Howayda Al-Harithy

Howayda Al-Harithy

Professor of Architecture and Urban Design

Howayda Al-Harithy

Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Department of Architecture and Design (ArD) at the American University of Beirut. Her research focuses on urban heritage. Her current research theorizes socio-spatial practices and conceptualizes urban recovery in relation to processes of historical editing, urban trauma, and protracted displacement.

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Mona Fawaz

Mona Fawaz

Professor of Urban Studies and Planning

Mona Fawaz

Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the American University of Beirut. She writes about urban history and historiography, social and spatial justice, informality and the law, property and space, as well as planning practice, theory, and pedagogy. She researches, teaches, and advocates strategies for more inclusive cities.

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Ahmad Gharbieh

Ahmad Gharbieh

Professor of Graphic Design

Ahmad Gharbieh

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the American University of Beirut. His scholarly work explores mapping as a method of researching, representing and analyzing socio-spatial phenomena. His work in critical cartography has covered many subjects including urban security, public space and, most recently, refugee practices in the city. At the Lab, he directs the Critical Mapping team.

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Mona Harb

Mona Harb

Professor of Urban Studies and Politics

Mona Harb

Professor of Urban Studies and Politics at the American University of Beirut where she is also co-founder and research lead at the Beirut Urban Lab. Her research investigates governance and territoriality in contexts of contested sovereignty; urban activism and oppositional politics; and how people make collective life in fragmented cities. She is the author of Le Hezbollah à Beirut: de la banlieue à la ville, co-author of Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi’i South Beirut (with Lara Deeb), co-editor of Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World (with Sami Atallah), and co-editor of Refugees as City-Makers (with Mona Fawaz et al.). She serves on the editorial boards of MELG, IJMES, EPC, and CSSAME.

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Antonia Maria Bahna

Antonia Maria Bahna

Lab Manager

Antonia Maria Bahna
Antonia is a PhD. candidate at Université Lyon 2 Lumières in geography and urban planning. Her academic research focuses on the stabilization and reconstruction of Aleppo by analyzing the spatial imbalances and territorial fragmentation. As the Lab manager, she works closely with the researchers and directors on all the ongoing projects. 
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Chaza Jazzar

Chaza Jazzar

GIS Consultant

Chaza Jazzar
Chaza Jazzar is a GIS expert with more than 20 years of GIS experience. She holds a Master’s degree in Telecommunication Networking from the Saint Joseph University and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Lebanese University. She has worked with renown companies, including Khatib and Alami and is now a part of BUL’s GIS Consultants team. 
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Shareef Tarhini

Shareef Tarhini

GIS Database Guardian, Built Environment Database

Shareef Tarhini

Shareef Tarhini is a perceptive and motivated geomatics engineer adept at mapping and data management. He is passionate about showing a new perspective on reality through spatializing and visualizing data. At the Lab, he is the Built Environment Database guardian, and uses ArcGIS tools to combine information, find patterns, and make new connections.

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Jawad Choueib

Jawad Choueib

Technical Assistant, GIS Team

Jawad Choueib
Jawad holds an engineering degree in surveying from the Islamic University of Lebanon and a research master’s degree in Geography with an emphasis on environmental and regional planning from Saint Joseph University in Beirut. He’s passionate about cartography and data management. At the lab, Jawad is a link to both the GIS team and the mapping and visualization team. 
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Cynthia Bou Aoun

Cynthia Bou Aoun

Research Coordinator

Cynthia Bou Aoun
Cynthia is a practicing architect and architecture design teacher. She also holds an active research portfolio focused on the legal frameworks guiding urban planning, heritage protection, and landscape design. She is also a passionate advocate for the protection of public space, including Lebanon's coastline. Cynthia is the co-author of Le Littoral and Le Patrimoine (with Sebastien Lamy, Majal, Beirut). At the Lab, Cynthia coordinates the efforts to establish a Planning Unit in Beirut, including the Green Path pilot project – Al-Masar Al-Akhdar–  designed to that end. Cynthia holds a Master's in Architecture from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA). 
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Hayes Buchanan

Hayes Buchanan

Mapping and Data Visualization Coordinator

Hayes Buchanan
Hayes is an urban planner and graphic designer. His previous research has focused on climate justice, racial equity and governance in urban planning. He supports the Lab’s research efforts by conceptualizing, designing and producing maps and other infographics across our portfolio of projects. Hayes received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia and his Master’s in Urban Planning from Columbia University with an emphasis on the built environment and international development. 
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Soha Mneimneh

