BENGHAZI, LIBYA, 2008
Nestled amidst one of the vibrant streets of Benghazi, Libya, the Mazaya Mall stood as a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and the promise of economic prosperity. The mall was designed in 2008. The construction started in 2009 and stopped in the year of the Libyan revolution in 2011. However, the mall's grand opening in July 2014 was met with resounding success and eager anticipation from the community. From its very inception, the Mazaya Mall captured the imagination of residents, drawing throngs of visitors who reveled in the diverse offerings it provided. The project includes an array of shops, boutiques, and entertainment venues beckoned, promising a haven for shoppers, social gatherings, and memorable experiences.
Unfortunately, the promising trajectory of the Mazaya Mall was abruptly interrupted, as the city of Benghazi became a theater of war in October 2014. The relentless conflict that ravaged the region exacted a heavy toll on the burgeoning mall, forcing its closure a mere three months after its grand debut. The once-thriving center of commerce and community fell silent, as the specter of violence and unrest cast its ominous shadow over the city.
In the ensuing years, the mall's fate took an unfortunate turn, as it became an unwitting refuge for terrorists seeking shelter amidst the chaos that gripped Benghazi. The halls that once buzzed with vitality and commerce bore witness to a dark chapter in the city's history. Eventually, in a valiant effort to rid the building of the terrorist presence, heavy weapons were employed, causing extensive damage that rendered the mall a mere shell of its former glory.
Today, the Mazaya Mall stands as a poignant reminder of the toll that conflict and destruction can exact upon even the most vibrant of endeavors. Moreover, in the aftermath of these tumultuous events, the UAE company, the custodians of the mall, made the difficult decision to suspend all business operations in Libya, awaiting a more favorable climate and uncertain future.
In the annals of Benghazi's history, the Mazaya Mall remains a poignant symbol of shattered dreams and unrealized potential. Yet, even amidst the desolation and uncertainty, the spirit of resilience endures, whispering tales of a brighter future yet to come. It serves as a solemn reminder that amidst the ashes of destruction, the flames of hope can still be rekindled, paving the way for a renaissance that shall breathe life back into the streets of Benghazi once again.
Area: 6740 m² (72548 ft²)
Type of Work: Individual design with the Engineering Design Group.