Discover Resources by Tags: lebanon

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Beirut’s urban scars: A dissonant heritage
After a brutal 15 year civil war, Lebanon, and specifically its capital Beirut, underwent a historic reconstruction process lead by a semi-private company, Solidere. The reconstruction erased much of the city’s heritage in order to hide all remnants of war and to present the city as an emblem of modernity. In line with a state sponsored amnesia, that discourages the discussion of war to sustain the existing political discourse, the Lebanese are still suffering from a segregated society, due, largely to a lack of reconciling the war. However, a handful of buildings managed to survive the destruction of the historic city centre, as a result of conflict between their shareholders. These buildings, or urban scars, bear witness to the war and remind locals of the turbulent past by presenting them with bullet holes and shelling marks. Often abandoned and derelict, these buildings await an uncertain future. In this dissertation I argue that these buildings present locals with stark reminders of the dangers of war and that they have the potential to reconcile the past. I do so by looking at two case studies; Burj El-Murr and Beit Beirut to understand local perceptions of the urban scar and the existing discourse of memorialisation. This will inform future conduct with these sites of dissonant heritage.

Shared with the World by Elangkathir Duhindan

Co-designed child-friendly urban neighbourhoods and their potential for improving young refugee children’s wellbeing and social cohesion: Critical perspectives from selected projects in Lebanon
« This dissertation examines whether participatory projects, notably those involving children, in urban areas in Lebanon can help improve refugee children’s wellbeing, including by enhancing social cohesion between diverse residents. Drawing from urban studies, child psychology, and other literature, it outlines Syrian refugee children’s circumstances in Lebanese urban areas, and the risks and protective factors they face as a result of their experiences. Centred around urban space, its theoretical framework links concepts of spatial justice, environmental child psychology/socio-ecological models, and social cohesion. Fundamental to its overarching exploration, it adopts a relational and psychosocial definition of wellbeing, which also recognises children’s unique characteristics and experiences. It considers practical evidence for its exploration in two projects in Lebanon, after briefly looking at children’s reimagining of urban areas outside of formal processes. It concludes that there is strong evidence that, when processes are meaningful and address participants’ priorities, as well as successfully engage local authorities, they have significant potential to contribute to children’s wellbeing and improve prospects for social cohesion. The challenge is in creating genuinely inclusive processes that have multiplying, lasting effects – i.e. that they can serve as the ‘glue’ that binds residents in pursuit of the urban commons – and that trigger ongoing, collective actions by a cross-section of residents, which can convince strategic, powerful stakeholders of their importance. Given the acute crisis Lebanon faces, such processes remain more important than ever, while remaining sensitive to the socio-political and economic realities affecting millions across the country.

Shared with the World by Elangkathir Duhindan

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