Jean Paul Abdel Nour (BA’20), alumnus of the Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) Ramez G. Chagoury Faculty of Art Architecture and Design (FAAD), participated in the inaugural MENA Global Grad Show Exhibition 2020 at the Dubai Design District (d3) during Dubai Design Week – November 9 to 14, 2020. The MENA Global Grad Show exhibits 50 of the best impact innovation projects in the fields of technology, science and design, from universities based in the Middle East and North Africa. Abdel Nour’s design was selected from chosen from 200 entries by 37 MENA universities to feature in the exhibition.
Abdel Nour’s project focuses on reclaiming Beirut’s Burj el Murr building. Burj el Murr stands in Beirut as a monumental reminder of the 1975 Lebanese Civil War: its construction was never finished, it was used in the battle of the hotels, and it served a sniper hideout that traumatized the entire city. Abdel Nour’s reimagining of the building turns it into a rehabilitation center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a significant step towards healing the scars of the Civil War, both physical and psychological.
“The series of traumatic events during the Lebanese Civil War and as recent as Beirut Port explosion on August 4th 2020, have resulted in traumatic tendencies in people,” said Abdel Nour, reflecting on his design. “When untreated the repercussions of trauma are prominent and the source of trauma itself must be tackled for people to heal properly. My project aims to tackle people’s subconscious with a series of forced perspectives called misalignment of realities. These misaligned spaces confuse the mind at first glance and require further investigation to understand the space, ultimately revive the subconscious while giving the mind control over the body once again. The result is a building that once caused hardships now curing their repercussions. It is the re-monumentalization of Burj el Murr.”