American Univesity of Beirut

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LAAB Accreditation Review Visit Postponed Due to COVID-19

The scheduled visit on March 29, 2020 by the LAAB Accreditation team to review the Landscape Architecture Program at LDEM is postponed and rescheduled for Fall 2020 with the hope that the current situation has subsided. Based on the forthcoming communication with LAAB, LDEM will keep you posted on the actual visit days.

In the meantime, please stay at home and safe.

Valentine's Day Event by LASS

The Landscape Architecture Student Society (LASS) organized Valentine's Day Event which took place on February 12-13th, 2020.

The event included purchasing sweets and roses from local nurseries and bakeries, an essential initiative needed in the country is given the circumstances. 
The concept of the event included more than just buying flowers/sweets for loved ones.  Buyers also had the option to leave their gifts for their recipient, and later during the day, LASS members sent messages to recipients to come pick up their gifts.
The event was successful, love was in the air, and the venue grabbed the attention of students, as it does each year, where receivers of both roses and sweets passed by the stand the next day to receive their gifts.

Yaser Abunnasr, LDEM new chairperson

LDEM is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Yaser Abunnasr as the Chairperson of the Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management (LDEM), effective January 27, 2020, for a three-year term concluding January 27, 2023. Dr. Abunnasr has coordinated the Landscape Architecture Program since fall 2018. He led the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) process for accreditation of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program. Once approved, this will be the first accredited program globally outside of the USA. Dr. Abunnasr is a member of the AREC Task Force, and led the development of FAFS' departmental and faculty level space needs assessments; he chairs the FAFS facilities committee.​​

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Yaser Abunnasr at the Next Generation of Sustainable Communities conference, California

Dr. Yaser Abunnasr participated in the Next Generation of Sustainable Communities conference, in the International Center at UCDavis, California (January 24). The conference invited a targeted number of specialists in the field to develop an agenda for the future of sustainable cities worldwide. This is the final event of the Sustainability, Research and Training program (SRTP) which is funding Dr. Abunnasr's current research project “Greener Cities are Cooler Cities: Using Vegetated Green Infrastructure to Mitigate Urban Micro-climates in Desert Urban Landscapes".

Rami Zurayk hosts ARAB BEDOUIN: No Future Without Past exhibition, London

Cultural Corridors of Peace is an 18-month project that aims to support the Bedouin communities in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley to document, archive, and safeguard their living memory and intangible cultural heritage. Part of this project was the free exhibition “Arab Bedouin: No Future without Past” that was held in London on January 15, 2020 for ten days. Some members of the Bedouin communities participating in the project were present at this exhibition.

LDEM accreditation team submits Self Evaluation Report to LAAB

​​​LDEM announced the successful and timely submission of its Self-Evaluation Report (SER) to Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) by the LDEM accreditation team. The SER details the expectations, growth, mission, and objectives of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program.  The team has scheduled a final visit date for reviewers (March/April 2020). Preparations are underway to ensure a successful path to accreditation.

Salma Talhouk and Jala Makhzoumi receive Life Time Achievement Award at the Landscape Middle East Awards Ceremony

Dr. Salma Talhouk, LDEM Professor and Chair of AUBotanic, was invited together with LDEM associate Dr. Jala Makhzoumi to participate in the first ‘Landscape Middle East Awards Ceremony’ at which they received the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ in a ceremony organized by Landscape Middle East Magazine, on November 25, 2019, at the Ritz Carlton DIFC Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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LDEM Alumna Thea Maria Maroun at the Global Undergraduate Summit, Dublin Summit

LDEM alumna Thea Maria Maroun presented her final year project during the Global Undergraduate Summit in Dublin (November 11 - 13). The summit brought together the world’s top performing students f​or a three-day conference in which students from 38 universities in 12 countries collaborated and shared research in different categories.​

Thea’s presentation on quarryscapes in Lebanon attracted the attention ​​of many of the participants. Ms. Maroun, among the top 10% in the Architecture & D​​​esign category, was recognized for her paper, Re-Morphing the Quarryscape of the Metn Express Highway: Hybridizing Theories: Between Ecological Reclamation and Land-Art.​​

Yaser Abunnasr receives the MedSNAIL and NAWAMED grants

LDEM congratulates Dr. Yaser Abunnasr for receiving the prestigious MEDSNAIL and NAWAMED grants as an AUB representative and lead beneficiary for the new EU grant: Sustainable Networks for Agro-food Innovation Leading in the Mediterranean (MedSNAIL) approved under the framework of the European Neighbourhood Instrument’s Cross border cooperation Mediterranean Sea Basin (ENI CBC MED) program for cooperative projects. 

The meeting took place October 21-24, in Seville, Spain. The project, in partnership with co-PI Dr. Shady Hamadeh (ESDU) and team, began September 1, 2019 and runs through August 31, 2022. Project meetings are planned for Turin, Italy, Sfax, Tunisia, Gozo, Malta, and Beirut, Lebanon and a final project conference will be held in Seville, Spain in 2022.

