Leen El Harake Redefines Revolution from an Architectural Angle
When the Lebanese uprising surged in late October 2019, Leen el Harake an LAU MEPI TL student in Architecture was observing the manifestation from the reconstruction and development angle and decided to express her thoughts and plans within this cadre through writing and mentoring.
El Harake participated in LAU TL yearly magazine “Untitled” with an OP-ED under the title: “Healing Public Space”. In her article, El Harake addressed the corruption issue from the reconstruction angle, describing how Beirut bore the brunt of the civil war and how affected sites have been “under construction” since the 90s.
Additionally, El Harake chose to verbalize her thoughts more engagingly: together with her LAU colleague Nader Akoum, she organized a session: “City Representation”. The 2-day round table took place in a historic house in Tyre, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. The session gathered 14 participants who got an immersive experience in Tyre’s unique urban context and were encouraged to look at the city as the place of representations while studying its political, economic, and physical dimensions. Afterward, El Harake and Akoum discussed with the participants the design of architectural interventions and encouraged them to draft policies that could dissolve centers of power, confusion, and forms of corruption.
The result of this initiative was rewarding and promising: the participants managed to draft a total of four interventions/policies which targeted two main contested areas within Tyre, Al-Jamal, and the Old Town.
Having successfully organized and completed this session, El Harake and Akoum are keen on extending the methodology and approach to different cities, towns, and communities across Lebanon.
El Harake’s series of successes tell us how MEPI TL sow seeds of leadership projects in young students and put them on the path of implementation.