The graduates of the Faculty of Architecture-Design and Built Environment at Beirut Arab University in Tripoli came among the top five in the "Innovate for Refugees" competition-second edition organized by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan-Arab Region, one of another 28 MIT global branches.
The competition provides an opportunity to support emerging companies that provide technology-based services for the refugees. BAU’s "Hope in Sand and Pipes" team, composed of students Sarah Maasrani, Fatima Block, Saleh Al-Zanar, Hilal Moussa, Ghina Yamak and Abdulrahman Ghamrawi, presented a Master's Project in the form of a refugee housing unit for temporary residence.
The design was examined and developed under the supervision and assistance of the professors at the Faculty of Architecture-Design and Built Environment. The design of the unit focused on the use of recyclable and reusable materials available in the local market without the need to import or manufacture them specifically for the residential unit. The unit installation does not require specialized labourers, which allows the refugees to create their own, in addition to their ability to choose internal furniture to make the most of the space available.
Among 2,000 participants from around the world, only 20 projects including BAU’s were qualified for the next level. Over three days, entrepreneurs met in Jordan and took advantage of the MIT workshop to develop the final presentation of the project.
The initiatives were presented in two stages to two juries specialised in entrepreneurship and refugees’ affairs. Together with 10 other initiatives, BAU’s project was qualified for the finals to be later selected among the top five in the world to obtain the support of the organizers of the competition.