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Rami Zurayk speaks at the CFS in Rome

​​Dr. Rami Zurayk was an invited participant at the 46th annual meeting of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy (October 14-18). The CFS sessio​n brings together food security and nutrition stakeholders from across the world to network, review global progress, share experiences and agree on policy guidance. 

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​​Updates on the BLA program accreditation process by ASLA/LAAB

The BLA program at LDEM was approved and invited to apply for initial accreditation by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB), the academic arm of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

The accreditation team Nadine Modad, Rim Hazimeh and Sarah Hamzeh, led by Dr. Yaser Abunnasr, commenced work in September 2019 with a pl​an to submit the self-study report in December 15, 2019 and conduct the field visit in spring 2020. If successful, the BLA/LDEM will be the first program in the world to be accredited outside the USA.​​

​​Macro fungi Diversity in the Middle East: Survey and Identification of Wild Mushrooms in Lebanon

Nadine Modad, LDEM ​administrative officer and field mycologist, participated in the​​ 18​th Congress of European Mycologists, held at the University of Warsaw and Białowieża National Park, Poland (September 16-21). Her participation was made possible through a staff development grant supported by FAFS Dean Mohtar.
Nadine’s abstract, Macro fungi Diversity in the Middle East: Survey and Identification of Wild Mushrooms in Lebanon, was accepted for a poster session, providing Nadine with the opportunity to present her Master’s thesis work internationally ​and interact with experts in her fi

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​​LDEM Faculty participation at ECLAS conference 2019

The LDEM faculty members presented a symposium session entitled ’Challenges and Opportunities of Landscape Architecture Education in the Arab World: The Experience of the American University of Beirut’ at the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS) conference 2019 which was held on September 16 and 17, 2019 in Oslo, Norway.​​

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Jala Makhzoumi receives ECLAS Lifetime Achievement Award 2019​

​​​​​​​​Dr. Jala Makhzoumi, one of the main founders of the Landscape Design and ​Ecosystem Management program at FAFS and current Associate to LDEM department, received the ‘European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS) Lifetime Achievement Award’ during the ECLAS conference 2019 for her outstanding contribution to landscape architecture education. The conference was held during September 16-17, 2019, in Oslo, Norway.​

​​​​​​LDEM students led by Nayla Al-Akl participate in a 2-day international design charette on the conceptualization of Beirut Digital District

On September 11 and 12, the Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management (LDEM), represented by five students from LDEM and led by Nayla Al-Akl, participated in a 2- day international design charrette on the conceptualization of Beirut Digital District, looking at spaces of heritage, contrasts and connections. 

The workshop generated concepts for Beirut’s Digital District- a site rich in history in heritage which aims to become a cluster that caters to the young digital creative community. The design charrette was a first step in a series of initiatives to build networks and collaborations on timely issues relating to lack of public and outdoor spaces.​​​

The charrette was led by the department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield with partners for the American University of Beirut (LDEM & MUD), the Lebanese University, the Lebanese American University, Académie Libanaise Des Beaux-Arts and al-Azm University.

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​​​​​​Lecture | Landscape Architecture in a Changing Climate

@ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM in FAFS | Michel and Sherine Bayoud Lecture Hall

As part of the FAFS Lecture Series,​ LDEM organized an open lecture on "Landscape Architecture in a Changing Climate​" by Andy Clayden, senior lecturer and landscape architect at the University of Sheffield, UK.​

Andy Clayden is a senior lecturer and landscape architect at the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield, UK.

His research focuses on the design and management of cemetery and memorial landscapes of Natural Burial in the UK and military cemeteries of the Second World War. Landscape architects had a significant role in the design of these cemeteries and their work in controlling the design of space and movement, continues to shape how visitors experience these landscapes today.

His teaching and practice is guided by an enthusiasm for working with materials and detailing and how this might project a more environmentally sensitive approach to design. The lecture drew on a range of historic and contemporary projects that explore the contribution of landscape architecture and how it is responding to a changing climate.​


​​​Landscape Architecture Alumna Thea Maria Maroun makes it among the top 10% of papers submitted to The Global Undergraduate Awards

LDEM congratulates our 2019 alumna Thea Maria Maroun on being one of the highly commended entrants with her paper ranking among the top 10% of papers submitted to the Architecture and Design Category in the Global Undergraduate Awards.

Thea's paper 'Re-Morphing the Quarryscape of the Metn Express Highway: Hybridizing Theories: Between Ecological Reclamation and Land-Art' made it to the top among other 3,437 submissions to the Undergraduate Awards this year.

To access the full list of Highly Commended Entrants, click here.

LDEM towards ideas for sustainable tourism in Jordan


​LDEM students travelled with Assistant Professor Nayla Al-Akl to Ajloun, Jordan (June 21-29), to participate in an intensive program to develop projects for sustainable tourism in Jordan. Under the framework of the Middle East Social Innovation Lab (MESIL), the interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange considered ways to sustainably safeguard unique cultural and natural landscapes. 

