As of June 2021, this big beautiful book, Building Sharjah, is out, edited by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi and me and published by Birkhäuser. Nearly four years ago, Sultan reached out to me about working together on this project. Born and raised in Sharjah, Sultan noted that even his earliest memories of Sharjah were of a city being transformed.
Next to the more celebrated Dubai, Sharjah is a city of few icons and limited documentation of its urban landscape. To make this book, Sultan and I decided on a strategy: we would represent the city only with photographs taken no later than the 1980s. To achieve this result, we relied on families’ photo albums, architects’ site documentation, and administrative filings. Building Sharjah, in the end, tells the story of a city more often proposed than realized.
In addition to features on the city’s significant works of architecture, we commissioned an entertaining array of writing, from family memoir to new historical review to contemplations on the city’s hotel culture. Among these writers, I also contributed an article tracing how Sharjah’s urban development unfurled according to master plans.
You can read more about the book and the talented team that put it together at the book’s website.