Country of Origin: Syria
Mohamad grew up between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Syria. His father, Dr. Hafez, attended medical school in Freiburg, Germany before returning to Damascus to practice surgery.
Mohamad's fascination with architecture began at an early age. As a teenager, he would walk around Damascus with a sketchbook in hand, capturing the history that surrounded him. Whether it was Roman columns, Greek temples, or Islamic minarets, Mohamad was there to appreciate the depth of architecture's past.
Mohamad’s home in Damascus was beautiful. It took several years to complete, as the family designed it when they were living in Saudi Arabia. Mohamad recalls the painstaking detail in which the house was planned—everything from the baroque furniture, to the Italian marble, to the crystal chandeliers. He remembers being with his mother as she picked out the lush red fabric that would cover the furniture. Mohamad credits this experience for giving him a chance to experience the architect-client relationship, something that he would later revisit in his profession.
When Mohamad turned 18, he relocated to Ames, Iowa to study at Iowa State University. Soon after arriving, he realized that his passport was stamped with a single-entry visa, barring him from traveling to Syria. His nostalgia towards Damascus began to intensify, and since he couldn’t return home, he decided to recreate it.
Today, Mohamad is a full-time architect and artist. His work has recently been featured in four highly acclaimed exhibitions and was profiled by The New York Times, NPR, and The New Yorker. UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage is his most recent exhibition.