How we can preserve our collective history through architecture

Mona El Hallak

The Barakat building in Beirut holds a special place in the city's collective memory, especially after the civil war. Architect Mona El Hallak discusses how she fought against investors determined to demolish and rebuild the building -- and explains how she was able to revive it to serve as a witness to the memories of its inhabitants and city before it was destroyed by the flames of war and destruction

About the Speaker

Mona El Hallak
Architect, heritage preservation activist

Mona Hallak is a Beirut-based architect, heritage preservation activist and founder of her own architectural design studio. A graduate of the American University of Beirut and Syracuse University (Florence Program), she joined AUB in 2017 as the director of the Neighborhood Initiative. Her work there centers on making the city more livable and sustainable, activating public space and engaging the community to reclaim their neighborhood. After the end of the civil war in Lebanon, she led several campaigns to save heritage buildings from destruction by real estate developers. In addition to being an active member of several heritage-focused groups, she also recently co-directed Allo, Beirut?, a one-year immersive, interactive multimedia exhibition at the Beit Beirut Museum in Lebano.