Razia Iqbal in the above embedded Radio 4 documentary joins the women architecture students who are planning to make a difference to the urban environment of the Gulf region.
From a western perspective, we often get the impression that the Middle East doesn’t offer women much in the way of equal opportunities. But in the United Arab Emirates, women architects are helping design and build their own cities. In Abu Dhabi, for example, the Urban Planning Council has women ensuring that the built environment will cope with their needs as much as those of big business.
Razia visits the American University of Sharjah. Its College of Architecture, Art and Design has a highly respected course, and Razia joins the students on campus. What she finds remarkable is the self-confidence and enterprise of the young women who have come from all of the Middle East and North Africa and who make up the majority of the class. She’ll speak to students and tutors to analyse what their futures will hold for them in the Gulf and beyond