Khaled Malas is an architect and PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. His current research interests include the entangled histories of sacred space, animal husbandry, and political control in the North Arabian desert; magic and representations of wonder in the Medieval Islamic world; and the building of rural architectures of resistance including egg hatcheries, wells, and alternative energy infrastructures. These last projects are in collaboration with Jana Traboulsi, Salim al-Kadi, and Alfred Tarazi, in addition to multiple interlocutors and associates in Syria including the Higher Commission for Civil Defence in Deraa and Yaseen al-Bushy in Arbin. He remains condemned to hope. It is precisely at historical moments such as these, when land is the stake and site of excessive cycles of violence, that comprehending past struggles over space and meanings is essential.
The project at hand stems from a firm conviction that architecture can perform a transmutational role and that it is capable of transcending the oft-unquestioned distinctions between building and monument. This is a political project that attempts to forge a new way of building in accordance with the circumstances of the Syrian context.