Meet our UK Team

Meet our Egypt Team

Dr Magda Sibley

UK Principal Invesitgator

Dr Magda Sibley is Senior Lecturer in Humanities and Architectural Design at the School of Architecture of Sheffield University. She is the UK principle investigator of the “Belle Epoque Cairo Museum Itineraries “funded by the Arts and Humanities research council in the UK. Dr Sibleyʼs research has dealt in the past with both tangible and intangible heritage across North Africa and the Middle East as a Principle Investigator in numerous AHRC funded projects and two major EU funded projects.

Dr Gehan Selim

UK Co-Invesitgator

Gehan Selim is Lecturer in Architecture at University of Leeds and Fellow of the Senator George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Dr Selim is an active researcher in Architecture, Urban Theory and Visualisation bridging between the social (people), the physical (buildings) and the urban (city).

Dr Omniya Abdel Barr

UK Co-ordinator

Omniya Abdel Barr is a conservation architect with a Ph. D in history from Aix-Marseille University (2015). She is currently a visiting researcher at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, working on K.A.C Creswell’s photographic archive from Egypt, Syria and Palestine. The project is funded by the Barakat Trust. Her work and research concentrates on Islamic Heritage with a focus on Mamluk Art and Architecture.

Meryem Gurel

UK Facilitator

Meryem is a doctoral researcher in the department of Architecture, University of Sheffield.  After graduating from Istanbul Aydin University in 2011, she decided to continue her career as an academic besides being an architect. After receiving the scholarship the Turkish Government in order to pursue higher education abroad, she studied her Master’s degree in Gehry Studio at UCLA. While studying ‘off the grid concept’ during her Master’s, she got interested in vernacular architecture and its relationship with sustainability.  She now explores foundation, transformation, and resilience of traditional Ottoman neighbourhoods with her supervisor Dr Magda Sibley.

Rehab Ragaee

UK Photographer

I am a passionate, arts-driven architecture and landscape photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. I have been fascinated by history, culture and heritage from a very young age. Having fallen in love with photography, it grew with me both as a passion and a tool to document my meanderings; be it trips, insights, or moments.


Through my continuous pursuit of  artistic and cultural development, I’ve had an extensive engagement into the culture scene in Egypt, being the moderator, founder, and cofounder of a number of culture & heritage related initiatives for more than 10 years, remarkably of which being the moderator of Egypt’s premier cultural forum founded in 2002; Pen Temple Pilots (PTP), from 2007 till 2012; one of the most regarded forums on the cultural scene in its time. I am also the co-founder of Architectural Heritage Documentation initiative since 2012, with a mission of documenting the unique and wide spectrum of architecture styles in Egypt’s old buildings through photography. In addition, my work was a winner in the “Heliopolis Heritage Initiative” contest 3 years in a row, from 2015 to 2017.

Professor Galila Elkadi

Egypt Principal Investigator

Architect Planner Galila El Kadi is an emeritus research director at the French “Institut de Recherche pour le Développement”, IRD as well the chief of the architecture department at the French University in Egypt. She has specialized in heritage conservation and management and has successfully obtained European funds for projects focused on the management conservation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesʼ sites and buildings in southern Mediterranean countries. El Kadi is currently member of the international UNESCO experts on the conservation of the urban and architectural heritage of modernities in Arab World, and consultant to the Cairo governorate for the on-going rehabilitation project of khedivial Cair.

Dr Doaa Abouelmagd

Egypt Co-Invesitgator

Doaa A. S. Abouelmagd, is an assistant professor, Architecture departments, Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Egypt. She holds a double doctoral degree, Doctor in Sciences “Urban studies”, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium and Doctor of Sciences “Geography”, KU Leuven, Belgium in 2012. She received her Master of Science in Architecture from Cairo University in 2008, and her Bachelor of Architecture from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University in 2004. Her fields of interest covers urban studies, cultural heritage, housing, informal settlements, and interdisciplinary approach in teaching. Besides her publications in these fields she is the Co-Investigator in the project “Belle Epoque ” Cairo Museums Itinerary (BECAMI). She was member of the steering committee in the First Egyptian Urban Forum (EUF), Egypt, Cairo, 14-16 June 2015. She led and organized several workshops in Egypt.

Dr. Eman Abdou


Eman Abdou is an Egyptian visual artist whose work addresses the complex relationship of the state to the Domestic realm. Abdou is an Assistant Professor, teaching painting and theory in PNU University and the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University. Abdou contributed to the best-selling volume Egyptian Rights and Duties. She had various solo and joined exhibitions, among them Domestic Relations: The Couch at 6 Contemporary Gallery, Egypt. Abdou participated earlier in various regional and international conferences, symposiums, Exhibitions and the curation of workshops in Egypt: Envisioning the Unseen at the EUF by UN-Habitat Egypt, The School of Art and Life: A contemporary Vision and BECAMI: Activities in the Museum, and joined the Egyptian team of the BECAMI Project (Belle Époque Cairo Museums Itineraries) funded by the STDF and the AHRC.

Insaf Ben Othmane Hamrouni


Urban development strategist, my main research interests revolve around Architecture, the dynamics of urban transformations and development of urban policies around the world and especially in the South. Working for over five years in the area of community development, urban governance and strategic planning in Egypt and Tunisia led me to initiate several projects ‘Urban Catalyst’ in partnership with local communities and various stakeholders, organizations and institutions in search of real and effective solutions to urban challenges of this century. Having heterogeneous studies steered me to be aware of the importance of multidisciplinary practice and the influence of sharing knowledge which led to the idea of founding Ecumene studio. Parallel to my work I’m teaching theory of Art and Architecture, Urban Design, History of architecture and cities and conducting   several design and build workshops that aims to foster sharing knowledge and empowerment of vulnerable groups


Reem Elsawaf


Reem elsawaf is a teaching assistant at the Architecture Department of the French University of Egypt. She holds a B.SC in Architecture from the faculty of Engigneering in Port Said University (2013). Elsawaf research covers Sustainable Architecture, Environmental Design, Historic Preservation, Ecological Design, Informal Settlements and interdisciplinary approach in teaching.


Omar Wenas


Architect since 2010, from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Egypt. I then perused a Master degree focusing on Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design in Stuttgart University (Germany) and ASU (Egypt). I engage in projects that link research to the practical field where my main scope of focuses are on: Assessing and means of enhancing indoor conditions in buildings, Alternative means of construction, and the Design of educational spaces and their link to pedagogy.