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Competition History and Operation - YEAR 3

06 September, 2019

  • Competition for the Reconstruction of Destroyed Palestinian Villages "Year 3" :

  • Jury deliberating the submissions of the Competition for the Reconstruction of Destroyed Palestinian Villages "Year 3" :


  • Announcement of awards of the Competition for the Reconstruction of Destroyed Palestinian Villages "Year 3" :

  • Some of the attendees during the Competition for the Reconstruction of Destroyed Palestinian Villages "Year 3" :


  • The Winners of the Competition for the Reconstruction of Destroyed Palestinian Villages "Year 3" are:

The first prize:

Yasmina Salman,  An-Najah National University (NJH01)


Sataf Village - Jerusalem District

    Why Sataf?
This particular village does not have a book to help immortalize it, it will however, be given a voice that will ring loud and clear through the architectural modifications that will take place. Each building and every tree will be a visual time-line that can be read with clarity by anyone to lay eyes on it.

فوز الطالبة ياسمينة سلمان من الجامعة بالجائزة الأولى في مسابقة إعادة إعمار القرى الفلسطينية المدمرة

الطالبة ياسمينة سلمان من قسم الهندسة المعمارية في جامعة النجاح الوطنية، تفوز بالجائزة الأولى في مسابقة إعادة إعمار القرى الفلسطينية المدمرة فَألف مُبارك لكِ هذا النجاح والتميُّز

Posted by ‎جامعة النجاح الوطنية - An-Najah National University‎ on Thursday, September 12, 2019
فوز الطالبة ياسمينة سلمان من الجامعة بالجائزة الأولى في مسابقة إعادة إعمار القرى الفلسطينية المدمرة

The agricultural issue:
The unique agricultural scene of the Palestinian village is what truly grants it its identity. Therefore, it is of vital importance that this scene is portrayed with great clarity. This becomes possible with the treatment of the layers that time has casted upon this village and by removing anything added and alien to this precious scene after the last study conducted on the area in 1945.

The agricultural scene here is a complex scene, which consists of two sides; one is the scene of a Palestinian agricultural village before 1948, which is characterized by the richness and diversity of vegetation in it, whether rainfed agriculture in the terraces or irrigated agriculture in the cords. The other scene is the park in Sataf, built by the JNF on the ruins of the village. This park is characterized by a systematic hierarchy reflecting mixed practices through forests planted after the destruction of the village. The landscape layers that I presented in the analysis are based on the oral history and the words of the people who grew up in the village before the Nakba, and some documents from the Zionist archive.

Claims that this village is an example of traditional” Israeli” agriculture and their desire to transform it into a hollow tourist attraction will be denied profusely. This will happen through the assignment of plots of land to each house for the inhabitants to cultivate as they see fit, thus mimicking the traditional Palestinian village lifestyle and again, breathing life back into the area by the rightful owners.

After studying the layers of the agricultural scene in Sataf from 1945 to 2019 , and the change in its agricultural identity through the forests planted by the Jewish National Fund, the locations of the trees that express the real agricultural landscape, namely the olive fields in the northeastern part of the village, were preserved, and none of them was removed . While the forests planted by the JNF, it was decided to remove part of it in order to build housing units that fit the assumed population.

Concept and project’s approach:
The living conditions of the villagers were less than ideal and that cannot be denied. This however, is not an excuse for the atrocious crimes committed by the Israeli Occupation. The people of the village should have had the chance to live through the various stages of natural growth of their village, which is a basic right of theirs. The children of "Staff" had the right to grow up in the shade of the trees planted by their grandparents and their grandparents before them. They should have had the chance to be the face of change; to be the beacons of light for the elders of the village, revealing a much brighter future. In this project, a portal into a painting of an occupation-free future will be created.

The villager's lifestyle may have had innumerable benefits, but it also had a slightly dark side, especially in the 40s of the previous centuries. Poverty had poisoned minds of the people of the village, making them believe in sorcery and other tall tales, thus rendering them unable to accept those who were of a higher intellectual or social status. This created cracks in the social fabric of the village and only worsened their quality of life. This project aims to create a sort of revolution and cleansing of the minds of the people, through the building of hospitals and schools, rendering intellectual setbacks. Every member of the community matters and plays a role that keeps things in order and running smoothly. This can be interpreted in the stone barriers and fences surrounding the village, made up of rocks of every shape and size, each rock playing a viral role in the solidity of the whole.

