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. “Colonizing Mountain, Paving Sea: Neoliberal Politics and the Right to Landscape in Lebanon” in The Right to Landscape: Contesting Landscape and Human Rights, edited by Egoz, S., Jala Makhzoumi and G. Pungetti. Ashgate: London, 2011, pp. 227-242.
The growing dominance of neoliberal economies in Lebanon has appropriated prime coastal fronts, scenic marginal landscapes and agricultural lands converting them to exclusive, gated developments. This paper argues that ‘landscape’ can serve as a platform for raising public awareness and empower communities to reclaim their right to nature in the city.