American University of Beirut

Sara Hamzeh | '18

Grants and MEAL Officer, Nusaned​

Beirut, Lebanon​

Sara shares her perspective on how she thinks the profession is rewarding and the advantage she has over others in her current position as a grant officer, and discusses how LDEM prepared her for her graduate studies in urban planning at City University of New York.


In what dimensions is the profession rewarding?

As a Landscape Architect and Urban Planner, I am aware of my impact on the environment that surrounds me. The profession opens doors to multiple dimensions and allows every individual to find their niche within it. It is beautiful to see so many people from the same Landscape Architecture year forge their own ways within the field. No two people’s paths are completely similar and that is an amazing thing to witness.
In my current position, I am able to utilize my skills and abilities to reach a greater good. I am part of a team that is working on the renovations and rehabilitation of homes and businesses impacted by the Beirut explosion. My work extends to various programs which include shelter, public spaces, and agriculture.

How do you compare yourself to other peers in the field?

Compared to others in my field, I have noticed that my analytical skills are much more advanced and detailed.
I believe that I have an advantage over others in my current profession who do not have the design and planning experience that I do. I am able to grasp the projects and proposals from a multidimensional angle as I’m familiar with the work on the ground as well as the work in the office. I am able to understand what BOQs are and how architecture and urban planning work goes in ways that someone with a different background wouldn’t.

How did LDEM prepare you for your graduate studies and later for your professional career?

LDEM instilled in me a work ethic that sets me apart from my peers in both graduate school and work. I was complimented heavily on my concept skills and my well-roundedness in design. LDEM’s meticulous culture aided me in becoming a person who perceives things holistically and who ensures any work that I produce is well-rounded and irrefutable.

Do you feel that your current job sustains your daily life?​

With a $1,500-2,000 monthly salary range, I believe that the profession is intellectually and financially rewarding.

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