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Center for Metropolitan StudiesHowayek, Chaghaf

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Chaghaf Howayek


Center for Metropolitan Studies
TU Berlin
Hardenbergstraße 16-18
10623 Berlin


Refugee camps, as the Permanent State of Temporality.
The case of Shatila camp, Beirut Lebanon

Refugee camps are commonly known as places outside the normal juridical order, places made by humanitarian actions and war. Refugee camps are where the “victims” of a current conflict are contained and managed, places where a new characteristic identity is made, an identity that is both temporary and permanent. Looking at the camps as parts of the city urban fabric, their connections to outside urban life, and what are the boundaries that create the state of exclusion and inclusion that accompany the refugee population? Many scholars, architects, and Anthropologist studied the camps as the permanent state of temporality, where identity is constructed by both home memories and daily life practices.
In my research, I will look at the camp as a permanent temporal reality through the daily living space. How the space of the camp is shaped by the everyday life and the notion of identity through time. Coming from an architectural background I will analyze the space of the camp and its boundaries. The spatial, social and political boundaries. what makes the camp a state of a political void? and how does the notion of identity through time help shaping this space?

Shatila Palestinian camp in Beirut is a great example of the notion of identity and space. The camp was built in 1948 after the arrival of the Palestinian refugees in Beirut Lebanon. The camp and its residents have experienced different political, social and spatial boundaries since the fifties until today. These changes were the makers of the camp spatial identity for every era.
I will explain each era of the camp’s time line, its connection to the space and state of exclusion and inclusion. The boundaries of the camp will help me understand the spatial, social and political limitations and connections to the city of Beirut.
The changing state of exclusion and inclusion from the era of the first days of exile in the fifties, to the revolution era where the camp became a political hub for Palestinians, through the eighties and the marginalization of the Palestinians and finally to 2013 when the Palestinians in the camp became the host of the new refugee exile community, the Syrians.



since 05/2012
DFG Fellow at the International Graduate Research Program Berlin - New York - Toronto, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin

2012 - 2014
Bauhaus University, Institute of European Urban Studies - Weimar Germany European Urban Studies Master of science degree

2004 - 2009
Damascus University - Damascus, Syria
Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and urban planning


October 2013 - March 2014
Bauhaus University, institute of European Urban studies - Weimar Germany
Shrinking villages east Germany , Illem kreis Thuringia

March 2013 - September 2013
Urban Synergies - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Community engagement in public spaces the Toronto context Thornkliff neighbourhood night out.

February 2012 – September 2012
Partisan Project - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Project: design housing and retails in Toronto, involved in architecture and interior design

May 2010 – September 2011
Halcrow Group limited - Damascus, Syria. As an architect

Damascus Yafour palace (preparing shop drawings).
Damascus Dummar mixed use development project (concept design and program).
Damascus Mleha residential building (concept design and program).
Damascus Cordoba (detail design for the complex landscape).
Homs City Center (site analysis – concept design architecture and master planning – detail master plan )
Homs refugee camp (site analysis – concept design architecture and master planning – detail master plan )

September 2009 – April 2010
Eagle Crest for Construction - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Project: design housing in Mississauga, involved in architecture and interior design as an intern


Project Amal wa Salam taking care of refugees children in Lebanon Turkey and Jordan

Cofounder of Tightknit Syria, empowering the women in refugee camps Turkey

Woman for peace Toronto, Ontario, Canada



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