When we think about architecture, we usually think about the great skyscrapers, the beautiful avenues and beautiful houses. However, architecture can create major problems when not well thought out. Architectural changes over the last century in the Middle East and North Africa have created a basis for the crisis of violence experienced today by several countries. For many centuries, many of the countries that today are located in the Middle East and North Africa have been part of great empires, such as the Abbasid Empire and, more recently, the Ottoman Empire. Due to their large size, these empires were great cradles of cultural diversity, knowledge and religions. With the weakening of the Ottoman Empire, with its end after the First World War, and the arrival of the European settlers, much changed in the cities architecture. Previous to the "renovation" of large cities, many of them were made up of small neighborhoods and narrow streets, with large market squares and religious buildings. The neighborhoods used to accommodate all kinds of people and ethnic groups, creating an atmosphere of coexistence and tolerance. Basically, they had a mixed use of the urban soil and no sprawl. With the colonization, many reforms have taken place in the main cities of the Middle East and North Africa to "modernize" them according to the European standard. Many neighborhoods were overthrown and destroyed, large avenues built and monuments were relocated. At the level of comparison to the Brazilian context, we can parallel the reforms promoted by Pereira Passos in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the last century, where old mansions were overthrown to open new spaces in the city. This change in the layout of the city along with the increase of the roads created a movement of expansion of the city, also known as urban sprawl. New neighborhoods have emerged, however, now no longer as diverse neighborhoods, with multiple land use. They began to segregate people by class, religion, and origin. Many of the new residents, migrants from the old villages scattered around the country, used to allocate their tribes in certain neighborhoods. The urban model helped to create “the other”. This segregation has facilitated the growth of hatred between ethnicities and religions, along with other economic and political factors. The Syrian case and the resulting war that lasts until today was marked by changes in the urban layouts made by France, as architect Marwa Al-Sabouni explains in her TED talk. Currently, much is discussed about what is best models to plan a city. One of the stronger and more accepted movements defends that the cities must have very green spaces, streets with wide sidewalks, space for bicycle path and high-quality public transportation with less car streets. It also defends the mixed use of the soil, mixing public spaces with commercial and residential buildings. This model, similar to the one prior to colonization, creates an environment where with a greater sense of community. This article is based on the case of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, but similar cases can be found in several locations around the world where high levels of urban tensions are caused by similar causes. In this way, it is easy to see how architecture can influence both positively and negatively the lives of millions of people living in cities. It is extremely important to understand the historical dynamics of places to respect the way of life of the population and to avoid creating harmful bases in the long term.