Presentations by Dr. Zeynep Gul Unal from Turkey, ISLAMABAD

On 12th of October, Institute of Architects Pakistan – Rawalpindi-Islamabad Chapter (IAP-RIC) organized fifth of the Archi-Talk series at the Crown Plaza Hotel. Archi-Talks are regular talk events hosted by IAP-RIC that aim to educate and enhance the professional skills of the member architects. The guest speaker for this event was Dr. Zeynep Gul Unal, a professor at the Restoration Department at the Yildiz Technical University Istanbul. Dr Zeynep is also the Director of Research Center for Preservation of Historical Heritage at the Yıldız Technical University. She focuses her studies on natural and human induced disasters management towards cultural heritage, protection of historical environment and sustainable development. Zeynep is a trainer and team leader in GEA Urban Search and Rescue Team, and has been involved in many national and international human search and rescue operations after disasters. She is an expert-voting member of ICOMOS-ICORP and a member of ICOMOS-IFLA.

Many other prominent personalities also attended the event including the renowned conservationist and the current President of ICOMOS Pakistan, Professor Fauzia Qureshi and Chairman IAP-Peshawar Architect Mansur Khan. Mr. Adil Umit Sirdas, Former project director at ENKA Istanbul Turkey, Dr. Birgul Colakoglu, Chair Department of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University and Ar. Deepak Pant, Associate Professor at Tribhuvan University Nepal also graced their presence.

Dr Zeynep started her talk with an introduction to the organizational structure of the ICOMOS, its role in heritage management and its significance by showing examples of their work in particular cases of disaster management scenarios. She showed images, audio recordings and videos and had the audience attention throughout her talk. She urged the architectural practitioners to come forth and join hands with ICOMOS to create sustainable environments where the cultural heritage was protected and valued. She concluded her talk on a high note by playing a folk tune of Pukhtun music that she had listened to during her stay in Peshawar prior to the talk and took the opportunity to thank IAP-Peshawar for their hospitality and enthusiasm. The audience applauded the speaker for her captivating talk as she left the podium.

Ar Fawad S. Abbasi, Vice President IAP, came on the stage to thank the guest speaker for her contribution to the architectural community of the twin cities. He also thanked the executive committee of IAP-RIC for having organized such a successful event in a small time. Architect Kabir Malik, Chairman IAP-RIC, took the stage to thank the speakers for having come all the way from Turkey and the participants to have taken out the time from their busy schedules to make the Archi Talk 5 such a success.

Towards the end of the evening, the fellows of IAP including Architect Suhail Abbasi, Architect Salman Mansur and architect Sikander Ajam presented the IAP pin and Rawalpindi heritage walk book and photography frames to the guest speakers as a token of their appreciation. The evening concluded as the audience made way for tea while striking up conversations with friends, old and new alike, happy to have spent an evening full of stimulating ideas.