In this article, we explore how public state properties were being historically relinquished by the government in an approach that views land as a tool for serving the interests of the ruling class. We examine the legal loophole used to reclassify them from “public” to “private” state properties. Additionally, we showcase collected data from the Official Gazette on these reclassifications between 1922 and 2022, and we analyze them based on their characteristics, rate of occurrence, and geographical distribution.


Christina Abou Rouphaël


Christina is an architect and urban researcher who graduated with a Master’s degree in Architecture (2015) and Urban Planning (2017) from the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts of the Lebanese University. She is currently working on various research projects related to urban issues, public property and the right to the city.


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.


Rayan Alaeddine


Rayan is a civil engineer holding a Master’s degree in public works and road planning from the Lebanese University (2019), and a dual Master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Lille-France and the Lebanese University (2021). Using a variety of research and fieldwork tools, she is interested in discovering the dynamics of the urban environment, while adapting it to the fair and just use of people and all living creatures. Her work also includes monitoring and observing the changes of various urban elements and factors.


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. 

Natural Resources Public Property Lebanon

Count of Public State Property Reclassification Decrees (per district and timeframe)

The state’s “public” property — legally known as “reserved protected land” includes any property meant to be used in the public interest, such as riverbeds, riverbanks, sea shores, waterfalls, lakes, irrigation canals, roads, …

Mapping State-Owned Land Against Privatization

In light of the ongoing financial and economic collapse, mainstream public discourse called for the privatization of public assets, to save the state from bankruptcy, through a fund enabling banks to seize state-owned …

Mapping State-Owned Land Against Privatization

In Lebanon, the state owns a substantial part of the territory, estimated to range between 20 and 25 per cent of the country’s total surface area. These publicly owned properties – the unbuilt ...

Housing-Designated Lands:

The State Had Housing Projects

In this article, we focus on the state-owned lands designated for housing. Understanding the nature of these properties, their location, and their current uses is essential when discussing any solutions to the ongoing …

Lebanon’s Loyalty to the Resistance Parliamentary Bloc Proposes Law to Abolish Amiri Lands System

Proposing a law to merge Amiri lands with Mulk lands.

It was referred to the Finance and Budget, and Public Administration Committees on 15/07/2020 and has not been studied to date.

Tripoli: The Nakba of Unfinished Housing Projects

In this article, we focus on the state-owned lands that have been historically designated for housing in the cities of Tripoli and Mina (North Lebanon). First, we examine the multiple types of state …

From Dalieh in 1995 Until Today: A New Extension of the Hotel Exemption Law

Proposing a law aiming at “Extending the application of Law No. 264 (extending the work of the law related to exempting hotels from some provisions of the Building Law).”

The law proposal was submitted on 20/3/2023, and has not yet been referred to parliamentary committees.

Mobilisations during the October 17 Uprising to reclaim seafront public properties

Over the past decades, environmental issues and access to natural resources stood out as major components of the broader landscape of social mobilisation in Lebanon. Despite oppressive practices and the hegemony’s attempts to …

Commodifying Public Property

The state continues to encroach on, neglect, or allow the private sector to control landed public property, this time through a decree of the Council of Ministers allowing Al-Hiba Real Estate Company to …

In KfarAbida: Raghida Dergham takes over public property through the policies of the higher Council of Urban Planning

Last Sunday, June 9, 2024, residents and activists in the town of KfarAbida gathered in front of the villa of journalist Raghida Dergham, to denounce the building violations she is committing, and to …

Where are the State’s Lands?

In this article, we delve into the texts of laws, decrees, and records from the Ministry of Finance. Our aim is to shed light on the nature of public property, its geographical distribution, ...