​Badr Bey Dimashqiya 1881-1952


October 17, 6:00 pm - IFI Auditorium

The launch of a new book by Abdul Sattar Ellaz, the story of Badr Dimashqiya (1881-1952), a man who worked for a modern, secular, democratic Lebanon against the backdrop of tumultuous regional and global changes, a man ahead of his time and symptomatic of a healthy strain of Arab liberal thought that remains as vital as ever.​​


Septermber 30 - October 2 2019
College Hall, B-1​

Ruins have often captured human imagination and, in one way or another, they have been inscribed into a community’s records, memory, or lore. The history of destruction is as old as humanity. The past decades, however, have witnessed a considerable shift in the meaning attached to the deliberate destruction of buildings/monuments and the symbolic character of ruins. What has changed is the way in which acts of destruction are promulgated, celebrated, and perpetuated by being carefully staged and filmed as well as by distributing these records on video-sharing websites. Similarly, the reactions that destruction causes among the viewers of these records gained more and more importance. While ancient temples or statues feel no anguish or pain when they are blown up, it is societies that are distressed by their fate. During the past decades, there has been an ever-growing number of publications, commentaries, and conferences on the destruction of cultural heritage. At the same time, artists and writers have also turned to the question of destruction, be it under circumstances of war and conflict as outlined above, or in the context of neo-liberal urbanization and gentrification, proposing ways of challenging these developments through their artworks, installations, and writings or by initiating grass-roots projects in an attempt to preserve buildings and create awareness for their value among urban authorities. An international and interdisciplinary conference organized by the Arab-German Young Academy
of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) aims at discussing the cycle of the creation and decay of
architectural heritage from a transcultural and diachronic perspective.​