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Marieke Krijnen and Richard Pelgrim

Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut

[Entrance to Souk al-Ahad. Picture by R.Pelgrim]

Beirut’s weekend market Souk al-Ahad attracts about thirty-five thousand visitors a day and has four hundred registered stalls, providing a living to five thousand families. It is located on the eastern edge of the city near its river and a highway (Figure 1). Beyond the physical collection of stalls, vendors, and affordable goods, the Souk is also the locus of a long conflict over land ownership between the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and the municipality of ...

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Marieke Krijnen and Richard Pelgrim

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.


Richard Pelgrim studied architecture and anthropology at the American University of Beirut, graduating in June 2013. Beirut was home for the past thirteen years (and still is, really), but he is now living in his “home-country” The Netherlands, where he will be starting his masters in Human Geography. He is drawn to urban environments as objects, or better, experiences of endless complexity and intrigue, particularly in their social and political dimensions.