The Tile Project, Destination: The World, 2004 - 2006
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Nur Aida Abdul Rahim and Saeed Abdlkarim Arida

Aida Abdul-Rahim and Saeed Arida currently are graduate students at MIT in the Mechanical
Engineering and Architecture departments respectively. Aida was instrumental in creating the
class “Pathways to Peace” at MIT, in which the students designed tiles, devoted to peace,
using a waterjet cutter.

“Our tile represents Syria, a truly diverse country in terms of history, culture and tradition. Two images are
superimposed and etched on the clear top layer. The first one is 'Shaam' written in Arabic cursive
characters, which is the old name for Syria; the other is a picture of the iconic Umayyad Mosque which
holds an important historical significance. The middle layer which is made of colorful formica of various
shapes represents the historical depth and diversity of the country. No two tiles that we made have the
same formica layout. This is an indication of how different people view and interpret Syria's history
differently even though the 'facts' are the same.”