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Marieke Krijnen


Filling Every Gap: Real Estate Development in Beirut

[Left: the old render for AYA-tower (accessed December 13, 2011), showing no preservation. Right: the new render with preserved façade. © HAR Properties]

Beirut usually conjures up images of conflict, tension, and warfare. While it is certainly not immune to these dynamics, media reports tend to overemphasize these aspects, just as their obsession with the city’s famous nightlife and glitzy shopping districts pays disproportionate attention to the lifestyles of rich tourists and the elite. This threatens to obscure a day-to-day process that has, in my opinion, a far greater impact on people’s lives and the livability of the ...

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Marieke Krijnen is a PhD-student in the Department of Conflict and Development Studies at Ghent University, Belgium, supervised by Prof. Christopher Parker and Prof. Sami Zemni. Her research focuses on processes of urban transformation in Beirut, their potential contribution to a more cosmopolitan, postcolonial urban studies, and their implications for critical theories of globalization processes, neoliberalism and space. She explores the tension field between these two theoretical frameworks, especially in relation to notions of global and local, whose reification she seeks to unsettle. She obtained her master's degree in Arabic and Middle East Studies from the American University of Beirut in 2010 with a thesis focusing on public facilities to real estate developers in Beirut, under the direction of Prof. Mona Fawaz.