Soha Mneimneh

Research Coordinator

Soha Mneimneh

Soha Mneimneh’s research focuses on the actually existing financialization of Beirut, the impact of financialization policies on middle class mortgage holders during crises, and the conditions which led to urban precarity in Beirut. She also works on housing, land, and property issues as well as the conditions of return in the areas affected by the Beirut port blast. Soha is a member of the council of representatives at the Order of Engineers and Architects of Beirut, and is a member of OEA committees working on building law amendments, municipalities, and Lebanon’s master plan. She holds a Master's in Urban Planning and Policy (2019) from the American University of Beirut and a Master's in Architecture (2014) from the Lebanese University.

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Najmeh Viki

Najmeh Viki

Research Coordinator

Najmeh Viki

Najmeh H. Viki is an instructor and urban researcher who works on the urban regeneration of historic cities. She earned her Bachelor's in Architectural Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology (2006) and her Master's in Urban Design from the American University of Beirut in 2018. Her current research focuses on cultural heritage and participatory approaches for the recovery of cultural heritage.

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Batoul Yassine

Batoul Yassine

Research Coordinator

Batoul Yassine
Batoul Yassine is an urban designer and architect. She is a research coordinator at the Beirut Urban Lab, American University of Beirut. Her research focuses on forced displacement within the discourse of informality and urban recovery in post-conflict and crisis sites. She is interested in residual private/public spaces and their appropriation by different communities. She holds a Master’s in Urban Design from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s in Architecture from the Lebanese University.
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Abir Zaatari

Abir Zaatari

Research Coordinator

Abir Zaatari

Urban planning researcher and architect. Abir’s research focuses on urban housing and land policies and how they influence different modes of housing provision and acquisition. Her current research projects are focused on Beirut’s housing rental market(s) and on examining potential ways for improving land management policies in Lebanon, starting with the Betterment taxation principle. Abir received her Bachelor's in Architecture and Master's in Urban Planning and Policy from the American University of Beirut.

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Mariam Bazzi

Mariam Bazzi

Researcher

Mariam Bazzi
Mariam is a researcher trained in landscape architecture and urban design. She is involved in research projects at the Beirut Urban Lab addressing landscape heritage, integrated open space networks, and forms of archiving and unarchiving the city. Her research interests also span water management and governance, particularly riparian landscapes. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Design (2020) and a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture (2017) from the American University of Beirut.
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Abir Cheaitli

Abir Cheaitli

Researcher

Abir Cheaitli
Abir Cheaitli holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Lebanese American University, and a master’s degree in urban design from the American University of Beirut. She also holds a Pro-Green diploma in green technologies and buildings. She is interested in socio-spatial practices, urban graphic representations, and emergent ways of visualization. Her work at the lab encompasses research on the post recovery framework for Karantina after Beirut’s Port explosion. 
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Wiaam Haddad

Wiaam Haddad

Research Assistant

Wiaam Haddad
Wiaam is an architect and researcher. He is interested in regional architecture and built heritage and its role in activating urban space. Wiaam holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture with minors in Urban Studies and Arabic Literature from the American University of Beirut. He also holds a Baccalaureate in Piano Performance from the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music and a Diploma in Byzantine Music Interpretation from the Hellenic Conservatory of Music and Arts. Wiaam is the co-founder and musical director of the AUB Classical Music Club.
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Maria Rajha

Maria Rajha

Research Assistant

Maria Rajha
Maria Rajha is an architect, researcher, and activist. At the Lab, Maria is working on the Fouad Boutros - Masar Al Akhdar project and supporting the establishment of a Planning Unit. Her interests also include human-centered architectural and urban design. Maria holds a Bachelor's in Architecture from Notre Dame University - Louaize.
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Isabela Serhan

Isabela Serhan

Research Assistant

Isabela Serhan

Isabela is an architect and urban researcher. Her work at Beirut Urban Lab includes projects that contribute to reclaiming Beirut’s coast for the public and advocating for innovative housing strategies in the city. She is currently developing her research on housing production into an urban planning thesis project within the MUPP/MUD graduate program at the department of Architecture and Design (ArD) at the American University of Beirut.

