Sahar Qawasmi

Field of Practice:


City, Country:

Ramallah, Palestine


2013, 2014, 2015


June 2014 - Oct 2014

Born 1977 in Kuwait.

Sahar Qawasmi is a Palestinian architect. Raised between Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan, she returned to her roots in Palestine and went on to study architecture at Birzeit University close to Ramallah/Palestine. After graduating, she joined the team at Riwaq-Center for Architectural Conservation in Ramallah. In 2005 she was granted the Fulbright Scholarship and received her MA in architecture from Miami University, Oxford OH/USA where she was awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Award in 2007.

She worked on adaptive reuse design/building projects at Miami University Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, OH/USA as well as on low-income housing projects with Pyatok Architects Inc. in Oakland, CA/USA. She was also involved with public art projects at Rebar Art & Design Studio in San Francisco, CA/USA.

As an architect at Riwaq, she is working on the rehabilitation of historic buildings in rural Palestine and coordinates a cultural program that promotes and celebrates Palestinian heritage and architecture. Sahar Qawasmi co-wrote the first of Riwaq’s Re-Walk Heritage Guidebook Series.
In 2012, she coordinated the 4th Riwaq Biennale, a platform for networking and dialog between architects, artists, and the community at large. The Riwaq Biennale aims at creating links across a fragmented geography through curated walks, talks, art and architectural interventions that take place in historic town and village centers. Sahar Qawasmi also coordinated Qalandiya International (QI) in its first take, which the Riwaq Biennale was part of, together with programs of six other Palestinian cultural and artistic institutions. QI focused on promoting Palestinian culture and exhibiting contemporary Palestinian and international art, highlighting valuable architectural sites, and allowing the local public to be engaged with art in a more imaginative and open manner.

Her research on the historic Hejaz Railway, built by the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century, was exhibited during the Birzeit University 3rd Cities Exhibition in 2011 and was profiled in the New York Times.