘call for contributions’ at its center, aiming to avoid the barrier of editorial selectiveness, and achieving its role as an open forum. Contributions are ordered, organized, and graphically edited by the ‘Core Team’ into the publication and/or the online forum.   - Each volume of zawia will be complemented by one or several public events, inviting contributors, collaborators, and the public to engage in and around the volume's theme.
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process /
how a volume populates?
03 contributors
ZAWIA will be published 2 or 3 times a year. each issue will focus on a specific theme selected by the core team, discussing local problems and issues linking them to a wider global perspective. the collected contributions will be featured, bringing them into a constructive dialogue.
05 opportunities
04 publication
01 core team
collaborators play a fundamental role in the process. they help spreading the idea and news of ZAWIA, and act as local correspondents in their cities and countries. they help reach deep into their architectural/design communities by building and providing a local network of contacts.
02 collaborators
how ZAWIA works? /
opportunities are possible scenarios of the outcome of ZAWIA in the future. possibilities include workshops, projects, web based discussion forums and cultural events, that ZAWIA can help achieve during or after its lifetime with the help from its network of collaborators and contributors.
in every issue they will be invited to contribute with their work. contriburions are open and welcomed from all diciplines, on the condition that the submitted work relates to the issue brief proposed by the core team.  
the core team members are the founders of zawia. they operate from egypt, italy and the uk managing the publication and its logistics. core team members: mazin abdulkarim (cairo) moataz faissal farid (milan) ahmed gamal (brighton) kareem nabil (cairo) ahmed shawky (london)
discussions will be held in two directions. firstly, debating the themes, where everyone will be invited to engage in a constructive discussion about the proposed theme. secondly, further discussions will investigate the contributions to the issue after being published. all discussions will take place on the ZAWIA forum.
contributions to ZAWIA are open in every possible mean. the submiited contribution can follow any format on the condition that it relates to the proposed topic. contributions can be written text, case studies, projects, photographical essays, drawings, sketches or illustrations.
03 dialogue
05 publication
each volume of ZAWIA will have a unique theme, selected and described by the core team. the idea is to link local problems and issues to a global perspective, with the aim of creating a constructive dialogue between different ideologies, over ideas, researches and case studies.
01 themes
every issue of ZAWIA will be a collection of selected contributions. it can also be considered a celebration of a 4-5 months work, between the core team, the collaborators and the contributors
04 contributions
02 brief
briefs will take the form of a 'call for paper'. the core team will publicly share the document. a deadline for sending abstracts will be indicated, followed by a phase of finalizing the issue with the featured contributors. briefs will be prepared by the core team, with the support of the collaborators network.
RELEASED: to ordered via peecho
september 2012
december 2013
volumes / 
september 2014
RELEASED: free viewing on issuu and to order via peecho
puchase zawia#00:Change copy
volumes /
The debut volume zawia#00:Change featured 27 contributions varying from short and long essays to art and photography essays to exhibition reviews and interviews. Contributions came from 14 different countries, to mention some: Saskia Sassen, Stefano Boeri, Markus Miessen, Joseph Grima, Pier Paolo Tamburelli, and Carlo Ratti among others. Since its release in September 2012, zawia#00:Change has been viewed online more than 10,000 times on all its platforms (free preview still available). We have since received copy requests from many universities and institutions, and the volume has been praised by many for the diverse content it holds
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Read zawia#00:Change on ISSUU
Significantly changing realities imposed on all social, political and economic systems definitely require suitable transformations. It is within this complex global situation and continuous fluctuations; that today’s architects and designers are forced to operate. On one side, the profession suffers from large underemployment or even unemployment, while those in business chase after fewer projects for less money. On the other side, the opportunities allowed by these rapid changes and fluctuations, a serious restructuring of current socio-political and economic systems, along with the empowering caused by social media networks, all pose questions about the role of design, architecture and urbanism in this new world. If architectural thinking is continuously questioning and critiquing the status quo, is it, then, capable of addressing its relation to political and economic structures, and societal change in renewed vigor? Can architecture reject current rules dictated by developers and banks contributing something invaluable to this extraordinary process of change?
The volume features contributions from Yara Saqfalhait, Rem Koolhaas, Nicolas Guiraud, Noel David Nicolaus, Daniel Fernández Pascual, Aleix Plademunt, Sir Peter Cook, Ruvimbo Moyo, Damon Kowarsky, Silvia Malcovati, Tamer El-Shayal, Zhang Xiao, Hamed Khosravi, Noémie Goudal, Luis Miguel [Koldo] Lus-Arana, Saverio Pesapane, Livia Corona and Pedro Azara.
Utopia, a phrase coined by Thomas More in 1516 to highlight the Greek paradox of the word describing both the ideal place, perfect in every aspect (Eutopia) and also ironically non existent (Ou-topia), the no place. Like many polarities in life many believe it can be achieved, it has to exist, it is there somewhere. Equally passionate are the group with the opposing opinion viewing this notion as complete disengagement to the realities of the world we live today. How can such place exist?  zawia#01:Utopia critiques rather than displays utopia. It is not a collection of utopian/dystopian views and ideals, but rather a trial to devour both.
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download zawia#02:Sacred CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
‘Sacred’ is a term often used but rarely understood; origin forgotten. In an increasingly secular, growing non-religious society, sacred is applied as a metaphor; word play rather than true meaning. ...The relation between the Sacred and the Secular lies confounded between two counter poles; the first secular understanding declares any place, where people come together in healthy, positive fellowship as ‘Sacred’, and hence unintentionally downgrades the value of the ‘Sacred’, while the second ties it to the sacredly divine; such as a well-defined space with a special set of conditions and rituals. How can this dilemma of coexistence occur between both? How can this relation be defined? How can an inevitable isolation and disregard be avoided? How does this conflict impact our built environment every day? ...What are the effects of the Sacred in the core dynamics of cities and societies? What role has it played in defining and shaping people’s life? How globalized has it become? Can we consider it problematic continuing to label our spaces and physical world ‘Sacred’ again and again? Are we limiting our more apparently ‘free’ world? Will the continuous ‘Sanctification’ of buildings, sites, spaces or even cities ever stop? ...zawia#02 will put in focus a contemporary understanding of ‘Sacred’ from a spatial and physical angle. It will aim to define a new role of the ‘Sacred’ in today’s built environment as well as trying to trace the influence of the ‘Sacred’ on societies in a globalized world. It will open a debate revolving around the ‘Sacred’ influence on dynamics of today’s contemporary architecture and cities.  
february 2013
launching event - Milan
launching event - Cairo
events /
zawia#00:Change - Milan
zawia#00:Change - Cairo
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