Release of ‘AL MANAKH’, analysis of developments along the Gulf: ‘A Guide, a Survey, an Agenda’

Published August 11th, 2007 - 01:10 GMT

AMO / Archis / Moutamarat release the book ‘Al Manakh’, the first ever comprehensive analysis of the development of The Gulf – a special issue of VOLUME Magazine.
Al Manakh offers a detailed analysis of the history, culture and architecture of The Gulf region including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah and discusses the implications of the rapid development of these territories for the rest of the world.
This is the first time that the unprecedented urban condition of this region has been comprehensively documented from diverse viewpoints and communicated to outside the region. Voices of architects, intellectuals and developers making the Gulf happen are represented in the numerous essays and interviews that accompany this richly illustrated study. Key figures such as, Rem Koolhaas, Ole Bouman, and Thomas Krens give their take on the current situation in The Gulf, along with their predictions for the future of this ‘ultimate tabula rasa’.
Al Manakh is divided into three sections:
I.The Dubai Guide: This opening chapter edited by MOUTAMARAT considers current projects, productions, plans and ideas happening specifically in Dubai. Highlights include essays by George Katodrytis, Elie Domit and Nadim Karam.
II. Gulf Survey: This sizable section presents the in-depth research on The Gulf region carried out by AMO, the creative think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). In this survey individual social, cultural and urban histories are presented for seven territories along The Gulf coast. Detailed statistics offer new insight into the architecture and urban ambitions of the Gulf and the social, economic and cultural consequences that the new urban condition can have on a society. A collection of essays reveals some of the most cogent aspects of The Gulf now, such as The World man-made islands off the coast of Dubai or the construction workers’ cities. Writings by Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf and Todd Reisz offer vital insight into the significance of the phenomena of The Gulf in the contemporary global context. At the end of this section a comprehensive overview of all the current urban and resort developments in The Gulf is offered. This is the first list of its kind that acts as an invaluable resource providing detailed information on projects taking shape today.
III. The Global Agenda: The last section edited by ARCHIS reflects concepts and strategies for design to provide shelter, security, sustainability, fairness and dialogue. Authors and artists like Nader Ardalan, Stefano Boeri, CRIT, Ricardo Devesa, Emiliano Gandolfi, Jiang Jun, Jeroen Mensink, Bas Princen, Ilka & Andreas Ruby, Urban Think Tank and others reflect on ‘what can be the mission for design today’. Thirteen ‘Creative Design Agendas’ are compiled as a design manual for the greater good.
With impressive graphics, a mirage of images and ground breaking new discoveries Al Manakh will be the most instrumental and immediately useful tool on The Gulf for architects, planners, designers, developers, decision makers and academics alike.
Al Manakh was unveiled at the first International Design Forum in Dubai (May 27-29) and will be globally available in bookshops as of August 2007.
Al Manakh Facts: Editors: Rem Koolhaas, Mitra Khoubrou, Ole Bouman Managing editor: Arjen Oosterman Design: Irma Boom, Natasha Chandani, Sonja Haller Format: 24x17, 500 pages Publisher: Archis Foundation Distribution: Europe, Asia and USA by Idea Books, IPS Pressevertrieb
Price: €29.90 ISBN: 978-90-77966-12-9 
AMO is a research and design studio that applies architectural thinking to disciplines beyond the borders of architecture and urbanism. AMO operates in tandem with its companion company, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 
ARCHIS archis is the editorial engine behind VOLUME. Archis publisher, Archis Intervention and Archis Tools are dedicated to the architectural dimesion of space and culture. The volume project is a collaboration of ARCHIS (Amsterdam) + AMO (Rotterdam) + C-Lab (Columbia University)
Moutamarat is a joint venture between Tatweer LLC, Dubai Holding Company, and Saudi Research and Publishing Company. Moutamarat is a high-profile pan-Arab business initiative seeking to create business knowledge for the Arab world. It develops unique knowledge agendas in partnership with leading regional and international corporations, experts and knowledge centers, and unveils these agendas through a prestigious portfolio of conferences, where it gathers the most relevant decision-makers.
As political campaigning ends in Sierra Leone, youth vote is expected to decide the country’s future

Half of all registered voters in the West African country are under 32 years of age
Freetown, 10 August 2007: Political campaigning is set to end here in Sierra Leone today to allow for a day of peace rallying ahead of Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary elections – the first general elections since the departure of UN peacekeepers in 2005, and the first time since the end of the country’s brutal civil war in 2002 that power is due to pass from one peace-time government to the next. 

Ninety-one percent of eligible voters are registered to cast a vote for their future tomorrow, 56 percent of whom are young people under the age of 32. At the same time, unemployment rates in the West African country run at over 70 percent, contributing to swelling numbers of restless youths on the streets of Freetown and the surrounding provinces.

These statistics underline the vital importance of the youth vote on Saturday – both in terms of decision making at the polls and stability for the future, according to the top United Nations official in Sierra Leone. “Recognizing the key role of future generations at election time may be somewhat of a truism, but in Sierra Leone this is literally the case,” said Victor Angelo, UN Executive Representative of the Secretary-General in Sierra Leone. “Any candidate wishing for success on 11 August must be able to show how he or she can shape a better future for the restless, war-weary and largely unemployed young Sierra Leoneans.”
The 1991- 2002 civil wars took a devastating toll on the young people of Sierra Leone. Many were recruited as child soldiers or mutilated for failing to join the warring factions. Since the end of the conflict, large groups of young people have found their way to the city streets, where job opportunities remain scarce and poverty is stark: Sierra Leone is currently ranked as number 176 out of 177 countries on the Human Development Index, published annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Securing decent work for youth is at the heart of the challenge for Sierra Leone,” said Bernard Mokam, Country Director of UNDP in Sierra Leone. “We often speak of the road from conflict to long-term development; here is where it starts: with education and jobs that can give young people hope and contribute to the stability and security of the country,” Mr Mokam said.

Efforts are underway, supported by the United Nations and the international community, to tackle the youth unemployment problem. With a recent contribution from the UN Peacebuilding Fund, the government of Sierra Leone has embarked on a $US 4 million project called the Youth Enterprise Development Project designed to target young people with dreams of starting their own business. Those who join the programme will be tutored by the private sector and trained on how to become successful entrepreneurs. Selected business ventures will then receive individual micro-loans to set themselves up independently.

The Youth Enterprise Development Project will have a particular focus on finding job opportunities among women in the rural areas of Sierra Leone, where traditional agriculture has suffered as a consequence of rapid urbanization. Despite urgent demand for home grown produce, many young Leoneans are reluctant to return back to villages and farms. “There is a strong perception that everyone who works in the country-side is poor. If we are serious about tackling unemployment that perception has to be broken,” said Mr. Mokam.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Mr. Victor Angelo, please contact: Ms. Niamh Collier-Smith, +232-33-306-754, or Mr. Klas Waldenstrom, +232-76-332-035, or Mr. Peter Ngu Tayong, +232-76-865-691,

UNDP is the UN's global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working as a trusted partner with Governments, civil society and the private sector to help them build their own solutions to global and national development challenges.


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