On Monday, two Iraqi scholars will speak about their work in Baghdad to restore the architecture and accompanying social history after the American invasion of Iraq in a Cornell webinar at noon.
At the event, which is titled “Iraq: From the Inside Out,” Prof. Mohammed Qasim Al Ani, architecture, Al Nahrain University, and Prof. Saba Al Ali, architecture, Al Nahrain University, will speak about their work in Baghdad transforming urban centers and addressing the architectural issues left after the American invasion of Iraq.
The webinar is hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and the Critical Ottoman and Post-Ottoman Studies program.
According to the event announcement, the invasion led to the collapse of social order with the facilities that support urban development — like architecture, state norms and city planning — broke down. The speakers have since worked to improve and address the issues that emerged from the invasion, specifically focusing on Baghdad.
Receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Baghdad, most of Ali’s work has been focused on the history of architecture, local architectural heritage and urban history. Most recently, Ali has published a study identifying that insufficient budgets and a lack of labor has led to Iraq applying corrective rather than preventative maintenance on heritage buildings.
Ani also received his Ph.D. from the University of Baghdad, focusing on strategies for redeveloping neglected areas and preserving cultural heritage through architecture. Ani is part of the International Council on Monuments, a non-governmental organization that promotes conservation and protection of monuments around the world, and Sites and International Society of City and Regional Planners, an association of over 700 professional city and regional planners.
The event will be moderated by Prof. Esra Akcan, architecture, who studies how the history of Europe and West Asia are linked when considering modern and contemporary architecture. Akcan is director of European studies for the Einaudi Center and her other areas of research include architectural history, migration and critical and postcolonial theory.
The event requires registration and will be virtual.