Establishing RAW-NYC in 2012 in New York, Iraqi architect Raya Ani runs the boutique interdisciplinary architecture studio with a focus on “uniquely crafted buildings, interior spaces and urban design solutions in the GCC area and worldwide”. With a six to eight-member team, Ani opened the studio’s Dubai office in 2014, and the female-led team works across various sectors including residential, commercial, masterplanning and interiors. In 2018, Ani saw a number of residential projects begin construction in the UAE. Serving as the 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects – Middle East Chapter, Ani launched the institute in Baghdad to empower Iraqi architects. Her studio also won first place for the Liberland competition, aimed at creating a new micro-nation to accommodate immigrants.