Dr Jala Makhzoumi is an Iraqi architect and academic who specialises in landscape design, she taught architecture and landscape at the University of Technology in Baghdad for 15 years.Jala studied architecture in the University of Baghdad from 1971. She received her Master in Environmental Design from Yale University and a PhD in landscape architecture from Sheffield University. Her expertise is in ecological landscape design and planning where she applies a holistic, developmental approach to mediate community needs with ecosystem health, biodiversity protection and landscape heritage conservation. Her professional and academic expertise includes postwar recovery, energy efficient site planning and sustainable urban greening. She has served as landscape planning consultant to the Damascus master plan 2030, Saida Urban Sustainable Development Strategy 2015, Baghdad Comprehensive City Development Plan 2030 and the conservation and revitalization of the historic holy towns of Kadhimia and Najaf. In 2013 Jala co-established UNIT44, a Lebanon based design and planning practice offering a wide range of services in architecture, landscape architecture, ecological planning and urban design.
Makhzoumi, Jala. “Landscape in the Middle East: An Inquiry” in Landscape Research (2002), Vol. 27, No.3. Taylor and Francis: Oxford, pp. 213-228.
A critical exploration of the meaning of 'landscape' in the absence of an Arabic word. "This inquiry was instigated by recent efforts to establish landscape architecture in the Middle East. The absence of a word corresponding to ‘landscape’ in Arabic is contributing to an ambiguity as to the meaning of the English word in the design professions as well as in the general use of the word. The development of ‘landscape’ as a cultural concept that originated in Europe is reviewed and the ways in which the complexity of accumulated meanings has influenced the development of landscape architecture in the West are examined. It is against this historical background that the absence of an Arabic word is explained, the undesirability of direct translation discussed and the need to search for a contextualized concept of ‘landscape’ argued."