The hometown of 40-year-old Hadi Soufan is Homs. Large numbers of former residents are fleeing the city and cannot return to their homes, even though they would love to do so – 60% of the town has been destroyed. This is where Hadi Soufan’s project steps in – the internet platform “The Architectural Post” brings together home owners, architects, tradesmen, donors and investors. With a completely transparent set-up, all those involved are working together to rebuild Homs. The platform could serve as a blueprint for many other regions affected by war and crisis. “The Architectural Post” brings home owners, architects, workers and donors together on one platform. For example – a family wants to rebuild their house which has been destroyed. They can find an architect via the website, who will then draw up a quote for the work. The architects use the website too – donors agree to finance the project, tradesmen are awarded contracts… all via the website. Each stage of the process is documented with photos and all invoices are posted there too. Transparency is of paramount importance.

Company: The Architectural Post
Type of company: GuG (non-profit entrepreneurial company)
Sector: non-profit institution
Founder: Abdoulhadi Soufan
Year of founding: 2017
Founded in: Berlin and Damascus
Employees: only the founder and a number of volunteers in Homs
Branches: Homs
Website: www.ta-post.org
Profession of founder in home ountry: Architect

The dream behind the project

To give people back their homes and their community and, in doing so, to bring together people from all over the world.

3 questions, 3 answers

WJD: The key theme of your platform is the rebuilding of homes in areas affected by war and crisis. Where did you get the idea for this?

Soufan: We started the first initiative in 2014, when the worst battles were over. It soon became clear to me that there were an awful lot of “gaps” in the reconstruction process. The question was how to fill in these gaps. We asked a lot of questions, talked to a lot of people and did our research. On the basis of the knowledge we gained, we hope to help people by offering them comprehensive solutions. It helps that we are very well known in Homs – they literally can’t wait for us to get started. We hope that Homs will be a good example for other cities like Aleppo and Damascus.

WJD: Reconstruction brings former enemies together. How does that work?

Soufan: I am speaking here theoretically and not just for Homs. Former enemies simply HAVE TO work together. Our project will be like a building block for this idea. Our work definitely brings people together around one table, this could be a way of encouraging a peaceful atmosphere.

WJD: What are the limits?

Soufan: When I started out, people said to me “You’re crazy, that will never work.” But it has worked, step by step, and somehow, we’ve managed to keep going. As I said – this is my mission, and I am certain that we can achieve our goal and be successful. On a side note, I found the “Ideas in motion” business incubator here in Berlin very helpful. I got a lot of good tips on how I could get my project started, and how I could connect with the right people. I am not an expert in social projects, so a lot of this was new to me.

 

 

Go back