The project’s approach has many different aspects:
1. It is a well-known fact that there is no life without water. This is what has essentially caused humans to settle near these water resources since the dawn of time, which in turn has led to the creation of close-knit communities all around the world. Due to this, the village heart will be the spring, which branches radially, breathing life in every direction and in every stone and grain of dirt it touches. This particular sense of community can be seen ss interpreted in the village's urban fabric and the way that dwellings had been built closely together and around a small interactive area called a "housh". This pattern has been duplicated multiple times throughout the village, creating a certain identity there. Taking a unit of this nature, adopting it and then modifying it to suit the contemporary lifestyle will assist in the creation of emotional attachment and belonging in those who live there.

2. Woman have always played a primary role in the Palestinian lifestyle, especially in villages. The woman of this particular village is no different. They would walk 10 kilometers each day, carrying around 25 kilograms of crops - the fruits of their labors and pains - to sell in Jerusalem. In this project, the path that they carved with their delicate, yet determined footsteps, will become a commercial route for the sale of crops, organic products and the produce of the village factory, through stalls contributed through trees and agricultural lands. It is time to bring buyers to the village, specifically to female workers, to proudly sell what their hands have produced in their land.

1. I faced a lot of difficulties in data collection process, whether aerial photos, maps or historical documents. It took a long time to access and classify this information. I communicated with many people as geographers, journalists and old people who lived in Sataf.

2. It was Difficult to reach a modern high-quality aerial photo, because I am a resident of the West Bank and I cannot access such data via the Internet.

3. I had a hard time getting to the village because I am a Green ID holder, so I applied for a permit twice and waited for two months until the permit was issued. Finally, I visited the village on 7/8/2019. I do not hide that the sensory experience in the village has changed my understanding of many things that I built my vision on it before, so correcting some of my perceptions of the village and its nature after this tour took me quite a while.

4. The demolition of 97% of the village houses in 1967, had made the village without a clear identity.

5. For me at first, so at the beginning of I was so far from conceiving of the construction of the village, and then I became much closer to understand it slowly after research and scrutiny and trying to link information with each other.

Echo of the project and the competition:

- Quds News Network: https://qudsn.co/post/169202
- Al-Najah National University News: https://www.najah.edu/ar/about/achiever/fwz-ltlb-ysmyn-slmn-mn-ljm-bljyz-lwl-fy-msbq-d-mr-lqr-lflstyny-lmdmr/
Al-Najah News reportage video:
هوانا الوطن

الفائزة بالجائزة الاولى في مسابقة اعادة اعمار القرى الفلسطينية المدمرة من جامعة النجاح الوطنية

Posted by ‎فضائية النجاح - An-Najah Nbc‎ on Sunday, September 15, 2019


The second prize:
Nour Balshi (Team leader), American University of Beirut, (AUB02)
Christina Battikha
Careen Matta
Carmen Matta
Elio Mousa

    Project: Ain Ghazal Village - Haifa District
    - A Cultural Infrastructure for a Landscape of Resistance
    - A bridge that merges with the landscape.
    - A tower that watches over the surroundings.
    - Water that revives the land.

Ain Ghazal is a village located about 20km South of Haifa, and 4km away from the shore at an altitude of 110m above sea level. Ain Ghazal used to be a prosperous village, with most of its economy relying on agriculture and farming; its proximity to Haifa allowed its inhabitants to work in the city as well.
Most importantly though, Ain Ghazal is a symbol of Palestinian resistance and a figure of heroism against the Israeli invasion. Along with the neighboring villages of Jabaa and Ajzam, Ain Ghazal was part of the “Little Triangle”, which resisted two Israeli raids in June and July of 1948. On the 25th of August of that year, and despite the truce, the Israeli army, under the pretense of a police operation, attacked the resisting villages, a third and final time. Unfortunately, it was a fatal attach for the villages; according to the UN, 8,000 people were displaced and 130 were killed or reported missing.

Today, all that remains are a few scattered ruins between the shrubs. No one is to be seen for miles, except for the cars traversing the landscape on the newly built Israeli road, cutting through the old town.
But Ain Ghazal is not dead; its memory remains through these ruins, through the preserved Sheikh Shehade Makam, and through its inhabitants, dispersed within occupied Palestine and around the world.
Ain Ghazal is not dead, and we are bringing it back to life in a new physical and spatial form that commemorates its permanent resistance; a new form that will host life for it to prosper again.

