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Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Hello everyone,

I would like your help in finding websites for different architectural and interior design magazines in the Middle East. I know there are few like al-Madina and al-Bina, but can't get the leads. I appreciate your help.
Zainab Nakshabandi
Responses
 
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
I am sorry if this sounds silly. Some may think why I can't get anything on yahoo or with a google search. Believe me, I have tried different things; it didn't work.

Again, I request your help and appreciate any information.
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
I know...it isn't easy to find what you're interested in!

I only can give you one:

www.ebdaat-sy.com.

I hope it will be useful, I never found the web site of Medina Magazine, I once tried to look for it too. Hope you'll find something more!

Salamaat :)

Alia Himmat
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Dear Zainab,

I am not sure if you're interested in journals from Turkey but there's quite a number of them:

You may also be interested in the architecture web portal Arkitera, design web portal Dexigner and online Museum of Architecture.

Two other popular journals, Domus M and XXI (XXI. Mimarlik Kulturu Dergisi) are no longer in publication.

Ozgur Basak Alkan
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Alia,

Thank you so much for your response...a drop of water in the desert:). Interesting magazine, felt strange at first glance to read about design in Arabic!! But this IS the point. Would like to contribute as well; maybe you'd be interested in that too. I guess I am inviting you to join me to see if we'll get lucky and find somebody that can help; am sure if Dr Ashraf Salamah knew about our wish he'd help, but it seems that he's very busy these days. Am hoping that other great members will, sooner or later :)

Ozgur,

You are making me wish I spoke Turkish. It is amazing and wonderful, the number of publications you have. I was courageous to open some links to maybe find something written in English at least :( But I really appreciate it, maybe some other people will make use of that.

In the meantime, I will wait patiently for others' contributions.

Best regards,
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
I have my hand on my heart, Shiraz, fearing that BIDOUN (strange name= without!) may also follow Medina and Benaa.

I knew from someone else that Medina did cease publication two years ago!

Tayseer's link is good for connecting with other designers in the Middle East..but the main reason I am asking for magazines and journals is to see how the mainstream in that area feels and likes about architecture and interior design.

Also if it's possible for us to make contributions with articles and designs to such publications.

Although it feels like my hopes are dying in finding such a thing, I will stay with what a designer once said is a key to success: persistence.
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Dear Zeinab,

It is somewhat difficult to find the thing you are searching for, but it is interesting to go through many to get a wider view. I think this site also will help in architecture and interior design:

www.tkne.net

It is one of the biggest groups for Arab engineers and architects. I hope it will be helpful.

Regards,

Tayseer Mushtaha
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Salaam Zainab,

Me too, I was surprised to find this Architectural Magazine and that they have a website too, but happily surprised because it means that people (I talk about Syria since the magazine is a Syrian one) are beginning to consider architecture as an actual cultural potential and not just a past remembrance.
The website address was written inside the magazine, I think I'd never found it without having it! The best way is to find someone who has a recent number in which he can find the website address, I have an old one but don't see any website indication.

I'm surely interested in contributing!
How do you think Dr. Salamah could help us? Do you need someone to give you more addresses or input ideas on articles?
Let me know,
best wishes!
Alia Himmat
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
BIDOUN is another journal that has an architecture section. Some articles are available online.

"Launched in March 2004, BIDOUN explores the cultural life of the Middle East and its Diaspora, with pages dedicated to the latest art, fashion, music, film, architecture and design.

BIDOUN's primary goal is to bring together cultural expressions from a vast and nuanced region, while also addressing some of the widespread misconceptions surrounding it and its Diaspora. It is envisioned as a platform for ideas and an open forum for exchange, dialogue and opinions about arts and culture from the Middle East. The magazine is published four times a year out of Dubai and is also available online at http://www.bidoun.com".

Shiraz Allibhai
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Zainab,

Thank you for raising this important discussion. Unfortunately, architectural magazines in the Middle East are very rare. The reason is not quite clear for me. Out of my experience as a Medina co-editor until its stop, it is really too hard to finance a good standard magazine in the region (Egypt in particular).

Medina has had no web-site. However, thanks to Shiraz and Yasmeen Siddiqi, the whole magazine collection is included in the Archnet Digital Library.