Over a period of ten days, 40 international students from multiple disciplines, including seven from LDEM, worked with local civil society actors to develop concepts and business models that focused on sustainable tourism in the Kufranja region of northeastern Jordan, near the Syrian border. 

Click here​ to check out a trailer documenting highlights from the workshop.

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​​LDEM student Tara Kanj shortlisted for the World Landscape Architecture (WLA) Award 2019 for her Final Year Project

LDEM is proud to announce that our final year student Ms. Tara Kanj was shortlisted for the World Landscape Architecture (WLA) Award 2019 for her Final Year Project with entry name: Ouzai Coastal Slums.

The project studies the shore of Ouzai, a coastal strip south of Beirut, Lebanon. The space of the sea, which is currently abundant with haphazardly built concrete homes, piling garbage, sewage leaks, lack of fresh water, extreme maritime pollution, and the implications of climate change catching up to it, is a major component of the inhabitats' lives.

The design is an amalgamation of solutions to all the existing ecological problems, directly resulting in the creation of safe and accessible spaces for the inhabitants.

Congratulations to Tara on her accomplishment and we wish her all the best in the next step.

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​​​Lecture | Forestscaping: How to Bring Back Our Lost Forests in Cities

As part of the FAFS Lecture Series, and in collaboration with The Neighbourhood Initiative and theOtherDada, we invite you to an open lecture on "Forestscaping: How to Bring Back Our Lost Forests in Cities" by Mr. Shubhendu Sharma, founder and director of Afforestt.

@ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM in FAFS | Michel and Sherine Bayoud Lecture Hall


About the lecture:

In his talk, Shubhendu Sharma will discuss the Miyawaki method of afforestation and the mission of his enterprise 'Afforestt' to bring back native forests, specializing in making natural forests of native species in urban landscapes. Compared to conventional plantations, these forests are 30 times denser, maintenance free, and can be created in spaces as small as just 100 square meters. Check out Mr. Sharma's latest TED Talk: How to plant a tiny forest near you. ​

About the speaker:

Shubhendu Sharma is an eco-entrepreneur, founder, and director of 'Afforestt', a for-profit enterprise established in India in 2011 and devoted to planting native forests for all kinds of clients, from farmers to corporations to city governments. Mr. Sharma is an expert in Miyawaki method of afforestation. By integrating art, design, and forests, Afforestt has been creating forestscapes in urban spaces, creating a natural forest-like environment in otherwise heavily urbanized spaces using an accelerated method. Mr. Sharma is visiting Beirut to work on the Beirut River Urban Reforestation Pilot Project as part of Beirut RiverLESS initiative by theOtherDada. 

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Yaser Abunnasr (LDEM) and Stephen M. Wheeler (UC-D) co-present at UC Davis Arab Region Consortium

Dr. Yaser Abunnasr, associate professor LDEM, and  Dr. Stephen M. Wheeler, professor of Urban Design and Sustainability, UC Davis  co-presented on the topic Mitigating Heat islands for Dryland Cities, at the UC Davis Arab Region Consortium Sustainability Research and Training Program​.

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​Ecosystem Management​​ gradu​​ate student Ranim Koleilat receives the ‘Rasha and Nouha​​d Daouk Student Development Award’​


Ranim Koleilat was selected by FAFS Dean Mohtar to receive the new Student travel grant the ‘Rasha and Nouhad Daouk Student Development Award’. 

Ranim will attend the '2019 Children and Nature Network International Conference’ which will be held in Oakland, California in May 2019. The conference is organized by the ‘Children and Nature Network’ and Ranim was accepted for a poster presentation about her thesis research entitled ‘The Learning Landscape of Biophilia: Design guidelines for kindergarten Schools with Marginal Space and Resources’.

Click here​


​​LDEM student Tara Kanj ranks 1st in Turkish Indoor Championship


​Congratulations to our Landscape A​​rchitecture student Tara Kanj for setting the women's national record and getting first place in the 400m relay in the Turkish Indoor Championship!


​​LDEM student Christelle Moussa among winners in IFI Climate Change competition


LDEM is proud to announce Ms. Christelle Moussa as 5th place winner with her proposed research "Vegetation as a UHI mitigation measure in arid contexts: The case of Dubai". Ms. Moussa is an E​​COM student and is supervised by Dr. Yaser Abunnasr.​​​

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​Nayla Al-Akl, Associate Dean of Student Affairs


LDEM Assistant Professor Nayla Al-Akl appointed Associate Dean of Student Affairs, effective January 15, 2019

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Workshop on Interactive Lecturing, Dr. Yaser Abunnasr


Dr. Yaser Abunnasr organized and conducted a workshop on Interactive Lecturing for the Center of Teaching and Learning and presented the ideas, tools, and experiences of interactive lecturing​.

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