Jim Roche (centre) with Dr. Ahmed Muhaisen, Head of the Department of Architecture (second from left) and post-graduate students after Jim’s lecture at IUG.


Jim Roche, from DIT’s Dublin School of Architecture, Linen Hall, Bolton Street, was invited to visit the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) where he delivered a lecture to academic staff, students, graduates and members of the architectural and engineering profession on his work in architectural practice and his teaching at DIT.

In the Q & A session afterwards there was much discussion about possibilities for sustainable reconstruction in the troubled Palestinian territory. Jim reviewed the work of some of the Palestinian students, held a meeting with Dr. Ahmed Muhaisen, the Head of Department, and discussed possibilities for academic connections between the two schools of architecture in the future.

Jim Roche (right) with Dr. Ahmed Muhaisen, Head of the Department of Architecture at IUG reviewing the students’ work.


Jim travelled to Gaza as a guest of the university’s architecture department. IUG has many regional and international relations with different institutions and universities all over the world. It is a member of the International Association of Universities and the Community of Mediterranean Universities and has developed several academic links with American, European and Arab Universities. IUG has currently 20,000 students but with half of Gaza’s population of 1.7 million people under the age of 18 years it is destined to grow quickly.

Jim also visited the offices of Islamic Relief and inspected many restored traditional buildings in the old centre of Gaza guided by architect and post-graduate student Mr. Salem Al Qudwa. He was also in touch with Dr. Zeyad Elshakra from UN Habitat, an organisation that promotes sustainable methods of urban renewal and undertakes an extensive programme of building repair in Gaza.

Recently restored historic Al Omari Mosque, estimated to date from the 12th century, in Gaza Old Town.


Jim made the difficult journey to Gaza with a working group of eight other Irish people – including DIT journalism lecturer Harry Browne – who are hoping to build lasting connections with academic, sporting, cultural and human-rights organisations there. Harry Browne’s diary of the trip has just been published in the prestigious literary quarterly, the Dublin Review.

DIT journalism lecturer Harry Browne (right) talking with Gazan journalist Yousef Al-Helou by the sea in Gaza.


Walking through the historic Old Town of Gaza.

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