According to my information, there are many magazines that are still publishing in the region. The most well known magazines are:

  • The Egyptian Tasmim which is issued bi-monthly focussing on Egyptian architecture and competitions.
  • The Saudi Al Benaa magazine (in Arabic), www.albenaamagazine.com.sa
    Unfortunately, the site has not been updated for a long time.
  • The Saudi Umran, (in Arabic), www.umran.com.sa/
  • The Saudi Al Dira, (in Arabic), the magazine of the Saudi organization for urban sciences.
  • The Dubai-based architecture magazine ARCH + (English)

Some magazines are mixing architecture with other domains like interior, or construction or real estate:

  • The Lebanese Al Handassa magazine (a mix of architecture and Engineering).
  • The Kuwaiti Amaar, a mix of commercial interior and architecture.
  • Qatar for Constructions, "Qatar Lelenshaat" in Arabic, is a mix of an architecture and construction magazine.
  • The Morocco-based Medina (in French). It was published regularly, edited by Prof. Andre Raymond. I am not sure whether it is still publishing currently.

In Egypt there are some magazines that contain some irregularly appearing architecture articles, like Al Ahram Weekly, Weghat Nazar, Egypt today, and many others. There are also a lot of non-periodic publications, like magazines, but they have no license for some legal and administrative reasons. Some of them are focusing on architectural and urban history in Egypt and the neighboring countries. Some of them are highlighted in some websites. Pls. check www.egy.com by Samir Raft.

Since few years ago, I have been working on a research on Architectural Journalism in the Arab world. I hope to publish some of the lists of magazines here in the next few weeks.

Galal Abada

Galal Abada
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Galal,

Thanks for the useful information. Please do post your list on ArchNet soon. It will be of great benefit to the community.

It seems that we need a journal for architecture and design culture, but standard print publications have not worked (See Mimar). I have always felt that ArchNet could be the perfect vehicle to launch an online journal, however, we do not have the editorial nor managerial capability to take on such an undertaking. Perhaps if some of our more active members put together a proposal to publish an online journal, which could be supported across borders by a loose network of editors from various regions, the idea would fly. Any takers?
Shiraz Allibhai
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Just a little contribution:

I've seen today that the Morocco-based magazine on architecture is still publishing.
Alia Himmat
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Good idea Shiraz,

But why do you think that an online journal will be more successful than a normal magazine?
Alia Himmat
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Shiraz,

I will compile my list and publish it on Archnet soon, including all available websites to the best of my knowledge.

I forgot to mention that there are more than twenty real estate magazines that focus also on architecture and urban development in the region. They are mostly based in Riyadh or Dubai and are published weekly and monthly in the region. Some of them are bi-lingual, Arabic and English. I will provide a complete list.

Your online journal idea is wonderful, as always. I personally consider Archnet my favorite daily journal, as it's full of news, discussion forum, library, etc. I am willing to contribute to the editorial and production efforts of this suggested on-line journal.

However, I see the absence of MIMAR is one of the most dramatic event for architectural journalism world wide. Unfortunately, according to my knowledge, research and analysis on MIMAR did not start yet.

Don't you think that the idea of an online journal should include also a published copy parallel to the on-line version. In my view, the editorial, managerial, and production aspects are not big problems. I have learnt from my experience with Medina, Tasmim and Al Benaa that a major problem is to establish a solid and a sustainable basis, including finance and administration. Also, I believe that there are many ways to produce a high quality, low cost architectural magazine.
Galal Abada
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Dear Zeinab,

I think that's an important question. I've been searching for critical journals on art and architecture which are published in and throughout the Middle East for quite a while.

There's something going on in Jordan: http://csbe.org/main_csbe.htm

Issues about space/city are addressed by an artist-run magazine in Rotterdam/Tehran:

http://www.pagesmagazine.net/

Then there's the magazine Architecture du Maroc, edited by Fouad Akalay and Salma Zarhouni:

http://www.archimedia.ma

The Algerian journal Naqd published a number on urban studies: "DesOrdres Urbains", nr. 16, spring/summer 2002.

That's all for now. I would very much appreciate continuing this discussion and exchange of information.

Fouad Asfour
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
What is better than getting the info from the source!

Galal,

Thank you so much for your input. I tried to contact you but there was no email...so I kept praying:)
An online magazine is a wonderful idea, but how would other professionals from the area know about it and contribute to it unless there was a paper copy published? Maybe after we see it's working online.
I would like to contribute maybe in editing if you need any help.

Awaiting your list.

