“The Revitalisation of Birzeit Historic Centre is a dynamic project in which the NGO of RIWAQ succeeds in mobilising stakeholders and local craftsmen into a process of healing that is not merely physical but that is social, economic and political. By reversing a process of neglect and erasure within a complex and difficult political context, the project manages to transform not only a neglected historic core but also people’s lives, and restores not only buildings but the dignity of their users. The project offers an alternative to ‘museified’ historic cores and it pioneers the regeneration of Birzeit’s historic centre into cultural infrastructure. It facilitates the reclamation of heritage by the people involved while also allowing them to achieve their self-expressed aspirations. The project is an exemplary dedication to rural heritage that can serve as a model for the 50 villages in which RIWAQ is involved, particularly the strategic interventions designed to stimulate long- term development.


- Citation from the Jury of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture



The Holcim Awards Africa Middle East )2014(

RIWAQ received one of the five equally-ranked Acknowledgement prizes if the Holcim Awards Africa Middle East for the “Adaptive Re-Use: Women’s center and playground” project in Beit Iksa, Palestine. Two abandoned buildings were adapted for re-use as spaces for education, cooking, and gardening as a conduit to empowering women in the community. The project is a collaboration between Riwaq and architect Yara sharif from NG architects, London. The Award of 18,500 USD was presented during a ceremony in Beirut, Lebanon in October 2014.


The International Holcim Awards competition recognizes innovative projects and future-oriented concepts on regional and global levels. They are designed to encourage architects, planners, engineers and project owners to go beyond conventional notions of sustainable construction in their work and to harmonize economic, ecological and social concerns. Each competition cycle spans three years, with a total of two million US dollars in prize money is awarded.

Aga Khan Award for Architecture (2013)

RIWAQ was awarded the 2013 Aga Khan Award for its 5-year pilot project in revitalizing Birzeit’s historic center.


The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, which was established in 1977, is awarded every three years, and recognizes all types of building projects that affect today’s built environment, from modest, small-scale projects, to sizable complexes. The award recognizes examples of architectural excellence in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. Since its launch 36 years ago, 110 projects have received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and nearly 8,000 building projects have been documented.

For more, please visit the website of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture

The Curry Stone Prize (2012)

In November 2012, RIWAQ was awarded the Curry Stone Design Prize in an event held at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.  The prize, now in its fifth year, recognizes both individuals and firms who use innovative design strategies to address critical issues such as food scarcity, clean water access, disaster response, housing rights, health care, education, post conflict development and peace keeping. The prize was awarded by Curry Stone stating, “RIWAQ has done pioneering work in a region greatly affected and fragmented by conflict, completing complicated, multi-stakeholder projects on a large scale in the face of many logistical and sociopolitical challenges.

Prince Claus Award (2011)

RIWAQ was honored with the 2011 Prince Claus Fund for Culture & Development Award. Prince Claus Awards are presented annually to individuals, groups, and organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development and the positive effect of their work on their direct environment and on the wider cultural or social field. Quality is a sine non qua for an award. The Prince Claus Fund presents one Principal Prince Claus Award of €100.000 and ten Awards of €25.000. The Principal Award of € 100,000 is presented during a festive ceremony in Amsterdam in December every year. The additional awards of € 25,000 each are presented with ceremonies at the Dutch embassies to the countries in which recipients reside. 

The Palestine International Award for Excellence and Creativity (2010)

On December 9, 2010 RIWAQ was awarded second-place in the Palestine International Excellence and Innovation Award in the category of enterprise excellence. This winning is the culmination of hard work and perseverance in maintaining Palestinian cultural heritage and the adoption of creative methods that contribute to change for the better.

The Good Governance Certificate (2007)

The 2007 Transparency Palestine - AMAN Coalition conducted a review of non-governmental organizations and their administrative and financial procedures to evaluate their adherence to good governance practices. After undergoing this extensive evaluation process, RIWAQ was awarded the Good Governance Certificate.

For more, please visit the website of the Coalition for Accountability & Integrity (AMAN)

The 2007 Qattan Distinction Award (2007)

The Qattan Foundation’s Culture & Arts Programme presented RIWAQ with the Qattan Distinction Award for notable cultural achievement in honor of the publication, Registry of Historical Buildings in Palestine.

Dubai International Award For the Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment (2006)

The International Jury of Experts of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership of Local and Regional Authority announced twelve winners of the “Dubai International Award-for best practices to improve the living environment,” a UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Program) activity. Chosen from among 700 organizations from all over the world and recognized for its successful “Job Creation through Conservation” project, RIWAQ was the only Arab organization to win in 2006.

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50 Historic Centers
Throne Villages
Historic Center Rehabilitation
Historic Building Conservation