American University of Beirut


​​​Dr. ​Rami Zurayk

Interim Director

Dr. Rami Zurayk currently serves as Interim Director of the Palestine Land Studies Center (PLSC). He is Professor of the Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences​. Dr. Zurayk’s research interests center on landscape and agrarian transformation, as well as on political ecology of the Arab world. He has published on food security in Gaza, on ‘Farming Palestine for Freedom” as well as extensively on issues pertaining to land use, food security and sovereignty, sustainable agriculture, and water and food systems during conflict. For two years, he was the lead researcher on a UN-HABITAT program on Land and Conflict in the Arab Region. He is a founding member of the Arab Food Sovereignty Network, which focuses on issues of food sovereignty in the Arab World, and is a contributor to Al Shabaka, the Palestine Policy Network. A long-term activist on Palestinian issues and former advisor of the AUB Palestinian Cultural Club, he has been serving as the co-chair of the PLSC Steering Committee and highly engaged in the center’s activities since its inception.​

Dr. Howayda Al-Harithy​

Founding Director (up until August 2022)

Dr. Al Harithy Picture.jpg

Howayda Al-Harithy is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Department of Architecture and Design (ArD) at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Oregon School of Design, a Master of Science in Architecture from MIT, and a PhD in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. Al-Harithy’s research focuses on urban heritage. Her early research was centered on the architectural and urban practices of the Mamluk period in Egypt, Syria and Palestine. It engaged theoretical models of interpretation, particularly post-structuralist models, as analytic tools of the production of architectural and urban space in medieval cities. Her current research conceptualizes urban recovery in relation to processes of historical editing, urban trauma, and protracted displacement.

She is widely published with over 50 articles, book chapters, and reports in leading journals and refereed books. She is the editor of and contributor to Lessons in Post-War Reconstruction: Case Studies from Lebanon in the Aftermath of the 2006 War (Routledge, 2010), Post-war Recovery of Cultural Heritage Sites: Aleppo Taht al Qalaa (Beirut: 2019), and Urban Recovery: Intersecting Displacement with Reconstruction (Routledge 2021).

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