Ain Ghazal used to boast many sources of water that quenched the thirst of its inhabitants and irrigated its fertile lands, giving its name to the village. These sources were destroyed along with the buildings during the Israeli attacks, and the water was used to supply the Israeli state, mainly through Mekorot, the national water company of Israel. The village therefore doesn’t have active water sources anymore. Furthermore, the Israelis built a large road that disfigured its landscape, and cut through the fertile terraces which used to bear many fruit and olive trees.
In order to recover the identity of Ain Ghazal, we propose to start with the source of life, to bring back the water within a new spatial interpretation of the “ain”, which is intended to reclaim Palestinian presence on site and remove the violent infrastructural and physical traces of occupation. Accordingly, a water reservoir will be created between the two hills – collecting rainwater and using underground resources – which will in turn connect the landscape, and be used for the village to be self-sustainable, off the Israeli grid. The body of water created will then visually and symbolically drown the divisive road built by the Israelis.
As water flows again, life comes back to Ain Ghazal. The water reservoir becomes an inhabited infrastructure irrigating agriculture lands and hosting the cultural activities of the village, acting as a bridge not only between the hills, but also between the past of the village and its future. The structure acts as a make shift space as well. Temporary houses are provided for inhabitants as well to reside while they build their own houses. All functions are embedded in this structure that becomes a landmark, acting as the heart and brain of the village. It is the gate to the town, as its main façade inevitably welcomes those who are driving on the road. The structure is therefore a multifaceted gesture that is spatial, visual, functional, and symbolic.

Approaching Ain Ghazal, one first sees a tower reaching to the skies. This tower acts as vertical circulation for the project, reaching an elevated platform that watches over the surroundings, flagging the village below. The village peaks through a layer of local vegetation that organically grows on the glazed façade. At its center, it opens up to welcome visitors into the town, continuing under the water to resurface at the end of the village.

On the lower floors, parking areas are available for both residents and visitors who can then reach the market on the floor above, which oversees the road and the car flow. To the north, light industries ensure sustainable economic growth, providing jobs for the residents. The fourth floor is divided into two parts: a more private part consisting of clinics and classrooms to the South, and a more public part forming the museum to the North. The museum celebrates the memory of Ain Ghazal and encourages visitors to experience how the village resisted occupation and violence. The floors above include the school, temporary housing stacked around courtyards on the South, and the amphitheater and library on the North. On the 6th floor, the southern part is dedicated to the religious quarters, and an indoor socializing space includes seating spaces and a cafeteria. The northern part provides features a public multipurpose hall and features the municipality. The roof thus becomes the “Saha” of Ain Ghazal, a living outdoor space where all the community gather. It overlooks the surroundings, enjoying the sea view, but mostly overlooks its own water reservoir, which acts an open-air amphitheater when the water level decreases in summer. Around the water, terraces are planted with local plants and vegetables. As such, while agriculture and farming remain one a main cultural practice and source of revenue of Ain Ghazal, as it used to be, residents can also sell their produce to the city as is, or after being processed in the village’s small industries. Dispersed in the landscape, signs indicate the location of old monuments and Makams ensure that residents and visitors remain connected to their history and memory, and continue the museum experience in the natural environment.

As water brings life back to Ain Ghazal, it progressively spreads into and around the water reservoir, while people build their homes and farm their lands. The village develops along the rhythm of its inhabitants, naturally growing, uniting with its land as an ultimate symbol of resistance and belonging.

Ain Ghazal survives.


Meral Tabakhna, Birzeit University, (BZU04)

Project: Ain Ghazal Village - Haifa District

"Ayn Ghazal 2050"

Ayn Ghazal is a Palestinian village located 21 kilometers south of Haifa. The village was built at the edge of a valley on the upper slopes of Mount Carmel. It was close to a highway connecting Haifa to Tel Aviv, and its location gave it special importance during the 1948 war. After 1948, it was completely destroyed, except for one building remained in the village which is Sheikh Shehadeh Maqam. The colony of Ofer was then established in 1950 on the lands of the village, two kilometers southeast of them.

"Ayn Ghazal 2050" is a project that creates a conception of the village of Ayn Ghazal after liberation, building it with the town's refugee population in Nur Shams camp in Tulkarm. The design was inspired by the experience of the indigenous Zapatistas and the philosophy of "walking and learning." The project addresses several practical issues such as population growth and ownership, population density, transportation, Ayn Ghazal relationship with neighboring cities, and others. The project also is based on the principles of participatory ownership in property, work and equality.

