In Mar Elias Camp, as in other Palestinian camps, the built environment and shared spaces are in deteriorating conditions. Development projects that are implemented in these settings rarely correspond to the aspirations and needs of camp residents. Departing from the importance of involving camp residents, and especially youth, in urban planning, development projects, and spatial interventions in the camp, we devised the workshop “Camp Radio” as a process for creative thinking and for working with camp residents to involve them in deciding the future of their environment, especially their shared spaces.


Project team:

  • Idea, organization and design: Public Works Studio
  • Organization support: Abu Rami (Shafik Shaaban Khalifeh)
  • Trainers: Majd Al Shihabi, Monica Basbous, Majd Al Hamwi, Nadine Bekdache, Jana Haidar, Abir Saksouk
  • Logistics: Zakaria Nasser
  • Documentation: Studio Zakira
  • Sound design: Majd Al Hamwi
  • Illustration: Imad Kaafarani

Workshop Participants:

  • Mohamad Yassine
  • Mohamad Orfali
  • Ali Salem
  • Ahmad Al Kurdi
  • Khalil Hamawi
  • Abd Al Hay Alouch
  • Mohamad Khalifeh
  • Ibrahim Mustafa
  • Asaad Haj Hassan
  • Mustafa Bejjo
  • Aya Bejjo
  • Safaa Salem
  • Ahmad Abu Daher
  • Asmaa Salem
  • Khadije Salem
  • Salwa Haj Hassan
  • Ahmad Khalifeh
  • Mustafa Qasmiye
  • Khattab Daher
  • Ahmad Haj Hassan
  • Israa Chkeir
  • Nagham Awde
  • Israa Awde
  • Shaymaa Awde
  • Hadi Qarii
  • Ali Damen
  • Mohamad Alouch
  • Yehia Haj Hassan
  • Amneh Barhoumi
  • Rayane Daher
  • Ali Khalifeh
  • Rayane Awdeh
  • Waad Mohamad Salem
  • Mohamad Mustafa

Participants in the podcast production:

  • Asmaa Salem
  • Safaa Salem
  • Mohamad Alouch
  • Ahmad Abu Daher
  • Khadije Salem

This project was made possible by the generous support of “Silat: links through the arts” 2017, project by A.M. Qattan Foundation (Palestine) in partnership with Prince Claus Fund (Netherlands)

Presented In 

“Grey zones: urban practices beyond dichotomy” in the seminar Towards Regional Women’s Archives in the MENA: Frameworks for Documentation and Dissemination, Panel: Living Everyday with an Endangered History: Tools of Documentation and Dissemination

دار النمر للفن والثقافة، ضمن البرنامج العام لمعرض ثلاثية الخيال العلمي Sci-Fi Trilogy، محاضرة استديو أشغال عامة بعنوان: اللعب في المخيم

In the general Palestinian-Lebanese context, many factors, such as the lack of job opportunities and the lack of spaces for gathering in camps, have contributed to producing harsh social conditions, especially for Palestinian youth. Youth (13-25 year-olds) constitute the largest social group in camps (around 25% of residents), and are the most disadvantaged age group. While children enjoy street life and play safely in alleys, the youth remain constricted while opportunities for their futures seem out of reach.

While acknowledging the necessity of challenging legal constraints on the Palestinian community in Lebanon and of improving the livelihoods of lower income dwellers, is it possible to imagine spaces that can respond to some of the challenges that the youth face in camps?

The “Camp Radio” workshop was aimed at youth of all genders, aged between 14 and 21. Its goal was to highlight their talents and abilities while enhancing their collective work on their lived environment. The workshop took form as a series of sessions focused on play and shared spaces in the camp. We held training sessions on research tools, creative dialogue, surveying, sound recording, visual expression, and worked together to materialize ideas that can bring positive change to the environment.

Together, we produced:

  • map of current playground uses
  • map of the trajectories from home to the playground
  • photographic documentation of play spaces and games in the camp
  • diagrams of similarities and differences
  • collages of future visions for the playground
  • a podcast

This project was made possible by the generous support of “Silat: links through the arts” 2017, project by A.M. Qattan Foundation (Palestine) in partnership with Prince Claus Fund (Netherlands)

Majd Al Shahabi

Monica Basbous


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.


Jana Haidar

Housing Monitor Coordinator and Casework Manager

Jana is an architect and urban researcher. She completed her MA in Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts of the Lebanese University and has been working on projects covering the topics of national urban planning practices, housing policies and displacement, urban transformation, and history. She is also the creator of Beirut Architecture Tours that explores the urban planning history of Beirut.


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. 

Majd Al Hamwi

Abu Rami (Shafik Shaaban Khalifeh)

Zakaria Nasser

Public Property Spatial Practices and Mobilizations Beirut Governorate Lebanon Mar Elias Camp