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Zeina El-Hoss

Zeina El-Hoss

Translator and Communications Assistant

Zeina El-Hoss

Zeina El-Hoss is a translator, editor and copywriter who holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from the American University of Beirut. She has worked with several marketing and advertising agencies, educational institutions, and multi-disciplinary research companies in Lebanon and GCC Countries.

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Affiliated graduate and post-graduate students

Jan Altaner (Master of Middle Eastern Studies, Center of Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, AUB) - 2022

Jan is a trained historian with an interest in Lebanon's and Beirut's modern and urban history. He is interested in urban poverty, informality and the housing market in Lebanon prior to the Lebanese Civil War. At the Lab, he is currently conducting archival research and transforming his MA thesis on the history and planned erasure of a marginalized Beiruti neighbourhood into a research paper. 

Sophie Linn Katharina Bloemeke (graduate student in Middle Eastern Studies, Center of Arab and Middle Eastern Studies, AUB) - 2022

Sophie is currently writing her M.A. thesis on post-disaster recovery governance and aid architecture in Lebanon. In her thesis, she is examining Lebanon’s Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF) and the space it allocates to civil society organizations.

Thesis Committee: Mona Harb (adv.), Mona Fawaz, Carmen Geha, Jonathan Papoulidis 

 

Mahmoud Bou Kanaan (graduate student of Urban Design, Master of Urban Design Program, AUB) - 2022

Mahmoud is working on the Masar Al Akhdar conceptual framing and design strategy at the lab.

 

Reine Chedid (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, AUB) - 2022

Reine is working on the City of Tenants research at the lab.

 

Layla Dadouch (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy Program, AUB) - 2022

Layla is working on the Urban Vulnerability research at the lab.

 

Jean Makhlouta (PhD. candidate in Geography, research unit Géographie-cités, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) - 2022

Jean's thesis focuses on queer mobilities and space-making in Beirut. It aims to underline how everyday queer strategies propose a new spatial reading of Beirut beyond a traditional and dominant spatial approach that circumscribes its interpretation in binary and fixist urban categories.

Nour Zoghby Fares (PhD. candidate in Development Planning, Development Planning Unit, University College London) - 2022 

Nour’s research uses electricity provision as an entry point for understanding how cities of the South are governed. This provision happens typically by stitching hybrid, formal and informal forms of supply and distribution. By investigating the organization, control, circulation of resources, and modalities of negotiation, one can unravel the power dynamics of public and private stakeholders in a given city. Nour further seeks to expand the existing modes of cartographic investigations in ways that can allow her to visualize the informal and rely on cartography and visual investigation as a method of research.
Thesis Supervisors: Cassidy Johnson, Mona Fawaz, Camillo Boano

Mohamad El Chamaa (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy Program, AUB) - 2022

Mohamad's thesis explores urban recovery through social interest zoning, focusing on the case of Karantina, Beirut.

Thesis Committee: Howayda Al-Harithy (adv.), Mona Fawaz, Mona Harb 

 
Ranime Nahle (Master of Urban Design, AUB - defended in 2021)

Thesis Title: Activating Public Life in Neighborhoods though Soft Mobility and a Network of Open Spaces: The Case of Badaro, Beirut

Thesis Committee: Mona Harb (adv.), Mona Fawaz, Serge Yazigi

 
Rania Nouaihed (Master of Urban Planning and Policy, AUB - defended in 2021)

Thesis Title: Vacant Properties as Opportunities to Enhance Neighborhood Public Life: The Case of Badaro, Beirut

Thesis Committee: Mona Harb (adv.), Mona Fawaz, Serge Yazigi

 
Majd Al-Shehabi (Master of Urban Planning and Policy, AUB - defended in 2021)

Thesis Title: Agent-Based Modelling of the Real Estate Market in Beirut: The Effect of Vacancy Tax as a Case Study

Thesis Committee: Ibrahim Alameddine (adv.), Mona Fawaz, Ahmad Gharbieh, David Robinson

Former team members, fellows, and interns

Monica Basbous, Hayfaa Abou Ibrahim, Lea Al Chaa, Carla Al Hage, Tala Chehayeb, Luna Dayekh, Leyla El-Sayyed Hussein, Lynn Hamdar, Ismail Hutet, Antoine Kallab, Ali Kassem, Ali Khodr, Ali Ghaddar, Myriam Khoury, Dana Mazraani, Michelle Mouawad, Yara Nahle, Dounia Salame