Anas Soufan

Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design

Anas is a reformer, activist, artist, architect, and heritage conservation specialist holding a BA and MA from the University of Damascus; a DEA and PhD from La Sorbonne, Paris. He also held postdoctoral fellowships at MIT and Geneva University. Anas’ professional career combines the practical and theoretical sides of art, architecture, and heritage conservation. As a member of La Maison des Artistes de Paris, founder of NABNI-H (a Paris-based firm), he creates paintings and artifacts; designs residential and commercial properties; studies heritage conservation and development projects.

As for the scholarly interests, Anas focuses primarily on the Arab reforms in the 21st century; the post-war / post-disaster recovery of historic cities and sites, the revival of the cultural heritage of minorities in post-war times as well as the use of AI technologies in the management and inspection of historic properties. In this framework, Anas is an author and scholar – having lectured at several universities and working for UNESCO (as an expert-specialist), for ICOMOS (as an advisor for evaluating dossiers of inscription for cultural sites on the World Heritage List), for ARC-WH (as a lecturer and editor), and for other international organizations, foundations and private firms. In relation to the above-mentioned activities, Anas has presented various lectures across the world, published, translated and edited several books and articles in Arabic, English and French, including (for example): Conservation and Development of the Urban Heritage in the Arab World in the 21stCentury, ARC-WH 2022; “Notes on Authenticity and Development of Cultural Heritage in Syria,” IJCP, 2020, and others.

Anas’ current project is focused on the post-war recovery of the Ancient City of Aleppo (in Syria), as one of the most relevant sites experimenting with theories and practices of architecture, urban planning and heritage conservation in the 21st century. Working in coordination with UNESCO, Anas is addressing several multidisciplinary research projects dealing with the interconnection between the urban and architectural design with matters related to the ethical and sociopolitical aspects of the post-war recovery. Anas is exploring innovative methods for the management of the post-war recovery in congested political contexts like the Syrian one. The outcomes of this research project align with the larger-scale goal of establishing a ‘Master Plan of Post-war Recovery’ of the city.