Professor of Architecture and Urban Design
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.
Professor of Urban Studies and Planning
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.
Professor of Graphic Design
Associate 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.
Professor of Urban Studies and Politics
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.
Antonia Maria Bahna
Graphic Designer, Communication and Social Media
Karim Chaltaf is an Art Director and Graphic Designer who holds a bachelor's degree in graphic design from the Lebanese American University. In his role as the Lab's Graphic Designer, he collaborates with researchers and directors to develop and visualize communication strategies for the lab's social media presence. His professional background spans independent publications, corporate marketing, UX research, event planning and on-set art direction.
Translator and Communications Assistant
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 drafts, edits, and translates media releases, social media content, and other communication material. She also supports the Lab’s work by implementing internal and external communication strategies and projects.
GIS Database Guardian, Built Environment Database
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
Post-doc Research Associate
Cynthia Bou Aoun
Research and Data Visualization Coordinator
Isabela is an architect and urban planner. Her work at the Lab focuses on housing justice, public policy, and producing research that supports innovative housing strategies in the city. She is interested in urban public space and has worked on projects that contribute to reclaiming Beirut’s coast for the public. Isabela holds a bachelor's degree in Archictecture and a master's degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the American University of Beirut.
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.
PhD Research Affiliates and Graduate Research Assistants
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
Reine Chedid (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, AUB) - 2024
Reine’s thesis explores how "landlordism" plays a major role in influencing neighborhood transformation in Hamra, Lebanon. The research is part of the larger initiative of the Housing Justice team at the Beirut Urban Lab. The project intersects between three research projects: The City of Tenants, the BBED, and forced population displacement.
Research Committee: Mona Fawaz (advisor), Mona Harb and Ahmad Gharbieh (readers)
Layla Dadouch (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy Program, AUB) - 2024
Layla’s thesis explores how Syrian refugees have accessed housing in Ras Beirut's dilapidated buildings. It is part of the Precarious Homes project initiated by the Beirut Urban Lab.
Research Committee: Mona Fawaz (advisor), Howayda Al-Harithy and Elizabeth Matta Saleh (readers)
Amina Darwish (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy Program, AUB) - 2024
Amina’s thesis explores the role of faith-based organizations in providing urban goods and services in the affected spaces after the port explosion of 2020. The thesis focuses on the collective goods provided that serve the public interest in relation to the concept of "urban commons".
Research Committee: TBA
Kareim El Khansa (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy Program, AUB) - 2024
Kareim’s thesis explores how municipalities in dysfunctional settings, specifically in Lebanon, deliver public services. It focuses on the impact of international aid in enhancing decentralization as a solution, analyzing municipal activities in the context of urban commons and public goods provision amid multiple crises.
Research Committee: Mona Harb (advisor), Mona Fawaz, Rami Zurayk
Batoul Mohammad (graduate student of Urban Planning, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, AUB) - 2024
Batoul’s thesis explores the role of non-profit organizations in providing urban goods and services in the affected areas after Beirut Port explosion of August 2020. Non-profit organizations include NGOs, INGOs and universities/initiatives. The thesis focuses on the urban goods that are of collective nature and serve the public interest in relation to the concept of "urban commons"
Research Committee: Mona Harb (advisor), Mona Fawaz and Jamil Mouawad (readers)