However, the project does not only envision the shape of the town after the return, but also envisages the role of the village's people in the development of the tools of return since today, designing economic structures in Nur Shams camp that enable the Refugees of the village to give up the dependence of the colonizer (as most of the camp's youth work in the occupied territories).

Building connection with the people of the village:
In order to get the vision (the proposed design) it was necessary first to start with nuclei. The nuclei are connected to the people of the village (Refugees in Nur Shams camp) in Tulkarm. From the refugees, two important nuclei were extracted; Memories of the village in order to recover what cannot be forgotten or ignored, and the current conditions of Refugees in the Camp.

After reviving the nuclei, the process of design took place through participating and involving the Refugees in the design process. The participatory design included many ways; identifying local group and community hubs in the camp, make community assessment meetings, listen to them and incorporate my thought and opinion in order to reach the Refugees Needs and Desires.

The Research through the past and present conditions of both sites and the surrounding areas and designing with camp members and hubs, in order to identify values and concerns within the camp; generated an equitable design that is based on Several BYLAWS and principles.

Plan of action:
Nur -shams refugee camp currently coexist difficult circumstances. The Refugees are in need of new living principles and values that uplift a new life system and form the KEY toward the future life. The refugee camp current economic, political and cultural systems are useless. Palestinian Refugees are in need of proposals for transformation that will end the cycle of the current life conditions, and instead create a future where equality, true democracy, community ownership and sustainability are available.

New Life Principles in Ayn Ghazal Village: 

Working conditions:
The term EMPLOYEE will no longer take place, instead there will be PROMOTERS. PROMOTERS will SERVE and PRODUCE for the sake of their community rather than to have a SALARY. Also,
the community will support promoters with all surviving basics for free (including every type of production) for example; home and all community services. This will mean equal support to all people. Also Companies and businesses terms will be transformed into BODIES.

Days of week:
WORKING DAYS will be PRODUCTION DAYS INSTEAD. Production days will not have exact mandatory work period, instead each promoter will be committed on his/her own to terminate the duties towards the community, because the process is Reciprocal. Therefore Promoters have to manage their time in an effective manner, and so will have MORE FREE-TIME. In addition to that, there will be during the week A COMMUNITY DAY, where all people of all age groups will participate in charitable work for the benefit of the entire community.

Democracy: Through THE HUB = Al- Diwan house that maintain equal access by all people. The hub will be used to; plan, find solutions, meet new cultures, communicate and share knowledge.

Habitation: Each habitation unit will consist of main living necessities. therefore the units will be small as Refugees adapt the idea of living in camp small houses, and this is mainly to encourage transforming from INDOOR GENERATION to more PRODUCTIVE GENERATION.

The Vision (Architectural result):
In addition to the exact site of the old village, the proposed design will be expanded to the colony of Ofer (the new expansion).

Site of old village: The starting point is from the Original villagers where the only reaming building in the village (Al-Maqam) stands, which is located in the old village’s cemetery. The start is a memorial for the village that consists of concrete walls and halls in the ground. These walls and halls will remain through time and life changes to signify the existence of the village.
Due to the importance of the old village site, the land will be used for all kinds of production and socializing such as, Farming (in community farm) working (in bodies), producing (workshops), learning (in cultural zone), and commercial exchanging (community market) planning (in Al-Diwan) and socializing (in the public square- Saha), but the lands will never be used for horizontal housing expansion purposes. Instead Habitation in the old site of the village will be vertically established. In addition to that, all forested lands will remain the same, for the sake of the natural environment, and in some parts of land, forested area is used as Natural Park for the community of the village.

The expansion: on the site of Ofer colony, the proposed design is expanded. In some parts of the new expansion, a new layer of ground is achieved, through the dismantling of some of the existent surface – roads, sidewalks, private gardens – and their replacements with a new surface layer. This layer includes some new roads, schools, community farms, industrial workshops, guest houses and finally habitation units in two different types. The first type in the new expansion is lifted on ground in order to maintain the view sight and to keep continuity in using the ground for production purposes. While the second is designed on ground. Both habitation types go along with the main concept of the small habitation units. While, the existent settlement residential units are also used for the same purpose but in a different way. Since the red pitched roof became the emblem, the ubiquitous symbol of Jewish settlements, the design proposes ‘un-roofing’ which is to get rid out of settlements buildings roofs in order to create more suitable public buildings and to cover it with the old traditional skin (Palestinian stone) of the village.


Shahd Ibrahim Yousef Farran, University of Jordan, (UOJ02)

Project: Safsaf Village - Safad District