Good ideas Shiraz.
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
By the way, I don't see why not include architecture with interior design in the magazine. I believe that they complete each other and should not be treated as two totally separate domains. Interior design is not only about soft design elements. Architecture and interior design are totally integrated.
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Thanks Zainab,

My e-mail is gabada AT tedata.net.eg
Galal Abada
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Dear people,

Would it be possible to have a holistic architectural magazine in Arabic and English? Then there would be a much wider and more international circulation.

"Holistic" in the sense of having series of articles on architecture, interior design, landscape design and construction practice and materials.

Postscript: I really enjoyed Mimar when it was based in Singapore, then it moved to the UK (?) and stopped.
Frank John Snelling
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Since I was the first to ask about magazines, I want to say that I,unfortunately, did't hear of Mimar!

So maybe instead of creating something to die like the good magazine did, does any one know why Mimar stoped publishing?

Frank, hi,
yes this is what we are hoping to have.
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Zainab,

MIMAR, which can be found in the ArchNet digital library, was the journal everyone wanted, but no one wanted to pay for.

The production standards were very high and the aims ambitious. The model was to present the developing world in a world class medium. In the end the costs were too high.

An online version might succeed because costs can be kept relatively low, if members organise themselves and select editors by region. It is an idea worth exploring, but will have to be run and driven at the grassroots level. An MIT top-heavy model is not feasible.
Shiraz Allibhai
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Given that MIMAR is a good model for an international architectural magazine, then what is needed are continental editors for:- Africa / Asia / Off-Shore (S,SE) Asia / Europe.

In holistic terms, the complexity and contexts of (a) culture, (b) climate and (c) environment are necessary for appreciating architectural diversity.

An online MIMAR type magazine will need the above categories for people searching other parts of the world.

I realise worldwide cross-fertilisation of data tends to blur the uniqueness of vernacular architecture, but I believe the exchange of data (particularly of low-tech data) will be of benefit in creating more viable types of vernacular architecture which will then remain specific to context.
Frank John Snelling
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
I have been thinking of what you said Shiraz and Frank,

Yes, it would make more sense to make the magazine available online. But the work load will almost be the same for the people involved.

Because Galal knows a way that makes it available in print for a cheaper price the project sounds great and easy to do, but it may be better to keep it local, at least to the Middle East, because not everyone would be interested in that area.

Whoever is interested will have the choice to be a member and pay for it. Why repeat history? Maybe after studying the statistics later a next step can be taken.

But a magazine for the total area of Middle East? For now it's "wow." Correct me if I am wrong....I don't mind at all :))
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Zainab,

Personally, I prefer hardcopy magazines. If you can create a Middle East magazine in hardcopy, then the text will probably be in Arabic and thus exclude the outside world.

So I think a combination of a hardcopy magazine with online texts available in other languages would make it more flexible and therefore more viable.

The limitation with computer screens is you can only read a part of one sheet of normal-sized paper, whereas with hardcopy you can read multiple whole sheets and compare the data.
Frank John Snelling
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Thanks for all the contributions that translated some of the things one was dreaming of. The worry is that we keep dreaming the same dream, and nothing gets realized.

The online journal idea introduced by Shiraz is a great one, if the necessary resources are allocated to it. However, while writing and editing are of course crucial, there is a technical part which is very demanding and needs a lot of continuous work. You might be interested in looking at LAYER online magazine, www.layermag.com, the design, the articles presented, and also the nature of issues are good in my view, and show a considerable amount of thought process. Perhaps this one could be the example...

Ashraf Salama

Ashraf Salama
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
We are launching a new site which we hope will provide something for engineers in the Middle East, just getting started but we always need help from interested architects and engineers.

Without feedback we will be walking in the dark. I would appreciate comments and suggestions from fellow readers.
Walid Yousif
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Walid,

Your posting was not very clear. Are you branching off the forum you are in? Do you have materials to evaluate? Is your engineering website for evey engineering specialty there is? And does it include interior designers or not? What is your background exactly? And did you read all the postings above? :)

If you did...then you have met a few of the best people you can talk to about this...if you know who they are...let us know what happens.

Regards,

Zainab
Zainab Nakshabandi
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
all; I recognize that his is an old post. although I want to draw your attantion to MEADA Middle East art design and Architecture magazine. It is publishe din London in Arabic and English but is specified with architectuer just in the middle east. the website is www.meada-magazine.com hope this will help.
Jalal El-Ali
Journals of architecture and interior design in the Middle East
Hi Zainab,

Interesting read,and great enthusiasm. So may ask if your dreams have been realized in creating the online magazine you were talking about in your threads? i hope and believe you did. Thanks.
Binu John
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