Housing Narratives in Ras Beirut

October 2017 – January 2018

Over the past 150 years Ras Beirut has changed from an agricultural community to a dense urban neighborhood, particularly distinguished for its social, economic and cultural diversity. This diversity is however increasingly threatened by rapid urban transformations; its run-down residential buildings are being demolished, and their longtime residents displaced, and replaced by high-end luxury towers catering for a global financial elite. Through a research workshop, we produced a book about the housing landscape in Ras Beirut from a historical perspective, linking it to current challenges of access to affordable housing in the city.


Abir Saksouk

Co-Director and Head of Research Department

Abir graduated as an architect in 2005, and later did her masters in Urban Development Planning. She is the co-founder of Public Works Studio. Her primary focus includes urbanism and law, property and shared space, and the right to the city of marginalized communities. She is active in exploring how local organizing could be employed in actively shaping the future of cities. Abir is also a member of the Legal Agenda and a co-founder of Dictaphone Group. 


Nadine Bekdache

Co-director and Head of Communication and Design Unit

Nadine is a practicing designer and urbanist, and co-founder of Public Works Studio. She researches socio-spatial phenomena through multidisciplinary methods; including mapping, imagery and film as both processes of investigation and representation. As part of her research on urban displacement, she authored “Evicting Sovereignty: Lebanon’s Housing Tenants from Citizens to Obstacles”, and co-directed “Beyhum Street: Mapping Place Narratives”. Nadine is also a graphic design instructor at the Lebanese University.


Tala Alaeddine

Research Unit Coordinator and Researcher

Tala graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Lebanese University, Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts Branch II (2017), and received Academic excellence certificates and Scholarships from The Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development and the Lebanese American University. Her work focuses on land and housing issues in Lebanon, and includes studying and analyzing Lebanese regional masterplans, monitoring planning institutions practices, and advocating for participatory approaches in planning and reconstruction.

Majd Al Shahabi

Monica Basbous

Maysaa Kassir

Housing Beirut Governorate Lebanon Ras Beyrouth