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Palestinian and Israeli architects divided over UKTI visit


I want to clarify that I have the highest regard for UKTI having working with them for many years in many countries. They are a GREAT partner for RIBA, architects and others and can open many doors internationally. It is the timing of this Dec 2014 proposed trip that I was critical of, when it was pointed out to me by AJ, as I was unaware of it. We also need to ask the fundamental question about the continued programme of "illegal settlement building on occupied land" which is the crux of the situation there, from an architectural and ethical point of view which is condemned by most. I never thought in my lifetime I would go to Palestine. As chair of Women in Architecture in 2008 I was asked to lead a mission organised by the British Council to the NENA regions (Near East North Africa) on a programme of professional exchange and learning called "Women@Work" and we were twinned with Palestine. Our team of 6 London based women architects were happy to learn from other cultures and exchange ideas on professionalism and practice in architecture. As part of that exchange most of our Palestinian partners came to London to learn how we work in UK. This intercultural non political exchange followed our "Diversity" exhibition we curated with a world tour - promoting women and ethnic minorities in architecture. W@W was a hugely successful mission and our eyes were opened by visiting Palestine in person and witnessing the situation first hand. There were some great projects happening and many intercultural international projects emerging. However, I had never witnessed apartheid up close before. It was on that trip that our group could see the plight of our colleagues and with that insight we want to continue to help when there is an international call for help and a call for justice for architectural practice and ethical standards. RIBA signed an Memorandum of Agreement in 2010 with their Engineers and Architects association to continue to work together and share good practice and experience. We want to continue those aims and objectives of collaboration. It is working with groups like this that we can get a better understanding of the humanitarian situation and learn how to act accordingly in a professional and ethical way.

Posted date

30 November, 2014

Posted time

3:25 pm