Aqaba's ASEZA hosts Biennale for Mediterranean Architecture

'Hands Painting Cities' first of many cultural events

Aqaba's ASEZA hosts Biennale for Mediterranean Architecture

Rome, February 22 - Jordanian architect, professor and Head Commissioner of ASEZA (Aqaba Special Economic Zone) Kamel O. Mahadin is a true-blue citizen of the Mediterranean. 'We live in a part of the world that is unique and whose nations are cut from one cloth'. Mahadin is the voice of the burgeoning autonomous area that is poised to bloom much as the superchic northeastern Sardinian resort of Porto Cervo has over the last three decades. ASEZA is a liberalized, low-tax, duty-free area that has its sights on becoming a world-class hub for business and leisure, easily accessible to the Middle East, Asia and Europe. It is also making sure that visitors and business travellers are well-nourished culturally. Under the Patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein, ASEZA is hosting the first and largest architectural conference and exhibition in the region starting February 21. The 'Aqaba Biennale for Mediterranean Architecture - Hands Painting Cities' will present works by more than 25 architects from Egypt, Britain, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, the Palestinian Territories, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and USA, with the participation of over 1,000 architects from Jordan including prominent architects from the University of Jordan Department of Architecture. Regional, local media and over 200 public figures representing the local community of Aqaba, along with social and economic figures from Jordan thronged to the inauguration. The Aqaba Biennale for Mediterranean Architecture is one of many upcoming steps towards promoting and highlighting the architectural side of Aqaba in addition to its tourism and business side. Mahadin explains that the Aqaba Biennale features a wide variety of activities that will take place mainly in Aqaba. Besides a tour of the Petra archeological site and Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon, visitors to the Biennale will have access to workshops, round-table discussions, exhibitions displaying over 200 unique architectural designs from the region, interactive sessions and activities combining students with top professional architects in addition to outdoor painting activities. Mahadin, who is also a professor specializing in landscape architecture, says that 'architects attending the event are a group of internationally renowned figures. It is a great chance to share thoughts and initiate discussions with participants like international architect Richard England, one of the world's top 20 architects, and many others'. Mahadin added 'we are pleased that ministers of tourism and culture, ambassadors, university deans and other prominent figures are participating. Numerous individuals have significantly contributed to the development of Aqaba over the years will also be honored'. Dynamic figures and pillars of society like His Excellency Akel Biltaji, a former ASEZA Chief Commissioner and architect Hasan Al Nouri, the Designer of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque, one of Aqaba's landmarks among many others will attend many of the event's festivities. Sponsored by the University of Jordan Department of Architecture, Aqaba Development Corporation, Aqaba Containers Terminal, Ayla, Marsa Zayed, Saraya Aqaba, with all inland transportation by JETT Transportation Company, the Biennale is just the first architecture jubilee of many to come at Aqaba's ASEZA.

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