Raya Ani
Founder,RAW-NYC,2017 President, AIA Middle East

Raya Ani an award winning architect and urban designer with 25 years of professional experience having worked in Baghdad, Germany, Boston, New York City and Dubai. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, she was named one of the top most powerful Architects in the Middle East. She is the 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects – Middle East Chapter. In 2018, she was selected as one of the most influential architects in the region by Middle East Architect. She received her BSC in Architectural Engineering from Baghdad University with distinctions, and an MS in Architectural Studies from MIT where she was awarded the Harvard / MIT Aga Khan Scholarship. She has taught urban and architectural design studios and served as a guest critic at a number of leading architectural schools in New York, Boston and Dubai. Raya Ani is a licensed Architect in the State of New York and a US Green Building Council Accredited Professional. Raya has designed the first public green school in New York City and two green- certified (LEED) residential towers in Battery Park City. In 2011, she was nominated for the Middle-East Architect of the year Award and her work was highly commended by the jury. In 2012, she founded RAW-NYC Architects, an interdisciplinary architectural studio based in New York City. In 2014, She established the Dubai office. In 2013, she received AIA-ME honor award for her visionary work on the marshes of southern Iraq as well as a merit award for her design of Aspire sports complex in Qatar. In 2014, Her Aspire Sports complex project received the Leisure Project of the Year Award by Middle East Architect. In 2015, one of RAW-NYC Architects’ commercial projects was named “Most innovative Commercial structure” in Build Magazine’s Architecture Awards. In 2016, She was selected as one of five inspiring and powerful personalities in the world by Black Tomato travel and Cadillac and represented the MENA region. In 2016, She was shortlisted from a list of 43 leading women architects in New York to enter an international design competition to convert a women’s prison to an international Hub for Women’s Empowerment. She led RAW-NYC team for Liberland to design a masterplan for a new micro-nation. Her vision for liberland won the first place and the work was widely published. In 2017, BUILD magazine named RAW-NYC Architects as Best Interdisciplinary Architecture Studio – New York and Best Middle Eastern Sport Facility Design for Qatar Sports Complex. Her design of Bamiyan Cultural Center in Afghanistan won a Merit Award at the AIA International Region Design Awards in Prague. Raya Ani is a regular guest speaker at international architectural conferences including Harvard Arab conference. She has been invited to speak at MIT in Cambridge, Women in Design in Denver and at the Center of Architecture in New York City. She was also invited to speak at the Iraqi Embassy in Vienna and by Architectural universities in Dubai, Qatar, India, London and the US. In 2017, she was the conference Chair for 10,958 DAYS into the future conference by AIA Middle East in Sharjah. She participated in a series of workshops as a volunteer to help build schools and homes for children in Tanzania. She had led recycling initiatives to help build more sustainable and innovative projects. Her research focuses on future living, future cities, social and economic sustainability and the intersection between technology, innovation and sustainability.

2017 President, AIA Middle East

Leaders in Architecture is very important. It’s great to have discussions and debates with your colleagues and clients. This event creates a platform where we can share ideas and thoughts.