On the Urbanization of Violence: Contested Access to Housing for Syrian Refugees in a Beirut Periphery

By Hiba Bou Akar
Submitted to Session P4807 (Frictions of Governing in the MENA, 2017 Annual Meeting
Urban Studies;
LCD Projector without Audio;
This paper is an initial reflection on an ongoing study that aims to excavate the intertwined geographies of housing and militarization, home and refugeeness, and informality and violence in one periphery of Beirut, Lebanon. The paper examines the different layers of local and regional conflicts along with rapid urbanization have restructured access to affordable housing for Lebanese families and more recently provided shelter for Syrian refugees. Many of these sites suffer from terrible environmental and living conditions. I focus here on analyzing the apparatus of governance and overlapping jurisdictions that have produced these contested geographies based on data collected from archival research and interviews with international aid agencies like the UNHCR and CHF, local mosques, charity organizations, residents (both Lebanese and Syrians), planning agencies, and local municipalities.