The CSBE Architectural Forum, Diwan al-Mimar

A discussion forum on the built environment organized by CSBE in association with Darat al-Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation.

The 2011 – 2013 season of Diwan al-Mimar has been supported by National Paints, the Arab Technical Group (ATG) - Daiken, Yaghmour Architects, Planners, and Engineers, and the members of Diwan al-Mimar.


Diwan al-Mimar is a discussion group that aims at exploring the issues and challenges affecting the built environment in Jordan, the Arab world, and beyond in an in-depth and constructive manner. The Diwan addresses topics including architecture, urban planning, construction technologies, landscape architecture, and conservation of heritage sites. As a discussion forum, the Diwan aims at exploring and developing issues, rather than presenting finished products.

The Diwan 2011 - 2013 Season:

Diwan al-Mimar was established in 2000, and continued until 2008. No Diwan activities were carried out during 2009 and 2010, but the Diwan was reactivated in 2011. For the 2011 - 2013 season, the Diwan followed a different approach to its meetings. The season was devoted to a single subject, that of urban management in Jordan. A detailed report has been produced on the season and is available in both Arabic and English below. All efforts will be made to develop an intensive dialogue with the public and relevant decision makers regarding the content of the report. 

Read the "City Management in Jordan: Challenges Awaiting Solutions" report (in Arabic or in English).

."إقرأ تقرير "إدارة المدينة في الأردن: تحديات بإنتظار حلول


Membership in the Diwan during a given season is limited to about 20 - 25 participants so as to allow for an interactive relation between them, a relation that is difficult to attain in a lecture format, which is usually attended by a larger and continuously changing audience. The Diwan brings together a mix of academicians and practitioners involved in the built environment. In fact, the Diwan emphasizes the importance of developing a process of constructive interaction between the two groups. An additional number of students and newly graduating professionals also are invited to attend the Diwan, and, whenever possible, specialists from other disciplines are invited to participate in the Diwan so as to benefit from their knowledge and experiences.

The 2011 - 2013 Diwan al-Mimar Members:

Natheer Abu Obeid, Dean, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Jordan University of Science and Technology

Shadi Abdul Salam, Associate Architect, Consolidated Consultants

Wael Attili, CEO/Co-founder, Kharabeesh for Creative Content

Ramez Ayoub, Operation Director, Symbiosis Designs

Mohammad al-Asad, Founding Director, Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE)

Meisa Batayneh, Founder and Principal Architect, Maisam Architects & Engineers

Raghda Butros, Founder and Social Developer, Hamzet Wasel

Rami Farouk Daher, Partner, Turath: Heritage Conservation Management and Environmental Design Consultants

Tareq Ghannam, Architect, Consolidated Consultants

Dina Haddadin, Lead Designer, Symbiosis Designs

Thaer Haj Ahmad, Director of Planning & Design Division, Saraya Development Group

Bilal Hammad, Director, Bilal Hammad Architects

Sandra Hiari, Founder and Writer, tareeq (Diwan Coordinator)

Sahel Al Hiyari, Principal, Sahel Al Hiyari and Partners

Ahmad Humeid, CEO/Design Director, SYNTAX

Hani Imam Hussaini, Director, Almarsam Architects

Jamal al-Joucka, General Manager, Mawshour Architects and Consultants

Nida' Masannat, Architect, Bilal Hammad Architects

Rashed Al Nassa, Design Architect, Consolidated Consultants 

Thaer Qub'a, Owner, Tha'er Qub'a Consultant Architects

Maria Rabadi, Management Consultant, White Design Associates

Farouk Yaghmour, Principal in Charge, Yaghmour Architects, Planners, and Engineers

Rula Yaghmour, Architect, Yaghmour Architects, Planners, and Engineers

Hazem Zureikat, Transportation Planner and Economist, Engicon

Lara Zureikat, Associate Director, Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE)

Previous Diwan Members and Members on Leave>>


Format of Sessions:

The Diwan primarily follows the format of having each session center around a presentation given by a speaker. The speakers include members of the Diwan and outside guests. Each presentation would take up a maximum period of 40 - 45 minutes, with the remaining time devoted to questions and answers and to discussions. Each session also has a moderator, and members of the Diwan rotate in moderating the sessions.

Speakers from outside Jordan: The Diwan regularly invites speakers from outside Jordan. These speakers include ones of international stature. The late William J. Mitchell, who was the Dean of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Joseph Rykwert, the Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania; the Swiss architect Mario Botta; Suha Ozkan, the former Secretary General of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture; and the late Oleg Grabar, who was Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, all have made presentations to the Diwan. In addition, an emphasis is made on inviting speakers from the countries of the Arab World since relatively little information is known and exchanged about developments taking place there concerning the built environment. This involvement of outside speakers serves to regularly inform the members of the Diwan of developments taking place beyond the borders of Jordan, and to create a setting in which specialists in the built environment from Jordan and outside it are able to exchange information and ideas.

The invitation of a number of the speakers from outside Jordan to Diwan al-Mimar has been made possible by support from Darat al-Funun - the Khalid Shoman Foundation, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

Publishing the contents of the Diwan sessions:

A number of the presentations of the Diwan sessions have been published on the CSBE web site (hyperlinks are provided for all published sessions). The published materials include the discussions that the presentations create, and hyperlinks to additional suggested readings. (For additional information concerning published Diwan sessions, please see the CSBE E-publishing program).

Schedule of Sessions:

Each Diwan season extends from the Fall to the early Summer, and includes an average of five to twelve sessions. The 2011 - 2013 season has extended over a period of two seasons.

It is hoped that the Diwan will act as a forum for the exchange and development of ideas relating to the built environment, and will make worthwhile contributions to its evolution in Jordan and the Arab world.

Schedule for the 2011 - 2013 series of the Diwan:

November 23, 2011
Session with Omar Maani, former Mayor of the Greater Amman Municipality

January 30, 2012
Session with Walid Al Masri, former Mayor of the Greater Irbid Municipality

March 7, 2012
Session with Mohammad Balqar, former Commissioner for Land, Infrastructure, and Services at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA)

April 18, 2012
Session with Omar Razzaz, former Director of the Social Security Corporation